Pricing Gutter Installations: 5 Tips for Accurate Estimates

The accurate estimating of jobs is not only a science but often an art form that takes many professionals years of experience to master.  One must take into consideration both the cost of materials as well as labor and time.  Keeping both aspects in check ensures that both you and the customer are happy when the job is complete.  Your client receives what they expected and “signed up” for and you can enjoy the profits made from the job.  On the flip side, poorly priced quotes can leave your small business floundering.  Estimate too high and you may lose out to lower bids.  Price too low and you end up eating the cost of the overages.

Below are five tips to generate the most accurate estimates for your gutter jobs:

  1. Ask the Right Questions.  The best estimates start with the right questions.  On your initial consultation with the customer, review their material, sizing and style options.  Cover with them any insurance claims and warranty questions.  It is also important to do a complete visual inspection of the area you will be working on to note any structural issues or other concerns to consider.  This is also a great time to ask if there are any other exterior repairs you can assist them with!
  2. Always Round Up.  When determining how long a job will take, it is best to always round up.  Some contractors swear by the success of doubling the projection time.  While this practice may be too much of a risk for your business, it is usually a safe bet to add at least an additional 25% of the projected time onto the bid.
  3. List Every Material Needed.  When compiling your material list try and not leave anything off.  Include every piece of material you will be using down to the last nail.  Now you may not have to get that detailed but the point is to remember to factor in those smaller, less expensive supplies into your bids.  In the end, you need to buy the nails for the job just like you need to buy the gutters themselves.
  4. Consider Hidden Conditions. Jobsite Concerns.  During your visual inspection of the property, note any areas of concern you find.  It may be quickly determined that these repairs will need to be fixed in order to complete the job or you may just need to include a estimation of the work in case it needs to be addressed.  Also take into consideration other jobsite concerns such as the height of the building, the property’s distance from your office, and whether you need to clean-up materials every day for an occupied home or if you can be more lax working on an unoccupied unit.
  5. Communicate Effectively.  In the end, the best estimate is one that clearly outlines both the contractor’s and homeowner’s responsibilities and expectations.  If the job changes along the way, as many of them do, simply update the contract and share this with your customer.   Great communication and customer service can go a long way in a both a successful job and a happy customer.
Following these tips will ensure both you and the customer come out winners when the job is complete.  Another tool that can be helpful in pricing out bids is’s Quick Shop.  The Quick Shop provides a simple, easy way to gather a material list for each unique job.  By selecting your material, style, size, and color, you can quickly see what materials you’ll need.  Learn more about the Quick Shop and the other contractor services we provide by visiting our website at

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