You’ve finally decided to have some gutter covers put onto your home. But this job isn’t like having your grass cut or your hedges trimmed; it can be done in a few different ways by contractors who use different products.
With this in mind, you should definitely ask questions before agreeing to have a gutter cover contractor work on your home. Here are five such questions to pose:
1. What kind of gutter covers do you offer?
There are several different types of gutter covers on the market today. The simplest (and cheapest) products are made of metal mesh that can be affixed to the tops of your gutters. Some products are flat pieces of metal with holes or grooves in them through which water can flow as they sit atop your gutters. Reverse curve gutter covers, which can be placed on top of your existing gutters, allow water to adhere to the concave curve of the product while solid debris is repelled. Finally, some companies offer an “all-in-one” gutter cover system — but they have to take down your existing gutters to install it.
2. What will the total cost be, and how will I have to pay for it?
It’s always wise to get more than one estimate for gutter cover installation. These estimates will likely be based on an hourly labor charge, material costs, and/or the square footage of your roof or home. Once you have a quote, ask whether there will be any additional costs for cleanup, debris removal, permit fees, etc. so you can have a bottom-line price in your hand. Also, be sure to inquire how payment is accepted. Will a contractor only need a small deposit to get started? Or will you have to fork over half of the cost up front?
3. Are you trustworthy?
Okay, maybe it’s best if you don’t ask this question directly, but you should do everything you can to find out the answer on your own. Determine how long the company has been in business and whether it has the proper licensing and insurance. You can also go online to see if you can find any reviews of the company, its gutter cover products, or the quality of its work. If the contractor is a member of a local trade group, chamber of commerce, or the Better Business Bureau, that’s a feather in its cap. Don’t hesitate to ask for references from other homeowners — and then check them out.
4. What type of guarantee or warranty do you offer?
A contractor may only guarantee the materials it works with, or it may offer a warranty for a relatively short period of time (six months to two years). Whatever the guarantee is, make sure you determine what it covers and does not cover. It may be worth your time to read any fine print in a written warranty that is given to you. Some contractors offer a “lifetime guarantee” on their gutter covers; just make sure you know exactly what the conditions of that guarantee are.
5. Will these gutter covers affect any other warranties on my home?
Many homeowners forget to inquire about this. But some gutter cover products have to be attached underneath your roof shingles to your roof-line If this happens, it’s possible depending on the installation method used, that whatever warranty you have for your roof will become voided since your contractor altered the roofing materials by hanging the gutter covers. If the contractor doesn’t know the answer to this question, make sure you find out on your own before any work begins. Most credible contractors should be able to provide certified letters from each major roofing manufacturer stating your warranty will still be in tact. Or when all else fails, you can just simply go with a different gutter cover contractor.
This man didn’t ask these questions. Boy, is he regretting it now.