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October 01, 2021 7 min read

Do It Yourself Leaf Guard vs. Contractor installed Leaf Guard

If you are going to evaluate gutter guard costs, you will want to look both at DIY gutter guards, or self installation, as well as installed leaf guards by a contractor. Obviously, do it yourself gutter guards will be the less expensive leaf guard option as long as you do not need to buy excessive amounts of tools.  DIY leaf guards come at a price; your time and possibly some blood, sweat and tears, so I will make sure I cover a do it yourself leaf guard budget below, that wont break the bank and is incredibly easy to install with no trimming or fastening involved. Thus the total cost of the do it yourself gutter guard option would be the sum of the gutter guard materials, and tools required.  The total cost of a contractor installed gutter guard would simply be the agreed total leaf guard price provided by the contractor. The contractors installed gutter guard price comes with tremendous convenience at a higher cost because the contractors leaf guard price will include his or her materials, incidentals, tools as well as the labor for installation which must include drive time to and from your home.

Do It Yourself Gutter Guards Cost per ft. $ 1.00 to $ 4.00 /ft.
GutterBrush Simple Gutter Guard Cost per ft. $ 2.50 to $ 3.50 /ft.
Contractor Installed Gutter Guard Cost per ft. $20.00 to $35.00/ft.
Contractor Installed GutterBrush Cost per Ff. $ 5.00 to $ 7.00 /ft.

Should I install a Leaf Guard Myself?
If you are the type that enjoys outdoors, ladders, buying power tools and performing exterior home improvement projects, then you can probably struggle through a DIY leaf guard project.  However, most people are not that courageous, handy and experienced with home improvement.  Some gutter guards are very complicated and tricky to install, however the good news is that there is a DIY gutter guard option available to those who are not quite so handy or skilled when it comes to power tools and fastening.  If you are able to clean your own gutters, then you already have enough talent and skill to self install one of the simplest most effective leaf guards available; named GutterBrush.  As with all gutter work, you just need to be able to work from a ladder.

Qualifications To Install GutterBrush simple gutter guard (anyone can install).
  • Ability to access gutters from ladder
  • Ability to measure, and clear debris from gutter
Qualifications needed to install Leaf Guards, Screens and Gutter Covers.
  • Learn how to install leaf guards, gutter screens, and covers
  • Gather tools necessary for leaf guard installation
  • Gather the fasteners for attaching leaf guards
  • Purchase the leaf guard materials
  • Access from ladder
  • Cutting and trimming for a continuous gutter guard installation
  • Drilling and fastening.
If you are the type of homeowner to handle either of the above scenarios, then you may be capable of enjoying the cost savings of a budget based on installing leaf guards yourself.  However, if you find both of the above leaf guard qualification scenarios to be a real turn off, then you would be paying more close attention to the leaf guard budget that includes contractor installation.  By the way, in this article I use the term leaf guard and the term gutter guard as interchangeable.  In order to get gutter guard installed prices from contractors in your area, you would perform an internet search of phrases like “ Gutter Guard Installation near me “ or “ Leaf guard installation near me “, or “ Leaf guard contractors near me”.   If you are the type to install your leaf guard yourself, you can start by researching gutter guards at Home Depot.  Search using the phrases“ Home Depot Leaf Guard “ or “ Home Depot Gutter Guard”.  Also go to to see the gold standard for easy gutter guard installation.

Leaf Guard price per foot
When we speak of gutter guard price per foot, we are speaking in a “generality”.  A price per foot would be used for the initial gutter guard budget. Prices per foot typically do not include unusual complications, require a minimum amount of footage to bear out, and are simply a guide.

Do it yourself Leaf Guard Cost per foot:   Home depot leaf guard research should help you learn and understand the leaf guard products, methods of cutting and tools needed for trimming and fastening.  Once you have accumulated all of the materials, fasteners, tools, and incidentals, the do it yourself gutter guard will cost between $ 1.00/ft - $ 4.00 per foot depending on the type of gutter, type of gutter guard and the amount of complications, incidentals, and tools needed. $ 1.00 - $ 4.00 per foot.

GutterBrush Self installed gutter guard price per foot. $ 2.50 - $ 3.50 includes delivery.

Contractor installed Leaf Guards, gutter screens, gutter covers cost per foot - $ 20 - $ 35.00 per foot.

Contractor installed GutterBrush gutter guard price per foot - $ 5.00 - $ 7.00

The leaf guard problem: Whether you install them yourself or you pay someone to install them, all gutters and all gutter guards in the tree debris field require maintenance and cleaning at some point to keep the gutter flowing and draining properly.   At some point, debris clogs up the device, or simply lays across the device creating a ramp that shoots the rain water past the gutter, therefore, at some point all of these gutter guard devices need to be removed or disassembled for cleaning.  Its valiant for home owners to “step up” and make courageous home improvement decisions that include ladder safety as well as the purchase and use of tools, but don't forget that each fastener makes a hole in the gutter and at some point your gutter guard project will likely need to be taken apart for cleaning.  Dont add too many leaf guard fasteners because you may end up removing them sooner than you think if the fast water uses the gutter guard as a bridge to miss the gutter. Choose a gutter guard that is easy to install and requires no tools or fasteners for either initial installation or future maintenance and gutter cleaning.

Decrease Leaf guard risk:   Do No Harm: Solving clogged gutters and decreasing the maintenance involved is important, but it is not that important!   It is not worth getting into a project that costs money, takes time, and makes things worse.  Avoid the risky sides of leafguard projects. The largest risk would be if you actually caused a roof leak.  Lifting roof shingles or jamming leaf guards under roof shingles can cause expensive roof leaks. The shingles are supposed to be stuck or adhered together, so if you slide or jam a gutter guard between the roof shingles, you may be separating the adhesive making your lower courses of roof shingles loose and vulnerable to high winds which can tear off shingles and cause leakage behind the fascia board into the building.  Avoid leaf guard systems that intersect with the roof.   Leaf guard installation and leaf guard performance is not worth causing a roof leak or causing wind to drive water up under your shingles.

Why are contractor installed gutter guards so expensive:   Most gutter guards must be cut, fit, and fastened carefully. Not only do they require skill, expertise and time, but they also require the inspecting of every foot of gutter in advance, to assure that the system will work and fit into that particular gutter. Contractors are faced with certain business challenges such as increased cost of labor as well as increased cost of workers compensation insurance.  By far, the largest component of any contractor installed gutter guard is labor.  The employees actual hourly rate is multiplied by a factor so that the contractor is assured of covering all overhead costs with each hour worked.  The end result is that the cost of contractor labor and the hourly rates charged are very high and are the largest component of the price for leaf guards.  Combine high labor hourly rates with the fact that most gutter guards require trimming and fastening, so they take more time to install.  Additionally, many gutter guards are a hotly marketed item.  Contractors working independently for a leaf guard company, are not the only cost component.  Often the gutter guard company has spent many thousands of dollars on marketing just to provide the job to the contractor in the first place.  Often, another high component of leaf guard Contracting is the cost of marketing, which can also be a high proportion of cost passed on to the customer

Why is Contractor Installed GutterBrush more reasonably priced:  Most importantly, Gutterbrush is the easiest and fastest leaf guard installation. Contractors can finish a home with GutterBrush faster than any other leaf guard, therefore they do not have to charge the customer for as many billable hours of work.  Speed and self fitting gutter guard installation means fewer labor hours charged, and therefore a much lower price to the customer.  Whenever anyone hires a leaf guard contractor (or any contractor), they should do their diligence and make sure the contractor has the necessary insurance and license.  Contractors installing Gutterbrush possess the same types of business costs and labor (per hour costs) as other contractors installing gutter guards, without the high costs of marketing.  Most gutter guard companies spend extremely large amounts of money on marketing, which then gets passed off to the contractor and eventually is one of the components in the final leaf guard cost passed off to the customer.  Gutterbrush sells to contractors at a discount, with no franchise fees and there are no additional marketing costs or fees passed on to the contractor, giving the contractor the best chance to keep the cost low.  GutterBrush customers benefit from a faster low cost leaf guard installation and a simpler more affordable leaf guard process overall. The GutterBrush proposition is extremely efficient, simple and fast.

Alex O’Hanley
25 Years of Roofing
Alex O'Hanley
Alex O'Hanley

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