Once you've determined that your home needs new gutters it is important to find a good installer. Improperly installed gutters will not protect your home any more than a broken umbrella will keep you dry in a hurricane.
Before you contact gutter installers, take the time to educate yourself about the types of gutters and the installation process. Gutters are made of a variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, copper, plastic and vinyl. Research the different types to find out the pros and cons of each and determine the best choice for you. Other information that would be helpful is the difference between sectional and seamless gutters and the different methods of mounting the gutters. Installers can offer insight and recommendations on these topics, but acquiring some basic knowledge before you schedule a meeting will lead to a more productive discussion and better decision making.
Finding an Installer
Personal referrals are a good way to identify potential installers, but don't choose a contractor based solely on a friend's recommendation. Take thetime to interview each installer before you make a decision.
Big Box stores often offer gutter installation services, but their employees may not have the experience or the specialized skill set that a professional contractor offers. If you are considering using one of these stores make sure to inquire about their installers' experience.
Kudzu.com is an excellent source for information about gutter installers. To see a list of installers in your city, along with customer reviews, please click here. Many roofing contractors also install gutters. For more information about roofing contractors in your area, please click here.
Once you have a list of potential contractors you can begin the interview process. Some important questions to ask and areas to cover:
- Are you insured?
- What type of warranty do you offer?
- How much experience do you have?
- How will you handle cleanup?
- Ask for references and check them.
- Get at least three quotes and make sure you understand exactly what they include.
To keep your new gutters functioning properly you should clean them twice a year to remove leaves, sticks and other debris. You may want to discuss maintenance with your contractor. Many contractors also offer gutter cleaning services, and you may be able to negotiate a reduced price if you set up a maintenance schedule at the time of installation. For more information on gutter maintenance, please read our article Should I Clean My Gutters Myself?