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  #1  
Old 09-25-2013, 06:27 PM
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Landscraper1 Landscraper1 is online now
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Do you clean gutters as a Fall service?

I have mostly condos, apartment communities, and commercial accounts. Past couple of years, I have been asked to do the gutter cleaning at a couple of accounts. This is a service that I never provided until now. I have 2 accounts which I now include gutter cleaning. I don't care for doing it but, didn't what to say, no.

Today, one of the largest HOAs I service, asked for a quote for gutter cleaning, too. I am hesitant to price it. The place is complicated, with many gutters in hard to reach areas and the roofs are pitched high so walking on it is out of the question.

Who out there does a lot of this service? How do you go about doing such a place? Do you price by the foot and downspout?

THx for input...
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:52 PM
windflower windflower is online now
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Are these 1st floor gutters? I don't go over 2 stories high. If the gutters are relatively dry a hand held blower does the job pretty quick assuming you will be cleaning the grounds anyway. Down spouts usually don't need cleaning except at the bottom. I just charge by the hour, if they are a mess it will take a lot longer so it's hard to estimate without going up to take a look. Ones I do regularly I'll blow out about 4 times a year.
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  #3  
Old 09-25-2013, 08:56 PM
RussellB RussellB is online now
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I would first talk to my insurance company. They may not cover you for that type of service (climbing on roofs). They may be open to you using a cherry picker and it would be much safer and probably easier.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:58 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussellB View Post
I would first talk to my insurance company. They may not cover you for that type of service (climbing on roofs). They may be open to you using a cherry picker and it would be much safer and probably easier.
I'm covered for 4 stories for 900 a year

Price per foot
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:19 PM
lawnsaspire lawnsaspire is online now
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I clean lots of gutters in spring and fall. I do a few 2 story houses and charge for the danger factor, not the time involved. I can easily make $100 in 30 minutes or less on such a house. I don't worry about downspouts unless there is obviously debris stuffed in them, then I may take a jug of water and try to wash this out, or a hose if it's really bad. I do mostly one story homes and always charge according to danger factor. If the gutters are really stuffed I will charge more than just walking around the perimeter and blowing them out. My regular business insurance covers any damage I might cause to the home doing this.
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  #6  
Old 09-25-2013, 10:21 PM
herler herler is offline
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There is one thing I have learned in life, most people can do any job, but not everybody can do every job...
That is so long the job is simple most folks can do it, but once it becomes complicated it is usually best to call an expert.

Personally, I would define an expert as a person who specifically does the job that needs doing, and they do only that or mostly that, they can and will do other things as well but their company's bread and butter is based on the job that needs doing.

For example, one might take a car with a transmission problem to a transmission shop.
And even thou that same shop can do the muffler, I might take a car with an exhaust problem to a muffler shop.
Why, because that is what they specialize in, hence they would be the closest to the folks I would call experts.
Whether they are experts is another story but I can fairly guarantee the transmission folks are far likelier to be transmission experts than the folks at the muffler shop, and vice versa.

Generally speaking, the rule holds true.

So speaking of gutters, I can do some.
Pretty much all single stories, and a few to several two story ones.

But when the roof consists of anything but tar asphalt shingle (such as cedar or slate)...
When the roof angles more than I'd care to think about.
When my ladder won't reach, when the dog is looking at me funny.
When it's complicated or there's a hill in back that sets the roof three stories into the air...
Or for any other reason I can see I don't want to do it?

The name of my company implies that I specialize in LAWN care.
That is what I do, competitors find it difficult to compete with me in grass cutting and even core aeration and fertilizing and all of those things surrounding lawn care, I do those things well and at a good price because that is what I do.

It's not that I can't do gutters, it's that my area of expertise has to do with lawns.
I don't mind doing gutters or any other work, so long I think I can handle it.
So when it comes to gutters I think I can't manage?
I do the same thing I would do when I have a transmission I can't fix.
Take it to the experts.

There exist companies out there who do nothing but gutters.
That is who I would refer those complicated roofs to.

Last edited by herler; 09-25-2013 at 10:28 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2013, 07:50 AM
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Landscraper1 Landscraper1 is online now
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Herler, I don't get the comparison to transmission shop. Gutter cleaning and rebuilding a transmission are very different. Transmission work, you need special training and tools to accomplish. Gutters, a ladder and a bucket.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:52 AM
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Charles Charles is online now
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I used to do a lot of gutters before they invented gutter guard
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2013, 07:53 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landscraper1 View Post
Herler, I don't get the comparison to transmission shop. Gutter cleaning and rebuilding a transmission are very different. Transmission work, you need special training and tools to accomplish. Gutters, a ladder and a bucket.
I agree with Herler's point. It is often best to go to someone who specializes in something rather than have someone who really doesn't know that industry really well try to do it.

Yours is a perfect example. You think gutter cleaning just requires a bucket and a ladder. But most professional gutter cleaning companies would disagree with you. They'd have multiple sizes of ladders; safety harnesses; insurance that specifically covers them for gutter cleaning for several stories; tools to clean out the downspouts; tools to clean out the rain drains (pipe going away from the gutter down spouts) if those were clogged; tools and parts to repair/replace the grates that often go between the gutter and the downspout; tools to repair broken gutters; the knowledge and experience to know when a gutter wasn't draining exactly right and that it needed repair, etc.

So yah, if your customer just wants to hire someone to scoop their hand into the gutter and get the leaves out, you could probably handle that. But their just not going to get nearly as professional of a job done as they would if they had hired someone like this company, who was set up to do it and had everything ready. Just look at that truck full of gear that company has! You think they have all that because they just want to look big?? There's a reason why they have all those ladders, all those service doors on the trucks, the trailer, other equipment there.

You're making Herler's point for him. Instead of just disagreeing, you should learn to be more receptive when someone experienced is trying to give you good advice.

Gutter cleaning is something that should really be left to the pros. Nothing wrong with doing the occasional job if someone REALLY wants only you to do it. That's happened here too. But I always let them know that we're not a professional gutter cleaning company and won't be able to do all the stuff that a professional outfit would. And I only do them if they're 1 story too. But most of the time, we encourage our customers to find a professional service to do it. It's not really in the same realm as landscaping.

Besides, do you really want that risk??? The risk of you or a worker falling off a 2-story ladder and breaking their back? All to make a couple hundred bucks??? There's easier ways in this industry to make money, Brother.
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  #10  
Old 09-27-2013, 06:58 PM
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bln bln is offline
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I have a gutter guy who plows for me. He cleans all my gutters on my accounts for free as long as I keep hiring him to plow snow.
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