Hiring the right contractor is key to a successful gutter installation, just like with any home improvement project. However, the search for a reputable professional requires effort.
Keep on reading to discover the benefits of choosing to work with a local contractor for your new gutters.
Why Hire a Local Gutter ContractorThere are many perks to hiring a local contractor, but what it boils down to is that a community service provider has a local reputation to uphold and thus more accountability. Here are the main reasons you should limit your search to local companies:
You Know Where to Find Them
Local contractors are easier to locate and visit when necessary. Once your project is finished, you know where to reach them if you have concerns. An out-of-town contractor may be difficult to get ahold of after the project completion. Businesses that aren’t local may not have the same level of accountability. A good gutter contractor will do their best to establish good relations with their client and community by treating them with respect and professionalism.
Communication Is Faster and Easier
While there are different lines of communication available today, such as text messaging, email and video calls, nothing beats speaking to your contractor in person. Clear and open communication is more important than you think for the success of your project. When things are not clear, the output may turn out to be different from what you expected. It’s easier to get in touch with a local contractor during urgent situations than a big national company.
More Reliable References
Aside from doing your research, you should also request references from your prospective contractors. For instance, you’re considering seamless gutters for your home, you can ask your contractor if you can speak with a previous client who had the same type of gutters installed. You may also be able to see their completed work in person since it’s within your community. Local contractors may have likely worked with someone you knew or a family member in the past.
They Have Experience in Your Area
A local company is intimately aware of the local climate and knows what type of products work best given the unique weather patterns in your area. A big national company may not know much about your local climate, making their recommendations more generalized and potentially less suitable.
You Can Communicate With Them Directly
Following a weather event, you want to hire a contractor that will be direct with you. Expect many salespeople to come knocking to your door after a storm. These individuals are not really working directly for the company they are representing.
Usually, these people will sell you a project at a premium price that doesn’t match the level of service they provide. Many out of town companies are extremely persistent with their sales and marketing but are solely driven by money. A local contractor, on the other hand, has a local reputation to uphold and knows they can’t get away with anything less than excellent service.
Your Community Will Also Benefit
Working with a local contractor means that your money stays within your community. Following a severe weather event, getting local establishments and businesses operating again is an essential part of the recovery process. This will also generate cash flow through the local economy. Local companies are just as concerned about the community’s financial and economic stability as you.
Hiring an out-of-town contractor can be costlier than a local company. An out-of-area contractor may add the cost of bringing their workers and equipment to you at the overall price of your project. A company located far from your area has to dedicate more time traveling to your home, which can also add to the project cost. Meanwhile, with local contractors, everything is near to you, meaning your new gutters can be installed faster and you’ll save more.
Tips for Finding the Right Contractor
Finding a trustworthy contractor is easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your search.
Do Your Research
The easiest and fastest way to search for local contractors is through the Internet. Simply search, “gutter contractors near me” and you’ll get a list of companies located in your area. You can check the websites of the contractors and read reviews from reputable websites. Take note not only of the positive feedback but also the complaints and what the company did to resolve them. You should also ask for references from your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.
Only Work With a Licensed Contractor
One of the first things you should ask your prospective contractor is proof of license. To receive a license, a contractor has to pass a test and meet certain standards, proving they know the local building codes and best practices. Having a license is a good indicator of whether a contractor is reputable or not. Trustworthy gutter installers will have no issues showing you that their local license is valid.
Look for General Liability Insurance and Worker’s Compensation
General liability insurance is important if damage occurs on your property during the project. This also applies to any damage your contractor may inflict on neighboring properties. Worker’s compensation is also essential because without it you could be liable if someone gets hurt in your home.
Ask the Right Questions
Asking the right questions during your consultation can help you get to know your prospective contractors better. Ask if they can handle the size of your project and if they can provide financial references from suppliers or banks. Can they also install gutter guards to help protect your gutter system? You also need to know how many other projects they are currently working on and whether they are working with subcontractors. If they do work with subcontractors, ask how long they have been working with them and how they vet them.
Choose a Contractor Who Specializes in Gutter Installation
You should hire a contractor who has experience and specialization in the kind of service you need. Nowadays, many home improvement projects are regulated and code-specific, making it important to hire someone who knows local construction requirements. Before hiring anyone to install your gutters, obtain at least three estimates from different contractors. This will give you an idea about the cost of your project as well as how well each contractor communicates. Don’t worry because most companies today offer free project quotes. When requesting them, make sure each contractor receives the same set of plans.
Always Choose Quality Over Low Price
Price is important, but it shouldn’t be your sole consideration when hiring contractors. A low bid may be a sign that a contractor is cutting corners or is desperate for work. On the other hand, some quotes may be higher than others because of better quality materials and more experienced workers. Instead of focusing on the price alone, take note of how each contractor communicates and go for the one you’re most comfortable with.
Get Everything in Writing
Your contract should include every detail of your project, including costs, what work will be done and materials. It should also state the start and finish dates. It’s important to be as detailed as possible when it comes to your contract. All details must be discussed and clear between two parties to prevent miscommunication and unrealistic expectations.
Establish a Payment Schedule Ahead of Time
Payment schedules say a lot about a contractor’s financial status and work ethic. Keep in mind that a good contractor will not request for a huge upfront payment nor ask you to complete the payment before the job is done. Those who are asking for a significant amount upfront may have money problems or are worried you won’t pay your balance once you’ve seen the quality of their work.