What Questions to Ask When Choosing a New Gutter System
Where to Start?
When choosing a new gutter system for a renovation or new home build, it is important to find out as much information about the products and services of the contractors and vendors available to save cost, time and frustration. Referrals and Research are a good way to get the process started. Anyone can ask other home owners in the neighborhood for recommendations, talk to co-workers and friends, contact retail hardware and home reno supply stores or roofing and gutter companies and request quotes and but the savvy shopper will ask potential companies important questions for a detailed comparison similar to an employer interviewing potential employees to find the successful candidate. Before you call, make sure you peruse the companies website and FAQ page, testimonials, social media pages and online reviews from satisfied or disgruntled clients. Check to see if they are endorsed by the BBB (Better Business Bureau) or other consumer protection agency or referral service. Print off the questions below and during the call, make note of all their answers and how professional their customer service is on the phone. Are they pleased to provide info or only offer brief/vague answers?
Questions to ask Contractors
- What insurance do you provide clients and your staff?
- Are you registered with the Better Business Bureau?
- Are your employees bonded?
- How long have your employees been installing gutters with your company?
- What training or certification do your require for your employees?
- Do you have current/valid WCB, liability and auto insurance to cover fraud, theft, damage to property or incomplete contractual obligations?
- How long have you been installing gutters?
- Do you provide other home services or specialize in gutters only?
- Can you provide 5 references from the last 3 months? Is it ok to contact these references?
- Have you had an instance in the last 12 months where you could not complete a contract?
- If a renovation, what would you do to improve the current gutter design to improve water flow, the visual esthetic or concealment of downspouts and water run off at the foundation of my home? (This will require an on site evaluation.)
Questions to ask regarding Gutter Materials and Maintenance
- Are gutters available in a choice of Aluminum, Copper, PVC, Steel, or Zinc?
- Is there a price difference between materials?
- What are the durability, lifespan and thickness of each material?
- Which widths of gutters are (5”, 6rdquo;, or 7rdquo;) will carry away the most rainwater and fit the design style of home, the soffits and the pitch of the roof?
- How long is the manufacturers warranty and do you offer extended warranties?
- How are the different materials cleaned and painted and how often?
- Do you offer oversized downspouts to increase drainage and reduce clogging during storms?
- Do the gutters come with debris shields or rain covers?
- Does the gutter system style and price quote include extended downspouts to carry water away from the foundation or flip up or roll out downspouts that expand during rainfall and move out of the way for grass cutting or kids playing in the yard?
Questions to ask about the Delivery, Installation and Clean Up Process
- Are gutters delivered or custom created on site?
- Can you install in all weather conditions or only on dry days?
- If a renovation, how do you dispose of the old gutter system?
- How long does it take to remove old gutters and install new?
- How long does it take to install gutters on a new home?
- What slope or pitch will the gutters have for improved drainage?
- Do you use a level or laser guide to maintain accurate slope/pitch of the gutters?
- Is scaffolding, hydraulic lifts or ladders required to install gutters on my roofline?
- Are you installing new metal flashing under the roof shingles?
- Do you bring a bin on site for waste materials or recycle them?
- Will the gutter hangers/supports be measured and spaced 2 feet apart so the gutters will support snow, ice, wet leaves, fallen branches and fat birds?
Ok, we are joking about fat birds but it is a fun test to see if your contractor has a good sense of humor and is still paying attention to the details. Once you are satisfied with all the research and answers you have collected, you can now make an informed and educated decision on which gutter system and company to select for your new gutters.