The True Price Of Professional Honesty

We had a first-time home-owning customer last year who asked us out for an estimate. He recently moved into an older home and was in the process of addressing several concerns, amongst them both roofing and gutter additions. After speaking at length with the customer, we explained that the roofing should be done first before the gutters are put up as any reputable roofing company would have to remove all the gutters prior to adding a new roof and possibly re-configuring the fascia. It also makes sense that way as no matter how careful the roofers are taking down the gutter and downspout system, it then has to be put back up (which isn’t free), and all the holes have to be re-aligned as well to avoid leaks. Far from a perfect scenario, and costing more money doing it this way just doesn’t make good sense, and the roofing (or siding or painting for that matter) should really be done before any new gutter system is put up. The gutters should almost always go on at the end of any project and not prior to avoid added costs and any “errors” in re-hanging a system. And let’s face it, although not pretty, a well installed gutter system is really the final “trim” on a home as it is mounted above and over all other surfaces. Installing new gutters before roofing is a bit like someone putting make-up on and then washing their hair – it can be done, but it just doesn’t make sense that way. And the same can be said about siding and painting as well. So we gave our customer all this information as we believe in honesty and education. We could have just taken his money and done the job and let him sort through the roofing costs and potential damage to a new gutter system, but we’re not that kind of company.
All the above sounds great and we did the right thing by the customer, but guess what? The roofing company talked the homeowner into letting them put the gutters up and at a reduced cost. They explained that they were already going to be there, set-up, and could do it for much less than a professional gutter company could. Well, I have to tell you how wrong that is, both morally and professionally. First, a roofing company is expert in roofing. A gutter company, like Alo Seamless Gutters, is expert in gutter installations. We don’t do roofs, only gutters. That’s our specialty and it is what we are awful da** good at. For a company that specializes in roofing to simply add the gutters because they’re there doesn’t show any kind of commitment to either professional ethics or even their most important concern – the customer. Anyhow, a long story short, the homeowner called us back after last winter as his new roofer-installed gutters were coming down and were not only not performing at all, but also had become dangerous. He couldn’t get any satisfaction with the roofing company and is suing for damages. While they had used gutter material of decent quality, their method of fastening was marginal at best, they had used the wrong type of sealant for aluminum, and they had resorted to using inferior quality downspouts and fasteners to save a few bucks. The upshot was that the poor homeowner, whom we had taken the time to educate and inform previously, now had to pay again for a new gutter system as well as pay to have the old one removed and disposed.
So this was the ultimate cost of us being honest and above board and a not-so-honest company taking advantage of a new homeowner. But that’s not going to change our approach or our commitment to the homeowner – we will always be honest in all of our dealings, even if it means losing out sometimes. Our website is full of great information about what we do, how we do it, what is involved, all of the options, and a detailed accounting of ALL the high quality materials we use. It must be a good website, our competitors have recently copied many of our primary insights, information, and techniques That doesn’t mean we won’t continue to inform and educate, and it doesn’t mean we’re going to be any less honest. What it does mean is that we must be doing something right if others are scrambling to copy us. Just remember, you really do get what you pay for, and while you could have a GP Doctor perform your heart surgery, why take the chances?
I do want to close with a quick shout-out to our owner/operator Joe Alo and the crew – Mike, Jon, and Alex. They’ve been working hard lately keeping up with our backlog of work and rain-delays. They just completed a large fascia wrap and gutter installation in Chelmsford, and are moving on to replacing some damaged fascias before putting new gutters and downspouts up in Groton. Seems like they’ve been all over recently – Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Bolton, Ayer, Boxborough, Acton, Westford, and of course Littleton. Keep up the good work guys – you make my job straightforward and a lot easier because of each one of yours commitment to quality.
Remember, our specialty is gutters and downspouts and the surfaces to which they are attached. We don’t do roofs or siding or landscaping or electrical work, and we like it that way. That’s what makes us the rain control specialists!

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