If you are planning to replace your gutters in the New Year, you’re most likely aware that you’ll need a gutter system that looks good and is made of quality materials. But how the gutters are installed is probably more important than any other consideration. If installed incorrectly, at best, the gutters won’t last as long as they should; at worse, they can be the root cause of a flooded basement or a cracked foundation or damaged siding. Here are a few tips on how to hire a gutter contractor that you can trust to do a good job.
Ask for Referrals
Ask for referrals from family members, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances who have recently installed new gutters on their house exterior. Find out in detail what kind of experience they had. Was the gutter installation completed on budget, on time, and to their satisfaction? And if it wasn’t, what steps did the company take to resolve the issue to their satisfaction? Did the gutter installation crew clean up before leaving the premises?
Research the Referrals/Contractors
For any referrals you’re given or any contractors you find through online searches confirm they are legitimate. Signs to look for are an up-to-date website, a permanent local street address, working phone number, and real customer testimonials or reviews. Check the company names with the Better Business Bureau.
Investigate the contractors’ websites: read about their services, the kinds of products they offer, and their mission statement and/or customer service policy.
Never hire someone who comes to your door offering deals too good to be true, or promises to have the work done in a few hours if they can start that day. A reputable gutter contractor needs to see what the gutter installation will entail, taking into account factors such as the roof configuration, how many linear feet of gutters is needed, and accessibility.
Free Gutter Estimates
After carefully researching the list of contractors, narrow the list down to a small number of contractors that match what you’re looking for. Before deciding on who you will hire, get at least three estimates. Most gutter installation companies don’t charge for an estimate or quote.
Ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel like you’re hiring the right gutter installation company. Focus on the quality of material/grade of metal, what type of warranty (just on materials or on materials and labour), and how skilled are the workers and are they licensed and insured.
Don’t sign anything until you’re clear on what each company includes in the gutter installation.
Is it what You Really Want?
You might encounter a gutter contractor that offers a gutter system for a discounted price if you also agree to have a gutter protection system installed at the same time. Or a gutter company might give you an excellent deal on your gutters, but it’s an enclosed gutter system, a type of system that combines open gutters with gutter protection. If you don’t really need some type of leaf guard or what’s being offered doesn’t fit your budget, it’s probably better for you and your home if you find a contractor/gutter company that’s a more appropriate match.