Gutter Services - What do you offer?

Selling gutter cleaning is simple in my opinion; ladder safety, ladder safety, ladder safety!

I think an everyday misnomer is for people to take on the task of cleaning gutters professionally and not take it seriously. From ladder safety to exactly what you are offering within the scope of your service is important. I’ve recently switched to pricing by the linear foot @ $1.75 per. It just makes it simple for me and the customer can have an idea of how much the service will cost without me coming out.

For me, I have always cleaned gutters the same way. I throw down a plastic tarp and toss the debris onto it and drag the tarp around the home to keep it under my ladder. Once done I scoop all the debris into a trash bag and take it with me. We always flush the downspouts with water to make sure nothing is obstructing them as you cannot see clear passage of water in downspouts without seeing it come out the other end. There actually is methods that people have given names to to help describe techniques. Here’s one I found:

The scoop and drop method is when you scoop out the gutter and drop the contents to the ground onto a plastic tarp or drop cloth. This method is fastest and all you have to do is move the plastic tarp along with you as you move the ladder. When it gets full, just dump the leaves into your compost or trash bag.
The gutter bucket method is fairly common and involves taking a plastic bucket with a metal handle, cutting the handle in two at the center. Then bend the ends of the handle halves into hook shapes that you then hook onto the edge of the gutter. You simply scoop out the gutter and empty it into the bucket. Be ready to do a lot of up and down on the ladder though with this method since that bucket gets filled up quickly.

http://www.abetterguttercleaning.com/services.htm

The above link shows a company that provides full service gutter cleaning. From using ropes on a steep roof to repairing guttering and replacing shingles. In my area a contractors liscense would be required to extend services to this level and the volume of work I would get repairing guttering thus far does not warrant my company getting the liscense.

Thanks to Chris & Alex I have added Rain Flow to my arsenal and it has been a great source of add on income. I recommend adding all the add on services you can during these down economic times as one of them just might put some money in your pocket where window cleaning cannot.

What do you offer for gutter services and how do you charge?

For me, the fastest method is to use a backpack blower. I clear the entire roof and gutters.

I never risk loosening gutters.

What kind of blower do you have Larry?

When i started, I was charging by the foot ($1 per foot)…but I wasnt getting the sale. I had this one bid that was 400’ of gutter on a flat roof…I bid $400. Never heard from them…I should of bid at least half that…It would of taken me no more than 2 hours. I bid now by the type of house, and how long it will take me + hazards/ obstacles. I now get about 95% of them

Interesting. I switched to linear footage because people always wanted a price on the phone. I did quite a bit of gutter cleaning in Oct/Nov of 2008 at my linear foot price.

I’ll have to keep an eye on this. If the closing rate doesn’t stay consistent I’ll know the price is too high. Thanks.

I think the Linear foot price does work for some, but Just like adding $$ for hazard/obstacles, I realized you have to deduct for EASY(JMO). Such as if I look at a house, and it has a lot of gutters, and I only have to make one ladder move, the price will be cheaper here than a house with the same amount of gutters and I have to move it 10 times…
do you think using the Google earth or the other one that guys listed on here to view the house would be great for estimating gutters over the phone?

Using google earth has been suggested before and I think it would be a great way to determine a price for a customer if you have the time. Problem for me is I am the secretary and many times I am answering my cell on the job and cannot do it right then.

I have always though attempted to not let them go to someone else if they have already called me so I do bring down the price for shoppers. It’s because I am still relatively new in my area and need the work. Once I’ve established a better base perhaps I won’t need to go bargain basement.

Stihl BR600 and BR550.

From my experience so far, customers don’t know the linear footage and will guess (wrong 9 times out of 10) just like they can’t count windows.

Asking for rough square footage helps, along with knowing if the gutters are just front and back, all-around, etc. Then it’s simple math…

Have you guys used the Gutter Zap from WCR to clean the outside of the gutters? If so, is it as simple as the banner ad says, “all you need is an extension pole, brush and 1 gallon of Zap.” Does it NOT need to be rinsed?

Instead of cutting the metal handle buy a painters hook, and hang if from the ladder not the gutter. To cut down on ladder moves get a gutter spoon and pole.

The gutter should be rinsed before and after.
But its easy. And its a money maker.

I use the BR600 blower to clean roofs and gutters. Sometimes tho the debris inside the gutter is very wet. Trying to blow out wet debris often times pushes out debris back behind the gutter and fascia board making a real mess. So I do the ladder and bucket method sometimes I’ll drag out the plastic tarp. I use ropes and harness as well. But often times its just as fast to use an extension ladder.

As far as pricing goes…I usually charge by the square footage of the house and whether it’s a single story or two story. Also, I tack of extra charges for roof pitch. I dont know of a better way to estimate without visiting the site. My coverage area is huge. Im not about to run around doing on site estimates. Maybe I would if I had a Smart Car.

I dont believe many home owners know the linear footage their house. www.Zillow.com and street finder give you a lot of info about the house you’re estimating on.

Just Like Llaczko and Jet city mentioned- I use Stihl as well. Dont fool around with Sears, Poulan, Troy bilt (big box store models). I learned this the hard and costly way. I have had the same Stihl blowers for over 5 years (we use handheld BR85’s for gutter cleaning). You have to remember that a Craftsman blower speed and a Stihl blower speed are totally different. I was told by a well known landscaper in my area that a 200mph Craftsman blower has alot less power than a 150MPH Stihl Blower. Craftsman measures wind speed directly from where the motor is generating it. Stihl measures wind speed at the end of the air tube. There is a huge difference there. Home store models are built cheaply with cheap parts. I could barely get one to last 1 fall season. My Stihls - Owned 5 years -Replaced 2 pull ropes. All start on the 2-3pull.

Steve