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Question DetailsAsked on 12/20/2014

Why do replacement gutter estimates vary so much? Got estimates from $1200 to $2800. Your thoughts?

Got several estimates through recommended Angies' List gutter companies; products are comparable (5" seamless gutters, 3x4 downspouts). Prices were: $2854, $2249, $2060 and $1220. The most expensive company also had everything enclosed in a folder with lots of additional paper stuffed in it; the least expensive was from a local gutter company owner - all he submitted, sufficiently, was the invoice. I know advertising costs are passed along to the consumer - but any other ideas why there's such a big difference? I'd love to go with the cheapest, but am not sure why his price is so inexpensive! Please help. Cheers.

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Lots of reasons - some are blow-and-go contractors whereas others take their time to do the job carefully and right, some do not adjust the angle of the gutter to properly catch the runoff, some may include fasica board metal covering in their bid, the thickness of the metal may be different, one may have bid a color he has an extra roll or two of and can't move and wants to get rid of, some may be seamless site-formed gutter and others 10' stick gutter, the low one might even be bidding plastic gutter (oops, you said all bidding seamless), some may be bidding aluminum and higher one steel, etc. Did any include gutter covers and others not ?


Cost differences can also be substantial depending on whether they are bonded and insured or not, the cheaper one may be a cut and run scammer (check all their reviews), the low guy may be a small family owned outfit that basically pays the bills but has low overhead and profit.


You are certainly right to question the low bid - the others seem to be in a general fairly close range with one higher-end one which might be a larger company if he included a lot of advertising and brochures. I would say cross-check footage on estimates against each other, and if the low bidder did not include lineal footages then ask him to revise with footages and quantities and resubmit.


It could be something as simple as this late in the season he is willing to take jobs at near cost to keep the business running, especially if he swaps ovaer to snow removal for the winter and it has not snowed there yet.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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That isn't unusual at all. Two examples:

- Dual Heat Pump Fujitsu System - estimates from $4850 - 6500, full install w/ equipment

- Boiler and indirect water heater installed, labor esimates from $1200-3800.


Different companies place VERY different values on their time, etc. We always have to have lots of contractors bid for us, more than most, as we live on a river. So, some contractors will always think that we are either rich/stupid or both - and are therefore willing to pay more than we should. They won't get the work and may also get negative ratings if their estimates are clearly insulting. Other contractors simply treat us as they would anyone else and provide a reasonable estimate and we choose from them.


Gutter work is fairly low-end stuff when it comes to the contracting world. It's not exactly highly skilled labor. Just make sure that you have in writing - and have called the insurance company to validate it - that you have PROOF of their insurance so if someone gets hurt that your life won't be turned upside down by a lawsuit.


Good luck!


J.

Answered 5 years ago by Jefferson




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