Deciding to hire a professional to help with your gutter cleaning and other needs is a big step in the right direction. Many homeowners get overwhelmed by the number of options out there, and feel plagued by questions like ‘how do I know that they’ll do a good job?’ or perhaps ‘how do I know that I’m getting honest and high-quality service?”
After all, we’ve all heard of those nightmare stories where a contractor runs off with their new cheque or stalls the gutter cleaning process for months. Besides the obvious steps you can take like looking up the contractor’s online reviews, there are some questions you should ask before deciding to hire, a few of the most helpful ones which we’ve outlined below…
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Do You Have Insurance?
Only Legitimate companies will go out of their way to get liability and workers’ insurance, given its hefty cost. If a gutter contractor doesn’t have this, it means that as a homeowner, you may be liable for any injuries that take place on your property. For example, if a contractor gets hurt while cleaning your gutter, you could be liable.
Do You Have Bonding?
As for bonding, this is usually more relevant to government work, but nonetheless a question you should ask. Understanding bondable meaning is crucial for individuals who are entering into contractual agreements to protect against financial loss or non-performance. Bonding ensures that if the contractor is having issues on their end, the work will still be completed according to the terms laid out in the contract.
For example, the bond may come into effect once the homeowner makes a 20% deposit on gutter cleaning. If after that deposit is made, the contractor doesn’t complete the work for whatever reason – the insurance company will then pay you back or go through a legal process to ensure the work gets completed.
Are You Licensed?
This goes without saying. In many locations, contractors can’t legally do work without being licensed, so make sure to get a verbal confirmation. If you want to be 100% certain – ask to see a copy of their license.
Can You Quote Me a Price Over the Phone?
A good contractor would simply say no. In order to give an accurate quote, the contractor needs to visit your home since every gutter installation is custom built. Many companies give free estimates as well, so there’s no commitment until you decide to go through.
Do You Have References I Can Speak To?
While you may not necessarily want to call the contractor’s previous clients and speak with them, their reaction to the question tells you everything you need to know. If they seem hesitant or avoid the question, there’s a good chance they aren’t proud of their work.
On the other hand, if they do provide you with references or give you examples of past work they’ve done, this is a green flag. Keep in mind that reputable gutter cleaning companies should have past clients who can speak to the quality of their work. To do your full due diligence, it’s best to contact these clients and ask them about their experience.
Do You Offer a Warranty?
Great companies provide warranties and stand behind them. If the company you’re speaking to doesn’t offer a warranty, you might want to look elsewhere.
Can You Provide Me With a Written Contract?
This should be an immediate yes. If a contractor is not able to offer a written contract detailing the costs, timeline, warranty, and other relevant information, then that’s a bad sign.
Do You Employ Sub-Contractors or Employees?
You might be wondering why this matters. Well, if a company takes the time to hire and build its own team, this means there’s a higher chance that they’re skilled and properly trained, as opposed to sub-contracting different workers each time. If they do employ sub-contractors, this shouldn’t be an issue as long as there’s an employed supervisor to oversee the work.