When I first bought my duplex, I was aware that gutter cleaning was one of those things that responsible homeowners did every fall — to prevent ice dams on the roof, and as a measure of general maintenance. My boss, who also lived in a two-story home, told me that it was really easy, and there was no reason that I couldn’t do it myself. So, I got a friend with a van to take me to Menards to buy a 30-foot extension ladder, and talked myself out of my fear of heights. If my boss could do it, so could I. One blustery day, I got up the confidence to go outside and clean some gutters. After figuring out how to get the ladder to stay in its extended position, I made my way up to the roof, and successfully cleaned out the gutters on each side of the ladder. I carefully climbed down, and endeavored to move the ladder down the side of the house… and that’s where things started going badly. A 30-foot extension ladder isn’t exactly light, and when it’s extended to its full length, it’s a little unwieldy. A lot unwieldy if you’re me. While I believe that women are quite capable of most things, I simply wasn’t strong enough to be in control of this giant ladder. And it fell. On top of me. Which is arguably better than me falling off
the ladder, but still relatively unpleasant. Luckily the ladder didn’t fall into the neighbors window, or onto my car, or anything else that could be broken. I quickly decided that gutter cleaning wasn’t for me. I un-extended the ladder, and stowed it away by the side of the house, where it sat untouched for about four years. I found some yard and garden services advertising for gutter cleaning in the back of my neighborhood newspaper, and one guy who was willing to come out that day, for $100 plus tax. Which I think is COMPLETELY worth it.
I called the same guy for the next two years, but then found someone who was only $80 the third year (still licensed and insured). I somehow forgot all about it last year (bad homeowner!), and this year when I went to dig through my receipts and find the guy I called two years ago, I found his invoice, with ABSOLUTELY NO contact information on it. What a missed opportunity! If I was a person who cleaned gutters, not only would I have my contact info on my invoices, I would be calling every one of my contacts every fall to get them on the schedule. After all, it needs to be done every year… The original gutter cleaning guy’s number didn’t work any more, which I take to mean that they went out of business. This year, I went online to service magic to find a new contractor. Interestingly, I discovered that window cleaning services also often clean gutters (I guess they already have the ladders and are used to heights?) I found someone who could come out the same day, for $125 plus tax. Which is a little more than my previous guys, but still totally worth not having to fight with that ladder…