Blog

Regret.....

This is just a cut and pasted email from a client I've had in the Aspen area for a couple of years.

Here is the actual response to an email:

Zack,

Sorry I am just getting back to you.  A family member wanted me to use their old guy for lights this year.  It did not go well, and so I will definitely use you next year.  Please contact me in the spring.

Obviously I can't use his name. But this is true. Don't have regret. Make a good choice and hire West Side Lighting for your holiday lighting this year. 

Do you REALLY need to hire a professional Gutter Cleaner?

This is a good question. Gutter cleaning is pretty simple. Grab a ladder, grab some gloves, grab a hose. Clean out the muck. It's not rocket science. The deal is that it can be really dangerous. Here is another article taken from the "Angies List" website. 

Do the job yourself or hire?

Although cleaning gutters is a task most homeowners can do themselves, it can be dangerous work. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, falls from ladders sent more than 240,000 Americans to hospital emergency rooms in 2009 (the most recent year available).

Before climbing a ladder, be sure it's sturdy and all the steps are in good condition. Climb the first two steps to determine if the ground is level. For soft soil, place plywood under the legs of the ladder. You should also make sure not to rest the ladder on the gutters themselves because the additional weight can cause them to collapse.

“I had a customer once that smashed both hips from falling off a ladder and received permanent injuries from it,” Curcio says. “That's one of the biggest things; safety. The second thing is a professional knows what they're looking at and can stop the problem before it gets worse. Gutter prevention is measured in pennies, and repairs are measured in dollars.”

During a cleaning, a professional should remove of all debris from the roof, gutters and downspouts, while checking and repairing any loose gutter spikes. The cost of gutter cleaning ranges from $75 to $225 for an average home, depending on the length of gutters, height of the home and scope of work. Most companies charge a flat fee per foot of gutter, but the cost can go up depending on the complexity of the work.

For example, The Gutter Man charges 85 cents per foot of gutter but will charge more for labor-intensive jobs, Lambert says.

Before hiring someone to clean your gutters, check that they carry liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance for any employees they bring to the job.

Sept. 12, 2013

By Tom Moor and Jason Michael White

These are wise words!

Why DO we need to clean gutters anyway?

Is this a question you have asked yourself as a home owner? I have a million other things to worry about way more important then keeping my gutters cleaned. This is true for all of us but it is a fact that if you have a lot of trees around your house it is very important that you keep your gutters cleaned out. Leaves, roof grit, dirt, etc inevitable fall into those gutters and clog them up. When it rains the water cannot drain through the downspout and then it goes wherever it wants. Dangerous water may flow into the structure of your house and cause thousands of dollars of damage. I don't want to sound like a nagging mom but this is a classic scenario where you can spend a little amount of money now to avoid a LOT of money down the road. Obviously I have a good reason to convince home owners to be concerned with cleaning gutters but take it from a neutral, non-biased source:

This is an article taken from the "Angie's List" website:

Gutters are an integral piece of your home’s well being. They serve to control the flow of rainwater to protect your roof, walls, foundation and landscape.

But when neglected, experts say gutters can turn from a necessity to a nightmare. A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks and other debris can cause a leaky roof or water damage to the interior or exterior of your home. Contractors say gunked-up gutters also make nice homes for pests, rodents, mold and honeycombs from bee infestations.

“If you let gutter cleaning go by the wayside, it can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars," says Jeff Lambert, a supervisor with The Gutter Man in Houston.

“Gutters are a potential bomb above your head full of insects and critters, if you let them stay out of sight, out of mind,” Lambert added.

How often should they be cleaned?

It depends largely on where you live and, most importantly, how many trees are in your yard. Bob Vecchio, owner of The House Doctors in Cleveland, recommends having gutters maintained in the spring and fall.

“I recommend people calling me in the fall when all of their leaves are down or almost down, Vecchio says. “In the springtime, maple trees get those little helicopters that go everywhere, including into your gutter.”

 

How do we do it?

I'm often asked how we get around your roof to safely clean your gutters and set up your Christmas Lights. I'm not going to give away any trade secrets but it involves ropes and laughs....

A Vacation Before the Madness

I just got back from a very fun vacation to California and Utah. First I hooked up with some old friends in Salt lake City for some paragliding action. Paragliding is just about the funnest, most interesting, and least understood mountain sport. I could go on and on about it but basically it is what often motivates me on those hard days of Christmas Light slinging. After a few good days of flying I pointed my trusty '03 Toyota Tacoma and camper west to the Owens Valley in California. Utah has some great flying but the Owens is the creme de la creme of US distance flying. In Paragliding the scenery is everything and flying along the very spine of the Sierra Nevadas is well.....use your imagination. The second day of flying was the best and I managed to nail one of my best flights ever. In cross country flying we measure our flights in strait line distance between the take off and landing. So no matter how far you zig and zag you only measure that distance. The idea is to see how far you can go. On this day I flew 46 miles. Pretty good for me but when you consider the record in the US is 240 miles it's not that impressive. But I was stoked! Now I'm back home and very motivated for the busy season. My second day back I head a double header of hanging Christmas Lights in the morning and then a gutter cleaning job in the afternoon. Let it begin!!!!!

The Busy Season is Coming......

After a nice little break from Christmas Lights and Gutter Caleaning I know the big push is coming. I'm about to really enter the SEASON. The leaves have fallen and before it starts to snow it will be time to clean those gutters out. It's dirty work but it is very rewarding in some weird way. I like it. After the gutter pulse it's right to Christmas Lights. I've already booked two jobs for the end of the month. It's really nice to hang lights before the snow starts flying that's for sure! Roofs and trees get pretty nasty real quick covered in snow so it's a real asset to bust out some jobs before it comes down. So happy fall everyone and don't be afraid to call, email, text, send smoke signals-whatever for your gutter cleaning and Christmas Light needs.

Aspen Public Radio likes to Party

A few days ago I was involved with an event sponsored by Aspen Public Radio. They do a fundraising event with a barn dance and dinner. They asked me to do the lighting. This involved a large tent, bar, and walkway. It came out great and everyone was pleased. I was happy to do the job and was really happy that they asked me. They had used a large company before and I'm pretty small. I've been getting a lot of word of mouth jobs which is great. I think my reputation as a reliable lighting and gutter cleaning company is growing. Do good work and business will come. Someone told me that. Part of my payment is commercial on the radio. I'm having them air it around Thanksgiving so that it will help my Christmas Light season. We'll see if it works!

Here is a link to the event for next year: http://aspenpublicradio.org/grand-ol-aspen-party#stream/0

A Celebration

I had a cool opportunity to do an event for a friend. She was throwing a memorial party for her mother. The party was to take place outside at night and she wanted some lights to add to the event. We strung some edison lights between some trees and her house. It looked amazing! I received a thank you note from her which reads: "Words could never express my gratitude for making my mother's celebration celebration so special. What a memorable life celebration to share with family and dear friends. It was more then I could have ever imagined it to be. The lights just added to the magic. Thank you so much!" Now that's a good review.....