General chatter - Am I getting ripped off? (home repair)

08-12-2010, 06:35 PM
Hi all -- This is to any of you who may be in the contracting business or who have recently had gutters installed:

We had a guy come give us an estimate for gutter replacement just for the front of our house (which is I think 56 or so feet across). He also needed to replace a piece of vinyl underneath the gutter that has rust stains on it. He told us that seamless look much nicer but are a lot more expensive - we said it was fine, just quote us a price.

He quoted us about $500.00 to do the job (sent us an email after coming and taking the measurements). We don't need leaf guard or anything fancy or special because we have no trees near our house.

I was ready to have him come do it, when my husband had a conversation with his parents who said they had a 40 foot stretch of seamless gutter replaced last year and it was around 100.00 total for installation and the gutters.

Now, this guy is the brother of a friend of mine, and she told me he would give us the "friend/family" rate. I'm just worrying now that 500 is way too much for what we are having done -- though I actually have no way of knowing.

Anyone have any ideas?

Thank you!!!

08-12-2010, 06:54 PM
Could you get a breakdown of the quote? Labor, materials, etc?

Maybe you are getting a more expensive type of material? I'd just get a second quote and at worst if it's much cheaper just say you guys decided to wait. And also maybe the other guy didn't do a good job on your in-laws gutters as this person will.

08-12-2010, 07:00 PM
are your in-laws gutters the seamless kind?

08-12-2010, 07:22 PM
are your in-laws gutters the seamless kind?

Yes, they got seamless too. Wondering if my FIL is remembering the price wrong.

08-12-2010, 07:23 PM
Could you get a breakdown of the quote? Labor, materials, etc?

Good idea! I think that's how we'll respond -- we want to proceed but say we'd like to see a breakdown of material cost. Thanks! Not good at all this house stuff...

08-12-2010, 08:24 PM
Hm. We got new seamless gutters and downspouts put on our last house about this time last year. The house was 3200 sq ft and he did upgraded (bigger) gutters and screens on top. We paid somewhere between $2100 and $2500 for the whole house (can't remember exactly). Just to give you some perspective. $500 might not be outrageous.

Why not get one or two more quotes to find out what others are charging? I find it's a good idea to get at least 2-3 quotes for any job we have done, because costs vary a LOT (for example, we just had our landscaping pruned, weeded, edged and mulched a couple weeks ago. Our quotes ranged from $1200-$3100 for the same exact thing.)

08-13-2010, 09:17 AM
Always get 2 to 3 quotes...why not call the ones that did your in-laws.

08-13-2010, 09:31 AM
DH the carpenter thought that seemed like a lot but I didn't tell him about the replacement vinyl. It's that kind of underlying repairs that drive a quote much higher than is obvious from the outside.
Did that make sense?

08-13-2010, 10:19 AM
Hey there,
I work in the construction industry in Texas.
A lot of companies have a minimum fee of $350-500.00. Find a company that doesn't charge a minimum. Here in Texas just to give you a figure we charge $4.25 a foot for 5" seamless aluminum gutter and $5.50 a foot for 6" seamless aluminum gutter. Then you have to add about $50.00 for each one story downspout.
Hope that helps give you an idea of where you should be price wise.
Call around and see if you can get some quotes over the phone with your footage and see if they charge a minimum.
Good luck,

08-13-2010, 12:01 PM
I would also recommend getting quotes and material breakdowns. but after dealing with various contractors, I would get (and check) 5 references from the contractors..and half of those from people who had work done a few years ago. that way you will be able to make an informed decision based not only on the price but the quality and longevity of work done.

08-14-2010, 10:36 AM
I don't know gutters...just drywall...

but one possible reason is your quote may be coming from a legit contractor that charges on the high end and your fil's may be from a guy doing it on the side/under the table and really needing the job so he low-balled his price...

but one is $9 a foot and the other $2.50....something ain't right?

08-14-2010, 09:34 PM
I can say that from what I know, it's not always best to go with cheapest. Licensing and insurance (for the company installing) is HUGE. And as far as a breakdown goes, not many like to provide that, after all you don't go into a restaurant and say "I want to see the breakdown, what are the food costs, labor costs" etc. You are buying a product and the service to install, but as I said, make sure they are licensed and insured. Many employ day workers, and if they lack insurance, well, they fall off a ladder and sue YOU. Knew of roofers in this small town I lived in, used unskilled people, they set fire to the house with a torch, company had no insurance, homeowners insurance company legally didn't have to repair the home (policies often exclude coverage for things done by repair people, since they should have their own coverage AND know what they are doing).