What time is it when you look at your home’s foundation and see cracks? When there’s a tiny rainstorm and a puddle forms next to your house, turning your beautiful lawn into a mud pit that Miss Piggy would love? When your door has developed leaks so big that they turn your interior carpet into a big wet sponge?
It’s time to have gutters installed!
Gutters can prevent a multitude of problems around your home like foundation cracks, leaking around windows and doors, dying grass, roof problems, ruined walkways, and ice damage. If you’re experiencing these kinds of things and you already have gutters, it’s probably time to look into repairing them or replacing them altogether.
Don’t hire just anyone to install your gutters. You want the job to be done right the first time, so before you sign anything, ask your potential gutter installer these few questions.
What size gutters do you install?
The standard for most homes is 5”. While this might be fine, 6” ones might work better for not much more in cost. If you have a house with a steeper roof pitch, water might puddle and go over the side with smaller gutters. Gutters that are 6” can handle 40% more water than 5” ones, but typically gutters that are more than 6” are not necessary.
Do you use a level when installing gutters?
If they don’t, they won’t know if they’re installing your gutters at the right pitch. Gutters that are too close to being level will create pooling problems and they may overflow. Many installers will use only a water test, but with a level, there is a more accurate measurement.
Are you insured?
The cost of insurance for gutter installation technicians is high and with good reason. Working on ladders at great heights can be dangerous. If you hire someone who lacks liability or worker’s compensation insurance, and there’s an accident, you could be on the hook for some expensive bills.
How closely do you space gutter hangers?
Some gutter companies may try to save money by using fewer gutter hangers. If they are too far apart, your gutters may sag or break during a rain, snow, or ice storm. They should not be more than 24” apart.
What is the best design for my gutters?
Each house is different so its gutter design isn’t just a matter of slapping on one big length of gutter and hoping for the best. If you have dormers, bump-outs, or additions, you gutter design will have to encompass them. There may be several options for the location of your downspouts so they won’t detract from your home’s aesthetics. Listening to the response to this question will give you a good idea as to how much experience your potential gutter technician has.
What materials would be best for my home?
Gutters come in aluminum, copper, vinyl, and galvanized steel. Copper is expensive but beautiful. Vinyl gutters come in many colors. Aluminum ones are lightweight, and easy to work with. Galvanized steel is extremely durable. A good gutter technician will help you determine which is best for your home.
Do you have references?
It’s a good idea with any contracted work to obtain some references that you can check to see if the job was done to the customer’s satisfaction.
Will the installation affect my roof’s warranty?
This is important if you have a roof that is still under warranty. If your gutter installation disturbs the roof line, your warranty might be voided which can cast you a lot of many down the road if you have problems with your roof.
What if there’s a storm on installation day?
See what their procedure is for rescheduling during inclement weather.
Can I get a written estimate?
Any good company will do this. If they won’t give you one, call someone who will.
Who’s the installation supervisor?
Get a name and phone number to call if there are problems during the installation.
Do you use seamless gutters?
Seamless gutters are best because there are fewer opportunities for leakage and are produced on site.
What is your warranty on both labor and materials?
All will have a manufacturer’s warranty, but it’s also important to hire a gutter installation professional who has enough confidence in the work to stand behind it.
Do you install leaf guards too?
It might be beneficial to you to have the technician install leaf protectors too. It’s an added expense, but it’ll cut down on the labor costs of doing it at a later date and it’ll cut down on the number of times you have to pay to have your gutters cleaned.
Do you hire subcontractors for installations or are they full-time employees of your company?
Make sure that the company you hire is the company you get.
Will your company clean up the job site when installation is complete?
A good gutter company will leave your home looking the way they found it. Except for the shiny new gutters, of course!
Don’t assume that because your potential gutter company has a nifty website and a van with their logo on it that they’re going to do a good job. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and lots of them!
At GutterPros, we have all the answers. Our experienced gutter technicians will find the gutter solution to best fit your needs and your budget and explain the entire process. Call us today at (314) 656-7195 with any questions you may have!