Although you may not give your gutters much thought on a regular basis, they are an extremely important part of your home. Without correctly installed (and properly functioning, for that matter) gutters, rainwater and other precipitation would just sit on your roof, potentially causing damage, or run-off onto your yard or you as you’re walking out the door. None of these scenarios are great, so it’s important to pay attention to your gutters and have them replaced when they start to fail.
Gutters are designed to last for a long time, but they will eventually wear out, and new ones will have to be installed; if you live in an older home, this might happen sooner rather than later. It’s also possible for gutters to be irreparably damaged in storms and other extreme weather events. If you think now is the time for your home to get new gutters, ask these five questions before you officially hire a gutter contractor for your job.
Do you only install certain sizes of gutters?
For many years, 5” gutters were the standard size used by home builders. Today, though, we know that 6” gutters are actually the best choice for most houses. These slightly larger gutters can handle 40% more water at any given time and are much better for houses that have gutters spanning multiple levels, which many of today’s newer builds do.
If you think 6” gutters, or even 7” gutters, are the best option for your house, you need to make sure you choose a contractor who is willing to install them. There’s no point in paying for 5” gutters that you aren’t going to be happy with in the long run. Ask the right questions and get the answers you need to make an informed decision.
Do you use a level when you install gutters?
A surprisingly low percentage of gutter installation contractors make use of levels when they are doing jobs. Many homeowners are under the impression that this would be standard practice, but it simply isn’t. That’s why it’s so important to ask this question. Using a level is the only sure way to make sure gutters are straight and are pitched exactly how they should be for optimum water run-off. If you aren’t comfortable asking this question verbatim, you might want to say something like “What tools do you use to make sure each gutter has the appropriate pitch?” If a level isn’t mentioned, you should be wary.
Are you fully bonded and insured?
Any reputable gutter installation contractor will be fully bonded and insured. You should also be able to see the insurance paperwork if you ask to. Without insurance, you could find yourself responsible for paying for any injuries or damages that occur while the installation team is on your property. This is not something a reliable, trustworthy contractor would expect a client to be on the hook for!
Bonding isn’t a major issue for residential homeowners; it typically pertains more to commercial work. However, knowing that a contractor is bonded can give you peace of mind that the company cares about taking the responsible course of action in every situation.
How close together do you hang gutters?
This might seem like an odd question if you don’t know much about gutters, but it’s actually very important. Gutters are installed using “hidden hangers,” which are nothing more than brackets that hold gutters in-place. The fewer hidden hangers a contractor uses, the less money he will have to spend on materials. Therefore, dubious installation companies sometimes try to space gutters extremely far apart to save money. The most space two gutters should ever have between them is 24”.
What kinds of gutters do you recommend?
Many homeowners are surprised by the number of gutter options that are on the market today. There are many options that are both more eco-friendly and more functional than previous designs. Make sure you choose a contractor who is knowledgeable about modern gutter design; this way, you and your family can have confidence that your gutters are as perfect as they can be for your home.
The Hatch Homes team is proud to provide exceptional gutter installation services. We hope you’ll call us soon to schedule a consultation. One of our experts will be happy to visit your home and give you a detailed assessment of your gutter needs.