Do you clean gutters as a Fall service?

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

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    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.
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,510

    Another job I love doing in florida. Low pitch, mostly single story roofs. Walk the perimeter with a backpack. Most of it ends up in the lawn, maybe a few in the bushes. Mow the lawn and their gone. Easy buck a foot.
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  3. sweetz

    sweetz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,599

    I have to agree with Patriot here....
  4. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    My Insurance doesn't cover me off the ground unless Im on a ladder fall from a ladder Im covered not covered fall from a roof
  5. Tanum

    Tanum LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    We were asked about five years ago for large apartment complex. We got roofers in! It has worked out well, as we coordinate final leaf clearing with their gutter cleaning. The roofers have been asked back to do other repairs on the site, these guys are used to the heights, have all the correct insurance and most importantly know their job. As it transpired they (the roofers) got us onto two other sites for grounds maintenance. We initially talked about commission but the referrals between different trades is working out very well.
  6. Landscraper1

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

    Jim ,
    You are making the job out to be more complicated then it is. As for men falling off of roofs, we already do tree work, which is just as risky. Any full service landscaping company will have the ladders and simple tools needed to clean most gutters. You must have some very advanced gutter cleaning companies, where you are. All I have ever seen them with, are ladders, buckets, hoses, and perhaps a power washer.

    What I am questioning is whether or not a full service landscape business should do gutters? As I mentioned, I don't care for it. Not because it's "complicated." I just wonder how many out there do it and consider it the landscaper's job.

    The 2 properties I currently clean gutters are good size accounts that would have hired another company, if I did not do gutters. But, they are fairly easy to do. Men go up on a 2 story, low pitched roof, and walk around with a blower. all debris are blown to ground, then the fall cleanup is done right after.
  7. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,746

    nope. never been asked. alot of houses around here don't have gutters.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    What I was saying is; as landscaping companies we're not really as set up to do a full gutter cleaning job like the pros would be. And I don't consider it to be something we should be doing anyway. Gutters are not part of the landscape - or really even close. And it's not really profitable work, especially compared to the risk.

    But hey, whatever buddy, you want to talk yourself into it - knock yourself out. I was just giving my perspective. Not really something I care to mess with. There are easier ways to make money in this industry.
  9. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    I offer gutter cleaning but I'm somewhere in the middle of the debate. I am covered by insurance on the roof and I have experience on roofs and have all the appropriate gear and knowledge to tie off safely. If you're on the roof and not tied off you're 1 OSHA investigation away from being unemployed. There is an investment in ladders and other equipment but I don't repair or replace gutters. I will inform the customer of any repairs that need to be made and suggest a local contractor that I know does a good job. I make more per hour cleaning gutters than I do mowing lawns but risk and cost are mitigated and it's me climbing the ladder and it's me up on the roof. I don't have employees and I don't think I would ask employees to go up there without ensuring proper training which will add cost and the cost of insurance goes up significantly the more people you put on roofs.

    All in all it's a service I offer now because I'm able to safely however down the road I don't forsee it being a part of my service offerings. PS cherry pickers may be slightly safer but they're probably the least efficient way of cleaning gutters.
  10. Landscraper1

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

    Thanks Jim,

    I agree with you on 2 points. It shouldn't be a landscaper's job and it's not very profitable. The problem comes up when it's on the specs, for a property, to bid on. One of the posts here, mentioned that they have a roofing company, they work with. Perhaps, that is the way to go. If it's on the specs, sub out to a roofing company.

    [/QUOTE] But hey, whatever buddy, you want to talk yourself into it - knock yourself out. I was just giving my perspective. Not really something I care to mess with. There are easier ways to make money in this industry.[/QUOTE]

    I was actually, trying to talk myself OUT of it. I called the manager that asked us to do the gutters and told him, no. But, this is a property that I have been maintaining for 6 years and I know they will not get another landscaper, because I don't do gutters.

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