Do you clean gutters as a Fall service?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Landscraper1, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Landscraper1

    Landscraper1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Southeastern Ma.
    Messages: 753

    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...
  2. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,109

    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.
  3. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,741

    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.
  4. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,563

    I'm covered for 4 stories for 900 a year

    Price per foot
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    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.
  6. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    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: Sep 25, 2013
  7. Landscraper1

    Landscraper1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Southeastern Ma.
    Messages: 753

    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.
  8. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,944

    I used to do a lot of gutters before they invented gutter guard:rolleyes:
  9. bln

    bln LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    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.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    I get these requests too and have for the 11 years I have been in business. I have to date not done one ever. Now when I was an employee for another landscaper he use to do about 25 or so of these jobs every year. After having a ladder kick out from under me and hanging off the roof and after knowing another guy had a similar experience only his was the second story I decided to never agree to this type of job. I make my money off my back and my balls but it's my back that does the heavy lifting and if I am injured then I cannot earn and income. What that means is I weigh the risks of certain jobs and turn down any that may result in my future loss of work.

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