When it comes to your home, you want to ensure everything is in good working order. This includes your gutters!
Your gutters play an important role in protecting your home from water damage, so choosing a contractor you can trust is important. Here are a few tips on selecting a gutter contractor you can trust. (If you’re not up-to-date on your gutters, be sure to read our ultimate guide to learn everything there is to know about these unsung heroes.)
DIY vs. Professional Gutter Installation
One of the first things you need to decide is whether you want to install your gutters yourself or hire a professional. If you’re not confident in your ability to install gutters properly, it’s best to leave this job to the professionals.
Not only will they be able to get the job done quickly and efficiently, but they’ll also be able to ensure that your gutters are installed correctly. This will help you avoid any potential problems down the road.
Here are some pros and cons of each option to help you decide which is best for you:
- It can save you money – remember, you’ll only have to pay for the materials, not the labor
- You can get the job done on your own schedule
- You may find it satisfying to do the work yourself
- It can be a fun project.
- Risk of injury if you’re not careful
- If done incorrectly, it could cause further damage to your home
- You may void any warranties by doing the work yourself
Professional Gutter Installation Pros:
On the other hand, when you enlist the help of a professional gutter company, you can rest assured that the job will be done right.
In addition, professional installers have the experience and equipment to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
And, if there are any problems down the road, most reputable companies offer some sort of warranty or guarantee.
Professional Gutter Installation Cons:
When you hire a professional to install your gutter system, you:
- Have to pay for labor in addition to the cost of materials
- Have to work around the company’s schedule
- You may not get the same satisfaction as doing it yourself
Now that you know the pros and cons of each option, you can decide which is best for you. If you’re still undecided, consider your budget, timeline, and comfort level with DIY projects.
For this article, let’s assume you’ve decided to hire a professional to install your gutters.
Researching Gutter Installers/Contractors
Once you’ve decided to hire a professional gutter installer, it’s time to start researching your options. With so many companies to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start. Here are a few tips:
Get recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors.
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find a reputable contractor. If you know someone who has recently had gutters installed, ask who they used and if they were happy with the results.
Check online reviews.
Nowadays, it’s easy to find reviews for about anything online. When looking for a gutter contractor, check out sites like Google, Yelp, and Angie’s List. Online reviews are a quick and easy way to see what previous customers have to say about a company.
Or, you could do as this person did: Ask on social media.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/landertalk?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#landertalk</a> gutters – good and bad: Anyone have a recommendation for gutter type and local installer? Comments… <a href=”http://t.co/oIGXDKVV”>http://t.co/oIGXDKVV</a></p>— LanderTalk.com (@landertalk) <a href=”https://twitter.com/landertalk/status/118010672821977088?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>September 25, 2011</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
Look for a company with experience.
When it comes to something as crucial as your gutters, you want to ensure you’re working with a company that knows what they’re doing. Look for a company that has been in business for several years and has a good reputation.
Look at their past work.
These days, any company should have a professional website. Before you hire a gutter contractor, take some time to look at their website and see examples of their past work. This will give you a good idea of the quality of their work and whether or not they’re a good fit for your project.
Choosing the Right Gutter Contractor for You
After researching and narrowing down your options, it’s time to choose the right gutter contractor. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Get written estimates from multiple companies.
When getting estimates, be sure to compare apples to apples. Ensure each company includes the same materials and labor in its estimate.
Don’t just go with the lowest price.
Sure, saving money is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. But you don’t want to sacrifice quality for cost when it comes to your gutters. Be sure to weigh all factors before making your decision.
Check Their Licensing and Insurance Status
One of the first things you should do when choosing any general contractor is to check their licensing and insurance status.
You want to ensure that they are properly licensed and insured so that you are protected in case of any accidents. You can usually find this information on their website or by calling their office.
Check your local secretary of state’s office to ensure that they’re registered and in good standing.
Ask your gutter installer the right questions.
When hiring gutter installers, most people don’t know the right questions to ask. Here are a few key questions you should ask:
Do you have experience installing gutters?
We touched on it earlier, but experience is key when choosing a gutter contractor. You want to ensure they have installed gutters and know what they’re doing. We’ve seen it happen far too often – general contractors who claim to know everything only to realize they’re over their heads.
How long will the job take?
This is important to know so that you can plan accordingly. You don’t want your gutters installed while preparing for a party or during a rainstorm.
What type of gutter system warranty do you offer?
Even high-quality workmanship can’t always prevent problems down the road. Make sure you’re protected by asking about their warranty policy.
We were recently hired by quite a few homeowners to fix leaks in their gutters.
They had issues with rainwater spilling over the gutters and onto their facia, which caused it to rot.
After taking a closer look, we realized that the issue wasn’t with the gutters but the installation. The previous contractor had installed the hangers incorrectly, which caused all sorts of problems.
Unfortunately, they went radio silent when the homeowner tried to contact them. The moral of the story is that you need to make sure you’re working with a reputable contractor.
When the homeowners finally got an answer from the contractor, they were told that there was no warranty on their work and offered to repair them at an astronomical cost.
The homeowners were understandably upset and hired us to fix the problem. We were able to quickly and easily fix the installation issue, and the homeowners were happy with the results.
So, make sure you ask about warranty information before hiring a contractor. It could save you time and money in the long run.
What is your payment schedule?
You should never pay for a job upfront, no matter how reputable the contractor may be. A common practice is to pay a third when the job starts, a third when it’s completed, and the final third after you’ve had a chance to inspect the work and are satisfied.
Do you carry liability and workers’ compensation insurance?
As we mentioned, you want to ensure your contractor is adequately insured. This will protect you in case of any accidents that may occur during the installation process.
The last thing you need is an employee to fall off a ladder or your roof and sue you for damages.
A local gutter contractor (we won’t mention their name) was installing gutters on a home in our town. One of their employees fell off the ladder and sued the homeowner for damages.
The homeowner had to pay out of pocket for the employee’s medical bills and legal fees.
So, ask your contractor if they have liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
Do you have any references?
Before you even let a gutter company onto your job site, they should be able to provide you with a list of references from past clients. This is the best way to get an idea of what it’s like to work with them and see the quality of their work firsthand.
What types of gutters do you offer?
Depending on the company you decide to go with, they should offer a variety of gutter types and materials. This will allow you to choose the gutters that best fit your needs.
Some of the most common types are:
- Aluminum Gutters
- Seamless Gutters
- Galvanized Steel Gutters
- Copper Gutters
- Vinyl Gutters
The type of gutters you put on your house will make a big difference in how well they function and how long they last. Make sure you do your research so that you can make an informed decision.
What is the cost of materials and labor?
Now for the big question. You want to ensure you’re getting a fair price for the work. But you also don’t want to sacrifice quality for cost.
Be sure to get an itemized list of materials and labor to compare it against other estimates. Also, ask them:
- How much do you charge per linear foot? This will give you a good idea of what they charge for the installation.
- What is the cost of downspouts? Downspouts are essential to your gutter system and can add to the overall cost.
- Do you offer gutter protection? Gutter protection can add to the initial cost but can save you money in the long run by preventing leaves and debris from clogging your gutters.
- Do you offer additional services? They may encounter roofing issues or other problems while installing your gutters. Ask them if they offer these additional services and at what cost. Here are our services if you were wondering.
- Are your gutter installers certified or factory trained? This is important because you want to be sure they are appropriately trained and qualified to install your gutters.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, it’s your money and your house. You want to be sure you’re making the best decision for both.
Hiring the right company to install your gutters doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With some research, you can be confident that you’re choosing the right company for the job.
By following these tips, you can be sure to find a reputable contractor who will do a great job at a fair price.
Hire a Gutter Contractor Today
If you’re looking for a reliable and trustworthy gutter contractor, look no further than Better Built Contractors. We have years of experience in the industry, and we pride ourselves on providing quality services at a fair price.
We’re certified by the Better Business Bureau, and we’ve worked hard to achieve a five-star rating on Google and Facebook.
Call us today for a free estimate, and let us show you why we are the leading gutter contractor in town. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed!