Your home is likely your biggest investment, and your roof and gutters play a big role in protecting that investment.

So if you're looking to replace your roof, upgrade your gutters or get some other similar work done, you want to make sure you hire a contractor who is the best fit for your home and budget. We reached out to our friends at Alexander & Sons Home Improvements for their tips on getting started:

1) Research your project to the best of your ability. Make Google your friend! This will help you get a good baseline for what products are available, what people are saying about these products, and an average of what you are likely to spend on your project. If the internet isn’t quite your thing, call up area businesses that specialize in your project. Ask them questions and general information about the process. Most companies will want to do an in-person visit to your home to discuss your project and this is a great idea for a couple of reasons.

2) Get quotes from approximately three companies and have them do an in-person evaluation of your needs. You may not love this idea: You may be thinking that you don’t want to be “sold” on a project and it takes time out of your already over-scheduled day to wait for multiple companies to show up and do their “thing”.

However, like people, every home is different, and these differences can mean a very different price in the end. Let’s say you want a quote for your roof but you just want to get a ballpark price over the phone. Most companies have separate pricing for steeper pitched roofs, roofs above a certain height from the ground (over two-stories) and roofs that have had many additions. Without seeing your roof in person, that company will not be able to quote you accordingly.

Projects with these kinds of special conditions require more labor and will add more time to the scope of the project. The roof of a single-story ranch with no additions could take two days whereas the same square footage with two additions and three stories up will take a week: that’s a big difference!

3) Compare prices and compare the companies themselves. Hiring a contractor for your home improvement project is important. Let’s be honest: No one wants to spend $5,000 on a roof. We do it because we know it is important to protect one of the biggest investments we make in our lives – our homes! That being said, as much as your home improvement project is a business transaction, it should also be personal. You are trusting someone with your home and you have every right to know that that matters to your contractor.

The only way you are going to get an idea of that is if you meet your contractor. Is he asking you questions? Is he making you feel comfortable and not pressuring you to purchase additional things outside your budget? A contractor who takes pride in his work will always show you that your home matters to him.

4) Find your budget. Some homeowners or commercial clients might not have a budget but most of us do. It is important to be honest with your contractor if you are on a very strict budget from the get-go. If a contractor comes out to give you a quote and you are honest, he can quickly start piecing together how to make the situation work best for your situation. A good contractor will be honest with you, too!

Let’s say you only have $1,000 available for any roof work but it’s leaking into the house and you have to do something. If financing is not an option for you, tell your contractor. For your money, he should be able to tell you what he can do. He might say, “yes, your entire roof should be replaced, but these are the most compromising areas and we can replace these areas to protect your home until you might be able to do the rest."

As you're doing your research, consider Alexander & Sons Home Improvements. They are a locally owned and operated small business, so they treat their customers like neighbors and friends — because they are! After more than a decade working for the area “big business” in home improvement, they saw an opportunity to provide our neighbors with a higher quality of workmanship, lifetime caliber products, and a more affordable price tag. When a prospective client shows them quotes from other companies, most often they are able to offer better prices for the same warranty.

Here's a look at before and after photos of their work:

Alexander & Sons Home Improvements Before and After
Alexander & Sons Home Improvements Before and After

Be sure to ask Alexander & Sons Home Improvements about their seamless gutters services and lifetime warrantied gutter protection system, too. Both come in a variety of colors to match your home’s exterior and ensure you will never have to worry about unclogging your gutters ever again. They offer a no-pressure evaluation of your current gutter system to see how they can help you better protect your home from intruding water.

In fact, did you know that most water intrusion into basements can actually be from clogged gutters or improperly diverted water from your roof? Before you pay to have your basement waterproofed, have them come take a look at no cost!

Ready to get started? Visit alexanderandsonsny.com or call 607-237-7056. Tell 'em we sent you!