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Frequently Asked Questions

Gutter Questions
Which style of gutter is right for my house?
Which size of gutter is right for my house?
Which methods do you use for attaching your gutters to my house?
Are your gutters continuous and seamless?
What different materials are your gutters made of?  Which is best?

Downspout Questions
Which style of downspout is right for my house?
Which size of downspout is right for my house?
If I don't have a rain drain, is it ok for my downspout to just drain onto the ground/grass/concrete?
Is it ok for my upper downspout(s) to drain the water onto the lower roof?
My underground drains are clogged.  Can you guys clean those out for me?

Gutter Guard Questions
Which style of gutter guard is right for my house?  Which one works the best?
What kind of guarantee do you have with your gutter guards?
How much additional is it for gutter guards to be installed with my new gutters?
Do I need to get new gutters from you in order for you to install gutter guards or can you put them on my existing gutters?

Estimate & Job Questions
Do I need to be at home or make an appointment to get my estimate?
Does your estimate include the removal and haul away of my old gutters? Does it include all applicable fees/taxes?
What do I do if I want to accept your bid and schedule the work to be done?
Do I need to be at home when your crew shows up to do the work?
Once I call you, how long will it be until you can get to my job?
How long will it take your crew to complete my job?

General Questions
Why should I use Great NW Gutters?
What methods of payment do you accept?
Are you fully licensed, bonded, and insured?
Do you and your employees do all of your work or do you subcontract out your gutter installations?
What kind of warranty do you have on labor and materials?

 

GUTTERS

Which style of gutter is right for my house?
More often than not the style and construction of your house dictates which gutter style can and should be used.  Some homes are built with fascia boards and some without.  Some roofs include a drip flashing and some do not.  Some homes have notched out rafter tails or crown molding.  When a Great Northwest Gutters representative comes to your home to give you an estimate, he will usually tell you or indicate on your bid which style he recommends for the house.  Some house are built in a manner in which several different styles will work just fine.  In this situation, you have the option of choosing which style you find most aesthetically pleasing on your home.

Which size of gutter is right for my house?
As with the question above, in many situations, your house may dictate how big of a gutter you can go with.  When a Great Northwest Gutters representative comes to your home to give you an estimate, he will take into consideration such factors as roof area, roof slope, roofing material, number of drains available, house construction, existing gutter style, and aesthetics.  The majority of homes will use one of the 5" or 6" gutter styles.  Typically we only use 4" gutters when we can't fit a larger gutter on a house and our commercial gutters are usually installed on larger projects such as apartment complexes, warehouses, hotels, etc.

Which methods do you use for attaching your gutters to my house?
We have several different methods available to customers.  Gutter spikes, the most prevalent method, are the most economical option we have and are available in 7" or 8" galvanized steel spikes. Other options include the gutter screw which is a large hex head screw that is also available in 7" or 8",  The gutter screw, as you can imagine, provides a stronger hold into the wood which can be advantageous if one is worried about snow, ice, and other such things.  Hidden hangers also provide the added strength of the screw as an attachment, plus give the homeowner the added benefit not seeing any screw or nail heads along the front of their gutters.  Hidden hangers, as the name indicates, are completely hidden from the ground level as everything is on the inside of the gutter.  We also have hanger straps which uses a steel strap to attach the gutter to the roof instead of the framing of the house.  These are useful when there is not a standard vertical location (fascia board, rafter tail, etc.) for the gutter to be attached to, such as an inverted crown molding.

Are your gutters continuous and seamless?
Yes, all of our gutters are continuous and seamless*.  We can run a continuous gutter as long as a person desires, but often recommend an expansion seam every 70' or so.  This prevents the gutter from warping and/or coming loose as the metal expands and contracts in the hot and cold weather.  Unfortunately, even with a continuous gutter, there will be a seam at each corner as the technology to make seamless corners has not been invented yet.  We do hand miter our corners however.  This is the preferred method amongst the gutter community as it makes only one seam (opposed to three with a box miter) and looks cleaner and holds a seal better than the strip miter.
*The half round style of gutter is not currently available in a continuous length.  They are installed in 20' lengths and spliced together with an expansion seam.

What different materials are your gutters made of?  Which is best?
Our gutters are available in 26 gauge steel, 24 gauge aluminum, and 16 oz. copper.  All of these materials have their pros and cons.  Steel is the most widely used material.  It is heavy, strong, and very durable.  It does not dent easily and is very safe to place a ladder against.  Although steel will rust eventually, it is manufactured these days to be significantly better than the steel of old.  The cold-rolled steel base is coated with a layer of galvanizing, then coated with a baked-on enamel primer, then coated with a baked-on enamel top coat of finished paint.  Our steel gutters have a 20 year warranty from the manufacturer of the material.  Aluminum gutters are also available in all of our colors.  Aluminum never rusts no mater how long it is exposed to the elements and is very light weight and easy to work with.  This light weight though (and the fact that aluminum is a softer metal than steel) means that aluminum is more susceptible to dents than steel.  Falling tree branches and roughly placed ladders can leave a dent in you new aluminum gutters.  If "rust free" is what gives you peace of mind though, aluminum is the way to go!  Copper is very beautiful and will last a lifetime.  Initially installed in the typical bright, shiny copper color, after time it will patina into the traditional greenish color of aged copper. The main draw back to copper is it's price.  On a standard house, copper gutters will usually cost you around 4-5 times more that steel gutters. Occasionally we get asked about plastic or vinyl gutters.  While they are available to the general public at places like Home Depot and Lowe's, we do not use them and/or recommend them.  They are not continuous, tend to leak much more often, and do not look very good on a house.

 

DOWNSPOUTS

Which style of downspout is right for my house?
This, more often than not, is truly a personal preference.  All of the downspout styles work very well and most of the styles (in their respective sizes) have very similar water carrying capacity.  Occasionally, because of house or deck construction, a certain style will work better than another, but usually you have the choice of the style that you like the look of best.

Which size of downspout is right for my house?
As with the same question above for gutters, in many situations, your house may dictate how big of a downspout you can go with.  When a Great Northwest Gutters representative comes to your home to give you an estimate, he will take into consideration such factors as house construction, size of rain drains, existing downspout style, neighborhood style, and aesthetics.  The majority of homes will use one of the 2"x3" styles, and sometimes the 3" round size.  3"x4" downspouts and larger sizes sometimes used on residential homes, but are typically reserved for large buildings, commercial properties, etc.  In terms of the corrugated vs. the plain square style, if you are indifferent to the look of the downspout, we usually recommend the corrugated.  They are a tad bit larger and the rounded elbows help water and debris to flow a bit better.  The plain square, though, tends to blend into the siding of your house a bit better.

If I don't have a rain drain, is it ok for my downspout to just drain onto the ground/grass/concrete?
Yes, this is perfectly acceptable and in some areas encouraged.  There is no law or code that states all rain water must terminate into a rain drain or cistern of some sort.  If you do have one or more downspouts just draining out onto the ground, we typically recommend kicking them out away from the foundation of the house.  This helps prevent rain water from pooling up against the side of your house and possibly getting into the basement or foundation.  We recommend kicking the downspout(s) out 1-6' depending on the slope of the ground next to the foundation, the landscaping, and other structures that may be present.

Is it ok for my upper downspout(s) to drain the water onto the lower roof?  Shouldn't they be dropped into a lower gutter or something?
Yes, this also is perfectly acceptable and is standard practice.  The rain water draining from the downspouts onto the roof is no different than the rain falling from the sky onto your roof.  This downspout configuration will not harm you roof in any way nor will it cause leaks or increased wear.

My underground drains are clogged.  Can you guys clean those out for me?
Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have the capabilities to clean and/or unclog your underground rain drains.  This is something that definitely should be done, if needed, before we install your new gutters.  We suggest contacting someone like Pro Drain or Rescue Rooter.

 

GUTTER GUARDS

Which style of gutter guard is right for my house?  Which one works the best?
This depends on the house and on the number of trees around your house.   If you have little to no trees around your home, you may not need screen at all.  It depends on how full your gutters get with debris.  If broadleaf trees (maples, oaks, etc.) are your main problem, you can probably get away with our vinyl leaf screen.  If you're having problems with fir and pine needles however, you probably will need to go with our Kaycan Pro Guard or the Sentinel Debris Shield.   For moderate needle coverage the Kaycan Pro Guard will help keep your gutters from getting clogged up.  With heavy fir and pine needles, however, you should go with the Sentinel Debris Shield.  This is best product we've come across in terms of debris protection for fir needles and pine needles, as well as the larger stuff.

What kind of guarantee do you have with your gutter guards?
With the Sentinel Debris Shield, we have a "no clog" guarantee.  If your gutters and/or downspouts become clogged after we've installed the Sentinel product, we will come out to your house and clean your gutters free of charge.

How much additional is it for gutter guards to be installed with my new gutters?
That depends on which type of guard you choose, how difficult the installation is, and how many feet we'll be installing.  You can figure, depending on these factors, that gutter guards will run you between $2.50 per foot to $6.00 per foot installed.

Do I need to get new gutters from you in order for you to install gutter guards or can you put them on my existing gutters?
We can absolutely install gutter guards on your existing gutters.  If you have already purchased new gutters or recently moved into a home with gutters that are in good shape, we can install any* of our gutter guards on the existing gutter system to help control your leaf and needle problems.
*Factors such as roof type, roof installation, house construction, etc. sometimes limit the gutter guard styles we can install.

 

ESTIMATES & JOBS

Do I need to be at home or make an appointment to get my estimate?
No, we do not need anyone to be at home or need to meet anyone at the house in order to get you an estimate.  We realize that people have jobs and more important things to do other than sitting around and waiting for the gutter guy to show up.  As long as there isn't a locked gate or something like that, we can go to your house, measure up the gutters, get all the info we need, and then send you a bid.  We can call you with a price, email or fax you your bid, send you your bid in the mail, or just leave the bid on the front door.

Does your estimate include the removal and haul away of my old gutters?  Does it include all applicable fees/taxes?
It will be indicated on the bottom of your bid whether the removal, hauling away, and recycling of the existing gutters and downspouts is included in the price.  Most of the time it is, unless otherwise noted.  The price shown on your bid, again unless otherwise noted, includes all labor, materials, and applicable fees.  If you live in the state of Washington however, your bid does not include the applicable Washington state sales tax unless it is specifically noted on the bid.

What do I do if I want to accept your bid and schedule the work to be done?
The best thing to do is to grab a copy of the bid we gave you and call our office at 503-925-1035.  Tell the person that answers the phone that you received a bid from us and that you want to schedule it.  Let them know the 6-digit bid number that's in the top right corner of the bid.  They will pull out our copy of that bid, transfer you to our scheduler, and the two of you can arrange a day for a crew to come out to do the work.  If you're more comfortable with email, you can email our scheduler directly and he can get back to you with a schedule date.

Do I need to be at home when your crew shows up to do the work?
No.  Just like with the bid, as long as there isn't a locked gate, a dog in the yard, etc. and we have no need to be inside the house, then we do not need anyone to be at home.  If you are at home, when the job is complete feel free to walk around the house with the crew to address any questions or concerns you may have and afterwards you are more than welcome to pay them with a check.  If you're not at home, we will mail an invoice to you and we can settle up payment later on.

Once I call you, how long will it be until you can get to my job?
This all depends on the time of year, how busy we are, the size of your job, the difficulty of your job, the location of your job, if special materials need to be ordered, etc.  The best thing to do is call our office at 503-925-1035 and speak to the scheduler.  He will be able to tell you an exact day that we can be at your house to do the work.

How long will it take your crew to complete my job?
This all depends on the size of your job, the difficulty of your job, the amount of specialty work involved, the readiness of your job, etc.  Typically, your estimator or our scheduler will be able to give you a rough idea of how long the job will take, but sometimes unforeseen factors come into play.  Unless it's a large job, we usually do all we can to get your job done in one day.

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Why should I use Great NW Gutters?
Great Northwest Gutters is the largest gutter company in the Pacific Northwest. We work all over the Portland metro area, including Vancouver and Salem and have a reputation for quality work and excellent service. Whether it's brand new gutters, a partial replacement, or just a simple gutter repair, we can take care of your needs. We have several different gutter and downspout profiles available in many different colors as well as gutter screens for taking care of your needle and leaf problems. Here are just of few of the reasons to go with Great Northwest Gutters….
• We are fully Licensed, Bonded, and Insured.
• We have never had a CCB claim brought against us in the history of our company.
• We have a fully staffed office with a full-time scheduler and a full-time receptionist to answer your questions.
• We have been asked to install gutters at the Portland Street of Dreams for the last 9 years!
• We are a 4 time recipient of Angie’s List Super Service Award for maintaining a superior customer service rating.

What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept personal checks, cashiers checks, credit cards, or cash.  The credit cards we accept are Visa, Master Card, and Discover Card.  At this time, our crews are not set up to conduct credit card transactions when they are on site to do the work, but can accept a personal check, cashiers check, or cash as payment in full.  You may also call us with your credit card information at the time the job is complete and we can process that for you.  In any of these events, an invoice marked as paid in full can be mailed to you at your request.

Are you fully licensed, bonded, and insured?
Yes, we are fully licensed, bonded, and insured and have always been.  We are licensed to work in the state of Oregon and the state of Washington.  We are fully current and in compliance with the Oregon and Washington contractors boards and have never had a claim brought upon us in either state.

Do you and your employees do all of your work or do you subcontract out your gutter installations?
We do all of our own gutter installations and have hired and trained all of our employees to be professional installers.  The work done on your home will be by actual Great Northwest Gutters employees and we strive to provide the highest level of workmanship and customer service.

What kind of warranty do you have on labor and materials?
We offer a 20 year warranty on all steel, aluminum, and copper materials.  This warranty comes from the manufacturer of the material and protects against any rusting, cracking, etc.  We have a 2-year warranty on our labor.  This will protect you in the event of something like a leaking corner or a gutter that is sloped incorrectly.

 

Great Northwest Gutters LLC.  19975 SW Cipole Rd., Sherwood, OR 97140