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Gutter Trade-School

Prep/Install Training, Marketing, & Franchise Oportunity Information Page

Updated 4 / 2023

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What Kind of Education Packages Do You Have to Offer? Does Your System Work Well with a Tespla Solar Roof?
What Is The Cost Of Your Programs & Templates? What Do I Need To Keep My Gutter Machine In Good Order?
How Do I Arrange Training In Your Gutter Installation System? What is the Cost of a Gutter Machine?
What About Used Gutter Machines?
What About Covid Health Restrictions? What Kind of Trailer & Machine will be Needed?
Do You Sell Just Templates for Me to Use? What If I Need Help Building a Custom Trailer?


From: James Steadman <jsal2001@yahoo.c*m
Subject: gutter training
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2010

Hi David,
I wanted to let you know that I recently used some of the training you gave me. I installed two long sections of gutter, 60 or 70 feet each, so I used the gutter splice you taught me and they worked perfectly. I appreciate the opportunity you gave me to come to Portland and train with you. We covered a lot of stuff in one day and it was well worth the trip. It was very nice of you and your family to allow me to stay at your home. It was also nice of you to get up at 4 AM in the morning and take me to the airport. Tia is a great cook too!

Jim Steadman
Steadman's Rain Gutters
Bridgeport, Texas


I started this program back in 2009, and I still seem to offer one of the only gutter contracting business training programs in the States. I have steadily improved the course since then and offer you higher standards than you will find elsewhere, which is heavily influence by my sense of ethical standards.

Are you that special person? One who loves to be proud of their work, and looking to build a legacy to hand down to your children, or better opportunities for your friends and relatives? One's reputation is the single most valuable aspect you will even have earned. Hard to build, yet easy to destroy.

'This Guy!'

Just before leaving for the airport, Alan asked to pose with me
 while Torrin took this photo there in our workshop

(2/17/22) Alan Hartman of Empire Roofing
in Walker Louisiana (225) 480-8253

As you can see from the letter above, I have been doing this for a while now, and have more to share than you could possibly imagine. When I started this program in 2009, I already had over 16 years of hands-on experience at that time. Since then I have worked to refine this process over the last 14 more years continuing as a hands-on contractor; specializing in gutter replacement. There is very little I have not encountered and figured out a solution for.

(2/17/22) Alan & Lundyn Hartman of
Empire Roofing in Walker Louisiana (225) 480-8253

I got my specialty contractor license in mid-1993 and have continued to be hands-on contractor to this day as the primary fabricator and installer for DMR Gutters, which has been booked over 30 months out in recent times. Even all throughout that lingering pandemic we all suffered through.

Being based in Portland Oregon; we are well known for the amount of rain we get here, which tends to grow lots of tall trees that clog our gutters quickly. If my low maintence system can work effectively here, it will work well anywhere in the country. It is also especially sturdy in high snow-load areas. We also have dramatically changing seasons here; from heatwaves in the Summer months, Fall leave drop, to over a foot of snow some Winters, and even treacherous ice storms we tend to frequently get. Back in the early 80's Mt. Staint Helens had exploded like an atom bomb, where the ash that traveled to Portland after the second blast, had rinsed off the roofs into the gutters as heavy dense mud, which took down a lot of our gutters all of the sudden. I doubt there is any other area of the USA that has had more demading conditions testing gutter function that here.

(1/28/22) Adrion Rodrigues of Kingdom Roofing in Indiana Ph# 765-573-5899

As you can see from this extensive web site here; I have a wealth of experience and have tackled more complicated issues than most gutter contractors are willing to consider. There is not hardly any situation I have not dealt with and solved. Many complex issues that the other contractors were not willing to deal with at any cost. I do my best to work smart and safe at a casual pace, as shown here in this photo of a group of contractors here from Forida. Safety should be a strong concern for your crews, as injuries will shut down your job site and often be cause for an investigation by OCA to see that they were working in compliance, and there is going to be some violation they will find to pin the accident on you most every time.

(8/18/21) Golden Hammer Roofing in FL, Ph# (904) 880-2004

Why Should I Need This Sort of High-end Gutter Prep Training?

As you know, these days Homeowners are sharing their experiences they had with you as Contractor across the web over social media platforms like Facebook, Yelp, Nextdoor, Linked In, Insider Pages, Angie's List, and many other web communities. So, whether you like it or not, what your workers are doing is being reported and reviewed for all to see. Potential clients are now easily able to do a search to check out your reputation, so once a bad review is posted, there is no way for you to have it removed. You can even fix their concerns, but you cannot compell them to change or remove their original complaint.

Another quickly growing field to consider is the new Tesla solar panel roofing being done now. Any homeowner willing to pay that much for a new roof, often times even before it is necessary, will be demanding much better gutters than standard, and they are going to be under a final inspection by the Tesla team, so you will need to know how to do this the right way made to last. They may even want copper gutters, so you will need to be at the top of your game in this field of sheet metal craftmanship.

(6/7/21) AtlantaPainting Company in GA, Ph# (770) 551-0101

If you or your workers are not trained properly of how to do this work well, it will adversely affect your future reputation and sales. That stain will last for many years to come. We can no longer afford to get by on shoddy workmanship, since even one bad review can be devistating. Contractors can no longer to do business as usual. We are being held to a much higher standard these days, which I do not see reverting in the near future: from being accountable for our workmanship and how we respond to our client's complaints, or not. This training program can help you meet the demands of the ever evolving marketplace and perhaps give you an edge over your competion.

Another even more important asset of this program is using this to make better roof flashing with the left over gutter coil. Roofers can use your sheet metal skills to fill custom orders of aluminum flashing that they cannot get from their roofing suppliers, and made with many more color options. This alone could be your single biggest advantage.

(11/12/20) Trent Brown of RoofRite in OR, Ph# (503) 984-0924

What All Do You Have To Offer?

Superior High-end Gutter Fabrication/Installation w/Business Set-up, & Much More:
Even if you already have your own thriving construction business with several crews; I can show you how you can better train your installers and stream-line their installation work with higher quality workmanship and parts to do better quality installations for an improvement in your reputation, which is essencial these days.

As you may have found, gutter contractors subs tend to be the flakiest and most unreliable of the bunch, and your reputation has suffered greatly as a result. Getting your peeps to do this gutter work gets your company in and out more quickly, so you can get paid, and on to the next job. A better ability to control your quality standards is priceless. It is also a great way to keep them busy when the weather gets windy or too wet, since this is not nearly as weather dependant as other exterior work like painting and roofing.

(10/23/20) Gary M. Greenwood of Vanguard Roofing in VA Ph# (434) 484-2372

As you can see, this web site is by far the most comprehensive you will find anywhere on the Web, so you will find a lot of beneficial information here if you take the time to read through it. I also have much more to offer you, if you are brave enough to take advantage of my experience and abnormally high mechanical aptitude.

I most often have worked alone, so I am not influencing teams of crews, but I have influenced my competition, which is part of my team in life to build a better society. What could be more important? We cannot control others, but the example we set is the only thing we truly have control of. The single most important aspect of what we can gift our children with.

My students are not required to maintain the exact same standards that I do after they finish my training program, unless they want to utilize my francise opportuniuty. But why teach you shoddy workmanship using low standard parts? You can choose to down-grade your standards, but it is important that I teach you the best way to do things, and try to impress upon you why this is most beneficial to your success in the long run. As well as best for your personal self-esteem. As well as how you will influence others by doing the right thing. These processes are not more than what I do for each of my clients withoput being asked, so there is nothing that is over the top or impractical.

(1/21/20) Eric McPeters of Paintwise Painting in WA (509)362-3227

This program can benefit you if you are:

  • Looking to become a Gutter Contractor, while avoiding the pit-falls of trial & error.
  • Already a Gutter Contractor, yet looking for ways to make your business more efficient w/better parts and improved skill level and marketing.
  • Looking to get into more high-end copper gutter work with improved techniques.
  • Looking to venture into other more custom sheet metal design and fabrication.
  • A Roofer looking to expand your business to include making your own aluminum flashing and gutter replacement to keep your guys busy during bad weather. Instead of relying on subs, which tend to be unreliable at best, and may have adversely affected your reputation.
  • Making and installing better rust free roof flashing in 30+ color choices, so it looks better, and more importantly how your clients may have a chance to take advantage of their roofing warranty, which is not an option with steel flashing.

I can assist you with all you need for this relatively low cost start-up business along with lists of suppliers and tools best suited for this work. Saving you a lot of wasted time and money.

(7/25/19) Portland Roof and Gutters in OR Ph#, (503) 601-9122

What If I Need Training In Gutter Installation:

For more information than DMR-Gutters.com has generously provided for you already here, you will need to pay for my personalized one-on-one lessons done here in my shop, which is much more than just how to miter inside and outside corner propperly. 

I will be happy to tailor this training to meet your needs and adjust the cost accordingly. You will most likely need to be able to spend a week or so here with me for a portion of this hands-on training, but if you are a really sharp cookie I have trained people to do 4 types of custom gutter ends within a day. You can bring others to train with you and take home the sample pieces you made for later review. Even bringing a Spouce or friend is helpful to take notes and record your progress in photos and videos.

With my training program and optional franchise you can get:

(a) On-line, phone, and video correspondence to set up this training sessions. Instruction before hand, to begin some of the remote training, in order to help maximize your time while here.

(b) Learning the lingo and sales techniques that work, w/o placing your client under stressful pressure. You should get to the point you are selling at least half the bids you write by proving to them how you ar the best value. You may not be the cheapest out there, but you are clearly their best option. Which will save you more time and $ than you could imagine.

(c) Provide you with a list of tools and suppliers that are best suited for this line of work. Beyond just your local warehouse supplier.

(d) A detailed work system to save you a lot of time, money, and working safer while doing higher quality work for an improved reputation.

(e) If you need, I can help with going over marketing concepts and work with you to develop a starter web site to market your service for clients local to you, which can be linked to this web site if you want to take advantage of my franchise opportunity.  This will give you that professional image and save you a great deal of time on the phone answering common questions. It will also save you thousands a month on advertising costs, and help you find better pre-qualified and pre-sold clientele, so you are making more sales per bids you write.

(f) I can show you how to maintain a web site, and add your personal touches and photos.  A list of user-friendly inexpensive programs you'll need that I have tested over the last decade+ for web design, photo editing, and maintenance.

(g) Master-copies of print forms for your bids and sales brochures w/other paper work.

(h) Book keeping and tax information.

(i) You could even use our name; Dynamic Metal Rendering, and list yourself as an official DMR Gutters franchise to help give you a head start to impress new clients. With the full training and franchise, you will not have to worry about another Gutter Contractor training with us competing for your business within a 50+ mile radius of your location for as long as you are in business there w/o having to pay further annual fees. You are just required to maintain a high standard of workmansip, parts, good customer service, and warranty service, as I cannot allow you to tarnish my reputation.

(j) Going out to client's homes to do bids and actual gutter work, seeing how we interact with clients, with a hand-on demonstration of gutter installation.

(k) I will be demonstrating most types of gutter sheet metal fabrication and installation procedures, even if it is not relating to the jobs I have lined up.  You would be using aluminum material to demonstrate and practice on, so I can see that you are able to do this competently yourself.  You will be returning with samples and templates to refer to afterwards, which is very important.

(l) Post training and answer time on-line for some of the reminders and questions that will come up later on.

And more details that I may not have listed here.

(2/18/19) Melisa & Jake Raether of Gorge Gutters in WA, Ph# (509) 281-0684

Gutter Installation and Business Training w/web site development and photography for better marketing:
There is a great deal of info and examples on this web site regarding gutter business, but it is not just the standard installation commonly seen. It revolves around a very high level of standards for quality and ethics that you will not find in the normal business model. I feel that if nothing else it is a smarter business model in the long run to focus on quality than your profit margin; saving thousands each month just in costly advertising and frustrated customers to have to deal with warranty service. Keeping the phone ringing for decades to come through more client referrals by building a reputation for high quality; that will become a valuable business name for you and your heirs.

This is not a quick-get-rich program. Most of which are just scams to pick your pocket. This type of work has a good potential of making a healthy living w/o having to work with highly hazardous materials or breaking your back. It has growth potential to possibly make you $50 to $150 an hour, but I feel some of the best rewards is the feeling of pride and satisfaction of your accomplishments providing a good service to your clients and helping to build values in America once again.

I also offer a franchise option w/o any annual pay-outs, like other franchise programs require. This can help kick start your business off the ground running, as long as you share and maintain my ideals of quality work and ethics. Although, you will need to be held to some very high standards, which many may feel too difficult to maintain.

(4/13/16) Ashford Roofing in OK, Ph# (405) 206-0767

Package Deal Cost:
As far as cost for this program go, here is a run-down for those options available.

'Can't Travel':

$2,000 for as much remote training as we can manage together using Zoom to go over the mechanics of gutter prep and installation training for up to 20 hours of video confrencing, several phone chats, and those e-mails this will require to set this up. You will need to have dozens of 1' long gutter samples to work with and a full set of tools. Templates w/example pieces are sold separately, as listed below.

The Basics:

$3,500 starting with some remote training, before your trip out here. Then the mechanics of gutter prep and installation training with a comprehensive hands-on instruction with up to 2 students for a full work week. Additional students are just $500 each.


$5,000 you also get a few more days for custom parts fabrication: funnels, reducers, Leaf-catchers, mitered endcaps, and such with tempates and examples to keep.

Deluxe Full Deal:

$6,500 I will cover all I have listed above including business, marketing, web site development training, and a DMR Gutters franchise oportunity (as long as you are willing to uphold the same level of quality standards).

I Travel To You:

$3k to 6k extra added to the other package deals to cover my travel expense, hotel stay, meals, and a rental car. Depends on location and number of days required.

I understand this may be the better option for you if you need me to train several people, which then saves you their travel and hotel stay expenses with meals. You will need to have dozens of 1' long gutter samples to work with for each person, a full set of handtools, including a break, a large well ventilated air conditioned work space, a local hotel or decent motel with restarants.

Traveling Assistant Trainer:

$2k to 4k extra added for my Son to join me for an added pair of eyes to help with this training.  Torrin is now 22 (as of 10/31/22) and has been working with me since he was 18.

We usually start with paying half down to start the remote training work before traveling here to Oregon for the hands-on training time. This helps get you and your people more familiar with the lingo, parts, and tools, so they are better able to utilize their time when they arrive here.

As I said above I am happy to customize this program to best fit your needs and adjust the cost accordingly. Even if you want to cancel the training in the middle I will accomodate your needs and refund that unused time.

You could spend much more than this on just getting a decent web site designed for your business, so you know this is quite a bargain for all I'm offering here. It will likely save you more in the first year alone than the cost of this program.  This is a small start-up cost for most any type of business.  This will also greatly increasing your chances for success in the long run, where most small businesses tend to fail within the first few years. I have specialized in a hands-on gutter replacement business for over a quarter century now: since mid 1993 when I got my contractor's license here in Oregon.

(12/4/14) Kendell Roberts & Wife from Idaho to start thier own Gutter Construction business

If you are serious about our training program read through dozens of web pages on our web site (not just this one web page), write an essay on your qualifications, experience, your business plan, and let me know just what all you need from me the most.

Then send it to me in an e-mail and submit your 1/2 deposit for the remote training course to begin.

Serious inquiries only.

Single Day Cost Training Options:

If you are unable to spare more than a day or 2 devoted to this training I have these price options to consider, but these do not include the initial remote training:

 (a) $300 a day to hang with me and see what I do while asking some questions. We will need to carefully arrange this time here, so you will be available when my scheduled work is doing the sort of work that would benefit you most. This does not include practice gutters and templates.

 (b) $600 a day to have me spend my full attention with you one-on-one while you're here training in order to show you these skills and have you make your own practice sample pieces to bring back with you to use as reference guides.

This is cheaper than many group seminars offered in other fields, where you just sit in uncomfortable chairs to be lectured at all day, so I know these costs are very reasonable.

What should I do before contacting you?

Write an essay on your current experience, qualifications, tools you have, and your plans for this sort of business, so I can get a better sense of who you are and what you need from this program. Then mail that to me with your 1/2 deposit to begin this process and evaluate the cost of just what you want and need.

We will need your 1/2 payment of the tuition to scheduel this training course in and begin with our remote training on-line to prepare you before your trip here, which will maximize your training potential when you get here for the hands-on portion. The other half will be due when you arrive for your hands-on training.

In front of my workshop on 10/24/20

What About Covid Health Restrictions?
Yes, this whole issue has sucked either way you slice it, but hopefully we are on the tail end of this nightmare. Back in mid 2020 I had to put casters under my workbench to wheel it outside and have a 10’ X 20’ canopy for cover, which we had used a few times during the height of the scare. We had spare masks and chlorine wipes handy in the latrine to wipe down any surface that was touched or sat on. Men's aim was a problem with one of those groups, so please try to be less messy.

We are no fan of vaccines, but we did get fully vaccinated back in May of 2021. My wife; being a medical professional needed me to work safe, so she doesn't get exposed and have to quarantine for a while, which of course means she cannot work if there was just a suspected exposure or any syptoms, so that she would not potentially expose her clients.

Oregon had completely opened up in the Summer of 2021 with the honor system for masking, which had shown to not be remotely reliable, so Oregon had gone back to masking out in public again, and even more than ever with the Delta variant. Then with Omnicron and other variants that lingered on. It seemed as if there is no escaping exposure to this virus, regardless how careful we were. We think we may have been infected in January of 2022, with very mild syptoms. We were finally seeing those restrictions lifted as of March of 2022, so it has been a full year without reverting to a strict health code. I finally tested positive for the first time on 7/7/22, but got over it within a couple weeks, so we should have a new resistance now.

It seems best to be vaccinated, so it is far less severe on your body. You are not considered fully vaccinated until you have gotten your second shot 3 weeks later, and then wait another 2 weeks after that to fully take effect.

I ask that you send us photocopies of each person’s driver’s license along with a photocopy of their Covid vaccination record next to it through e-mail, so we will be able to relax and be more comfortable around each other. You may want to get tested before buying your tickets, since they may not be refundable if you test positive and are not allowed to fly. That would suck.

We appreciate your attention to these recommendations to make this work out best for all concerned and be as safe as possible. If any of us were to get ill from exposure I am concerned for your wellbeing as well. Our numbers here in Oregon are comparitively low, so it may be safer for you here, but this illness has lead to long term disability that none of us can afford to suffer. Also, you do not want to be stuck here if you turn up getting sick and are not allowed to fly back home on schedule.


What About Just Buying a few Template Kits?

If you are not able to travel here to the Northwest I can also sell you individual sample sets with step-by-step templates and details instructions to demonstrate some of the more tricky parts of gutter work that I have developed over the last 3 decades. These are for the most common K-5 style gutters only. Prices listed include packaging and freight. I even recorded some videos to go along with a few of them.

  • $300 - most common 90 degree corner fabrication for inside and outside corner profile.

  • $250 - 45 degree corner fabrication for inside and outside corner profile.

  • $200 - Radius gutter for curved fascia board application (advanced work).

  • $250 - Mitered end caps for left and right side.

  • $200 - End cap style expansion joint w/covers (very important, yet largely overlooked).

  • $200 - Super outlet style expansion joint, or for use as a 9" wide outlet.

  • $150 - Larger 3X4 No-clog gutters outlet, without using an outlet piece for an even wider drop.

  • $200 - 3X4 to 2X3 reducers; 8 bend funnels in 12" and 15" size.

  • $150 - Large No-clog outlet designed for rain-chain and rain-cup application; with no outlet obstruction.

  • $250 each - for Leaf-catcher per size and style: 2X3, 3X4, 3X4 upper to 2X3 lower, and 45 degree 5 faceted baskets or just square mouth, which includes instructional video. Or $1k for all 6 templates and sample pieces (main money-maker).

  • $250 - Sealing dormer gutter that meet with the roof under a valley (very important, yet largely overlooked, if at all).

  • $150 - Roof trays; to avoid draining an upper gutters onto roof shingles (very important, yet largely overlooked).

  • $100 each - Fascia metal and roof flashing examples (please specify profile needed.

  • $500 - Vented and unvented ridge cap profile (several options).

  • $150 each - for the 6 sided scupper fabrication in 2X3 or larger 3X4 profile.

  • Or $3,000 - for all 28 template sets as listed above: $4,050 value

  • $800 each - Fancy scupper fabrication made from common K-5 gutter w/liners. Specify style you prefer: http://copper-by-design.com/cw/scuppers.htm#Options

If you are serious about our training program read through dozens of web pages on our web site (not just this one web page), write an essay on your qualifications, experience, your business plan, and let me know just what all you need from me the most.

Then send it to me in an e-mail and submit your 1/2 deposit for the training course.

Serious inquiries only.


What Kind of Gutter Machine/Trailer Set-up Will I Need?

It would be best to wait before ordering a gutter machine until you have a chance to see and use my gutter machine and accesories. This will help you place an order for what will suit your needs best, and most likely save you thousands. No, I will not try to sell you any tools. I just want you to have a better understanding of what you are getting into before investing that much.

Gutter Size & Profile:
They make a combo 5"/6" K style gutter machine, which has been very popular, but is a waste of money. Most gutter contractors who have this machine rarely if ever convert it over to the other gutter profile and wind up getting a second gutter machine to run the other size gutter. I advise you start off only getting a single K-5 gutter machine for several reasons. I can explain those reasons here, but it is best for you to get some experience using my gutter machine before ordering your own.

It is possible to fit both a 5" & 6"machines side by side on a single trailer, but that is a lot of weight to haul around loaded with gutter coil and whatever else you have stored in that trailer, so it is best to put them on separate trailers.

Note: When it comes to function, the only relivant difference between a 5" or the larger 6" gutter is how long before it starts to over flow when the outlet clogs up: 5 minutes, instead of just 3 minutes in a heavy downpour, which really is irrelevant if you think about it. You and the client are paying 25% more for a wider gutter coil and have to suffer seeing a much larger gutter on their house, with no real functional advantage. The size of the outlet makes a more functional improvement than the size of the gutter.

How Long can a Gutter Machine Last?
I still have and use my first gutter machine on a regular basis. These pages are not to sell my gutter machine or trailer, since that would put me out of business for several months while I wait for a new machine and build a whole new trailer. I've had my gutter machine since 1995 and it has not needed any major service in all that time. I replaced all the painted steel screws with stainless steel screws holding the outer shell panels on in August 2005.  Having my machine kept out of the elements since it was new has kept it in good working order, which is the advice I generously went out of my way to offer you here on this web page:

Trailer Size & Decking:

As you will see on these several web pages I have designed our gutter machine trailer to be sturdy, yet as light weight as possible, so it can be pulled up hill by just a Honda 3.5 liter V-6 engine.  Light weight is imperative to be able to make it up steep hills, as well as having decent gas mileage, but it needs to be very sturdy to handle jarring bumps on the road and high winds. A 50mph headwind at 60mph = a 110mph wind force.  The Gutter machine with one full 400# aluminum coil weighs around a ton plus the trailer weight.  So you have to pull that trailer weight with your vehicle loaded down with ladders and tools, so you are looking at a good 7,000# to 10,000# in all including your vehicle weight.

The trailer also needs to have a special access hatch in the roof, so the fork lift at the wholesale supplier can load the 400# to 600# coil onto your machine's spool or cradle. They do not make standard trailers with this in mind. It is good to keep it low height as possible, so that you do not need to use a ladder to remove the screws to open the hatch, as well as minimizing the wind drag and weight. Also, considering the height limitations of a forklift. The hatch needs to withstand freeway speeds while keep out the rain, be simple to open, and light weight as possible, while being very sturdy.

The trailer should be a double axel with one axel having an electric brake assist. It does not need to be longer than 12' plus the trailer tongue. A 10' long trailer floor seamed too short, but there should be no need for a 14' trailer. A longer trailer adds a lot more weight and makes it that much more difficult to manage in traffic or find parking in tight nieghborhoods and parking lots. It should have at least a 5' width between the wheels with the steel frame built out to the outside of the wheel wells for the shell support; for a 5.5' to 6.5' interior space sideways. It does not need to have a wood deck under the gutter machine its self, so it is best to not get a trailer that is already decked. A 2x4 deck in a light weight cedar or redwood is best for the floor of the trailer around the machine footprint, which will be lighter than a typical pine deck. A marine-grade plywood can be used. Those boards may be a little more costly, but over just the next couple years you'll have saved more than the cost difference in fuel.

Beside the benefit of saving fuel, less trailer weight means less impact force if you were to get in an accident. Hopefully that will not be a problem, but in all reality it might. Also, less trailer weight is going to handle a lot better; being more safe and stable driving on the freeway. Especially when cornering. If the trailer outweighs the vehicle pulling it; a fifthwheel set up is advised, which is what you would need if you are putting both machines in one trailer. That setup could be more costly than getting a second trailer for the other machine.

Vehicle Connection:
I prefer the type of hitch seen on these pages and you will need a tongue lift to get it on and off the towing ball. It is best to have the vehicle set up with a full set of clearance lights, back-up lights, separate turn signals, brake lights, and an electric brake controller with relays placed on each circuit to keep from melting your vehicle's electrical switches (which actually happened to me early on). I had the wiring professionally installed, but the steering column started smoking and fried my switches, costing me over $300 to have it replaced. I ended up having to rewire it all myself with the added relays.


What If I Need Your Personal Help Building a Trailer system?

Obviously I have experience with this and have worked out the bugs to design a strong light weight trailer shell to house the gutter machine in, so if you feel that you could use our help building a good user-friendly gutter machine trailer set-up like you see here, that can be arranged. I was tested to have a near perfect mechanical aptitude and seem to be able to brainstorm most any problem.  I can help you get one of these new machines and customize a good set-up that fits your needs best. For a price of course. If you are able to come here and help out with the fabrication, I'll factor that into the cost. E-mail me to get a quote to fit your particular needs.


What About a Used Gutter Machine?

Most used gutter machines are only worth their weight at the scrap yard, which is around $100 to $150. Perhaps more if you take the time to dismantle and separate all the different types of metals in it. Then you might get $300 or so, but that is a lot of labor, which would take at least a full day, if you work swiftly.

I do not deal in used machines as they are not usually worth fixing.  I do not know any business that buy used machines and tries to recondition them for resale, as there is not enough money in it.  A new gutter machine may not be cheap, but there is no advantage to getting a used machine, other than the temporary benefit of not waiting for your new machine order to be filled.

A used machine will most likely be a rust bucket, and need to be fully rebuilt, which costs several thousand dollars and more time out of service.  That is if you can find a competent technician local to you that knows what he is doing to fix it, which is very rare. There is also the likelyhood that replacement parts for it are no longer available.

Here's an example:

$4.5k initial purchase cost for a used machine that seems to work
+ $500 for delivery, if local to you
+ $2k or more for shipping cost to and from the manufacturer to be rebuilt + $3k rebuld cost with the new replacement parts, if they're still available
= $10k, or the cost of a new machine, possibly more and still looks like crap.

Shipping it back to the manufacturer for repair and realignment would be not much of a savings over buying a new machine. They may report that some of those older parts are no longer available as well, so you would be stuck with an unusable machine.

Most gutter contractors will mount their machine on the back of their pick-up truck, leaving their machine exposed to the elements, and it become riddled with rust within just a couple years. There are also dangers that I listed below. Good gutter machines may have a few stainless-steel rollers, but the bearings are not stainless-steel. Nor is the main frame. The motor will most likely need replaced or rebuilt. Some of the custom parts (if they can be found), are very pricey, which could cost you more than the difference of a new machine, not including the time required to do all this research and rebuilding it. That is even if you can find someone who can do all this in a timely manner.

If the machine is not in very good shape or out of alignment, it will dent the painted sheet metal with crumpled sections, if not just cracking and scratching the paint surface. Or worse yet, it is common that it will no longer form the gutter in the right shape in a straight line, and even have the sheet metal constantly bind up and jam.  I have seen used gutter machines advertised for as much as $5k to $6k, but that does not mean they are really worth more than their scrap metal value. 

Wouldn't you rather just have a care-free new machine with all new parts and the latest technology?  Realize how downtime will cost you a small fortune.  It is like how driving an old beat up work vehicle normally cost more to a contactor than the payments for a new rig.  Every day it is out of service, you loose over $500 in lost productivity.  It will also hurt your referrals and sales to be running shabby equipment. Image matters a lot more than you might imagine and people do talk (online).


What Do I Need To Do To Keep A Gutter Machine In Good Running Order?

Maintenance of a good gutter roll-forming machine that has been kept out of the weather is hardly ever needed. The drive chains may need oiled every year or so, depending on how much it is used.

Keeping this machine in a covered trailer is best with a lot less road vibration from staying at camp base while not needed at the job site. Left on the back of your truck with you that extra travel time can wear on it and change the delicate settings of a machine, which shortens the life of the bearings as well. This also saves thousands in fuel expenses, as well as wear on your work vehicle hauling it around. The fewest trips you make with your gutter machine is very benificial.  Such as bids, supply runs, or just finishing up the job you had already started.

Another important detail to consider is how having this heavy machine with you also makes driving far more difficult to have that extra weight, so your stopping response time is compromised.  With the added weight of the machine behind you will also add to the impact in case of an accident, which would be much worse and cause more damage to you and your rig, as well as any other cars in close proximity. If the bolts holding it down were to vibrate loose, rust out, or just rip out of the thin sheet metal bed floor on impact; this 1,500# counter weight would be driven right into the back of your cab to mame, if not kill both you and your coworkers. Hopefully this will never happen, but your risk is greatly increased for these reasons.

I've developed a system where I only bring the trailer out with me less than 1 out of 100 trips I make with my work rig. You do the math.


What Will a New Gutter Machine & Trailer Cost?
A new gutter roll-forming machine costs around $6k to $14k, depending on features (not including sales tax or freight). You should not need more than one gutter machine/profile. The K-5 style is a good gutter profile to start with. If later on you are doing so well that you can afford to offer different gutter profiles and have plenty of space to store them, swell. It should be no financial hardship at that point. I belive you would do better to offer better parts and put more into quality installations, than to offer clients a different gutter profile, which may not even work as well. You will loose a lot more future jobs by doing shoddy work, than the lack of gutter profiles you have to offer.

Downspout Machine?

Hardly any Gutter Contractors invest in their own downspout/elbows forming machine, since it costs 10X more than a gutter machine. It will also require a great deal of warehouse space for the longer machine, special size coils in all the different colors, and storage of those boxes of downspouts and elbows. We just buy the specific colored downspouts with matching elbows as needed, and return unused parts to that local warehouse, as long as they are still in excellent condition that can be resold as new. Left over parts can pile up, and be way too hard to sort through and clean off the dust to use on a job several years later. Either return them or scrap them. Your call.

Gutter Machine Trailer?

A good double axel trailer would run you $3k to $16k, depending on how much labor you're willing to invest yourself.  If you do more of the work yourself, like installing the deck and the building the upper shell, you can save a lot of money, and perhapse have a better trailer that suits your needs. If nothing else, it is a good way to exorsize your design and building skills. You may wind up rebuilding it better later on, but that's all good practice. Making a light-weight sturdy structure that can take a pounding on the road and high winds is a challenge.  Don't be a cheap-skate here. Remember this is still a much smaller investment than most any other start-up costs for a new small business, and it should save you more $ in just the first year by using better materials than what is found in a premade box-trailer. Maybe even build an all aluminum frame over a pair of axels.




Other Helpful Roofing Information
For some valuable advice with regards to roofing and rain management issues check out our:

(a) Gutter Installation
(b) Gutter Debris Protection Options
(c) Roofing Quality Standards
(d) Chimney Flashing

(e) Moss Control & Treatment

web pages for answers and solutions that could save you thousands of $ and a great deal of anguish.

If you do find this information very helpful, feel free to send us a $ tip for the assistance we so freely have published on the web here for your benefit, like you might tip a waitress.  Heck, send us a gift certificate for a candle lit dinner for two. <LOL>


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