Don’t skimp on gutter installation
Those small but mighty rain gutters are a vital part of your home’s infrastructure, preventing rain from seeping under your foundation. Hiring a reputable gutter installation contractor will ensure you remain high and dry all year long. Your home’s foundation and roof will thank you.
Before Hiring a Gutter Installation Contractor
Before you commit to a gutter installation contractor near you, there are a few steps you should take to ensure you hire the best pro for the job.
Plan Your Gutter Installation Project for Accurate Quotes
Before meeting with your potential contractors, make sure you have the following information handy:
Accurate roof measurements or total home square footage measurements
The gutter products of interest to you
A list of problems you’re having, like water pooling in certain areas or large volumes of water coming off the roof in specific spots.
With this info, your pro should be able to create a quote that includes parts and labor costs and any add-ons like leaf guards. Get quotes from at least three different contractors, so you’re sure to find the best price for your needs.
Check Your Gutter Installation Professional Qualifications and References
Before taking the plunge, make sure your gutter installation professional is licensed, insured, and bonded. Licensing through your state’s licensure board ensures your installation pro is up to date on installation techniques. You can use an online licensing search tool to double-check your installer’s credentials. Insured and bonded contractors mean you are protected in case of accident or damage while your contractor is working on your project.
Ask your contractor for references and examples of the work they’ve performed in the past to make sure it’s up to your standards.
Questions to Ask Your Gutter Installation Professional
You should ask several questions before you sign a contract or commit to hiring a gutter installation professional.
What is the expected time frame to complete the project? This helps you avoid additional charges for labor hours.
How will this affect my roof warranty? Your gutter installation should not affect the warranty on your roof, but consider contacting your roofing contractor for confirmation and product recommendations.
Do you offer a warranty on your products and guarantee your installation? Most gutters come with manufacturer or lifetime warranties. Find out if your contractor also guarantees their installation if there is a malfunction or mistake during the process. If the work is guaranteed, the law requires the contractor to repair defective materials or improper workmanship at no additional charge to you.
What materials do you use? Both five and six-inch gutters are available, but six-inch gutters have almost 50% more water carrying capacity than five-inch gutters. They also require a larger downspout that helps with water managment and rerouting. Lastly, effective gutters should only have seams in the corners, not along the length of the roofline.
Will your company be responsible for cleanup once the work is complete? Gutter installation can be messy. Make sure your contractor will remove debris and materials before moving on to their next job.
Get a Contract and Arrange Payments With Your Gutter Installer
Sit down with your gutter installation professional to discuss the contract and payment details before allowing them to begin work. If a down payment is necessary, find out if it’s refundable and discuss how to pay the remaining fees (i.e., installments or lump sum when the project is complete.) A valid contract protects both you and the contractor from unexpected problems.
Here are a few things you should look for in a contract:
Detailed project scope: Concrete information on the project, the contractor’s work scope, and cleanup expectations.
Timeline: A clear timeline for completing the project, which can serve as a documented backup if your gutter installation takes longer than expected.
Payment expectations: A finite schedule. For example, most contractors will ask for a downpayment upfront and then schedule payments throughout the project. You should never pay for the full project at the beginning. Make sure there are clear milestones for when payments are due.
Exclusions: A list of what work they will and will not do. Things can change throughout a project, and if your gutter installer finds rotten roof boards or something similar, the contract should outline who is responsible for the repair.
Keep Records of Your Gutter Installation Project
As your gutter installation project begins, be sure to keep accurate records of the daily performance, the hourly commitment, and the progress made. Personal records can help prevent you from being billed for unworked hours and overpaying for labor.
After Your Gutter Installation Professional Has Finished
When the work is complete, conduct a final inspection of the work. If you’re satisfied that the project met the contract terms, go ahead and proceed with payment. Your contractor may also ask to use you as a reference for future clients. Leaving a positive online review is a nice way to show your satisfaction and support local pros in your area.