For most, home gutter replacement isn’t a DIY project due to the tools needed, the heights at which installers work, and the intricacies of downspout placement. In order to have this project properly executed, it’s vital to retain the services of a gutter installer that’s reputable and experienced. Here are the topics you should discuss with the gutter contractor you’re interviewing prior to agreeing to hire them.
Seamed vs. Seamed Gutters: It’s a red flag if a contractor offers to install seamed gutters that are sold in sections. While this route is cheaper, it’s a very temporary solution to a permanent problem. Seamed gutters prove problematic because it’s only a matter of time before the seams weaken to the point where they leak, rendering the gutters useless.
Scope of Work: A reputable gutter installation company should be able to provide a diagram of the areas on your home that need gutters and explain why they are necessary. In addition, they can map out the placement of downspouts and suggest appropriate lengths to ensure the downspouts do an adequate job of filtering water away from a home’s foundation.
Price & Payment: Prior to committing to a gutter installation project, a contract should be supplied that provides itemized pricing for both the gutters and the installation costs. The down payment should be no more than 1/3 of the project’s total. This amount allows the contractor to secure the necessary materials. Beware of any gutter installation contractor that demands the full project price upfront. Agreeing to pay the full amount before work commences makes it difficult to have any recourse if the project isn’t started in a timely manner or finished correctly.
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Insurance Policy: A quality gutter installation company can readily supply a copy of their insurance policy. While this may not seem like a big deal on a project that often can be completed in less than a day, it truly is. In most cases, gutter installers are working on ladders and scaffolding. If the contractor doesn’t carry insurance and an installer falls during a gutter installation project, the homeowner can be stuck footing the bill for their medical expenses.
Open vs. Closed Style Gutters: Gutters are offered in open and closed style configurations. A trustworthy gutter contractor should offer both styles and be able to explain the differences between them. In addition, they should be able to clearly explain why they recommend which type for your home and why.
Warranty Information: High-ranking gutter installation companies offer iron-clad warranties on their products and their installation. It’s a sign you’re on the right track if the gutter installation contractor is discussing lifetime warranties on the workmanship, clogging, and finish of the gutters.
References: Established and trustworthy contractors have a long list of happy clients that they’re happy to put you in direct contact with. Appropriate questions to ask are if the jobsite was kept clean, how the contractor handled safety protocols, if the job was completed on time within the agreed upon budget, and if the individual would hire that contractor again.