It’s that time of year again when many homeowners are considering whether their rain gutters can stand up to another winter. Some will try to get through another winter without leaks and drainage problems. Others will be contacting gutter and leaf protection system contractors to replace gutters now before problems can start.
There is a wide variety of services out there and you have every right to expect the highest level of service quality when you go looking for a contractor. Here’s what you should expect when you make your calls to hire a contractor:
1. Never, ever let a contractor give you a drive by estimate.
2. Have the contractor or his salesperson visit your home
3. Make sure they listen to your concerns first before they begin a sales pitch
4. Make sure they do a walk around to investigate your gutters and any drainage issues you may have
5. A good contractor will discuss your concerns and what he finds as well. Some contractors will even take pictures of your home and download them to a computer screen, first, so you can clearly see any problems and, second, to bring them back to their installation team so it knows what equipment and materials it will need should you award them the contract.
6. A good contractor will provide you with an explanation and a drawing of what he plans to do involving either replacement gutters or repairs.
7. Make sure they show you the actual product they plan to install—gutter, downspout and brackets.
8. Finally, the contractor should provide you with a written estimate of how much the job will cost and what it will entail—right there.
Price is a very subjective topic. Remember, you get what you pay for. And every job is different. Your neighbor may tell you what he or she paid but the work may differ greatly from what you need and the product you have selected. Hooded leaf protection systems cost more than standard gutters. And even gutters come at different levels of quality and price. Your neighbor may simply have needed gutters replaced with no additional concerns. Another neighbor might have had rotting fascia that had to be replaced, adding to the cost of the job.
It’s a lot to consider, right? Good luck.