Now that you’ve decided to get new gutters, what’s next? A list of gutter contractors, whether from the yellow pages or friends’ recommendations, might look good but how do you know if the one you selected is the best choice. Here are some standard questions you should ask a gutter installer before you hire one.
Is the gutter contractor licensed and insured?
The contractor should be licensed and carry the proper insurance to compensate workers if they are injured when they’re on your property.
Will they give you references or testimonials?
Ask the gutter installation company for references; then check them. Website testimonials are great, but if the contractor isn’t able to give you contact information, insist on a reference you can actually speak to.
Can the contractor put that in writing?
Ensure that anything you previously discussed with the contractor is included in the contract. If the total price for the gutter installation is based on a quote, the contractor cannot charge you more than the stated cost. However, if the contract is based on an estimate, you might have to pay more than the estimated contract price to cover over-costs – the amount should be within the 15% to 17% range.
How long will it take?
Typically, standard gutter installations take a day or less. Depending on the size of the house and its roof configuration, it could take longer. The gutter contractor will let you know when and how long the crew will be on your property. You should also be informed of any rescheduling due to weather conditions.
Company employee or subcontractor?
Find out who will be supervising. Before the work is to begin, meet with the person if possible. A company employee (a person hired by the gutter installation company) responsible for installing your gutter system is a better option than a subcontractor – someone contracted by the gutter contractor (you hired) to do the work for him or her.
What is under warranty?
Ask the gutter contractor if the materials, labor or materials and labor are under warranty. If yes, ask what kind of warranty it is and for how long.
What about the roof warranty?
It’s important to know that whatever the gutter installer plans to do, it won’t affect your roof’s warranty. Some roofing manufacturers don’t pay out if the roofline has been altered.