Gutter guards (aka leaf covers for gutters) are an attractive idea to homeowners whose homes are surrounded by large trees. Plenty of marketing dollars go into promoting gutter guards, but are they really worth the money?
In this guide, we cover the cost to install gutter leaf guards, their pros and cons, and alternative approaches — all in an effort to help you decide whether or not gutter guards make sense for your home.
Right off the bat: Gutter guards will not completely eliminate the need for gutter cleaning.
You should know a couple realities from the start: Gutter covers WILL reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning, but they WON’T completely eliminate it.
Depending on how many trees are in your landscape or backyard surrounding your property, expect to clean your gutters about one-third to one-half as often as you did before.
It’s impossible to keep fine tree debris out of the gutters. The debris will build up over time. Seeds might sprout, and you’ll have significant clog issues if you don’t clean the gutters.
Did you know? When your gutters eventually need to be cleaned, the job will be more difficult and time-consuming because you’ll have to clean the gutter guards and the gutters.
Depending on the type of guards you install, removing them before cleaning the gutters might be a necessary extra step in the process.
Three Gutter Guard Installation Options
You’ve got three options for gutter guard installation:
DIY installation: You buy the product at your local Wall Mart, Lowe’s, or Home Depot and install it yourself ($-$$)
Pro installation of the product you buy or select: You hire a handyman service or gutter guard company to install the product of your choice ($$-$$$)
Pro installation of a proprietary product: You hire a company to install its own brand of gutter guards ($$$-$$$$)
How Much Do Gutter Guards Cost?
The features of the gutter cover types are listed below. First, here’s what you can expect to pay based on the three options for gutter guard installation we just listed. All costs are in linear feet:
- Plastic screen gutter guard: $.20-$.40 (20-40 cents)
- Aluminum perforated gutter covers: $.50-$1.25
- Steel screen gutter guard: $1.50-$3.00
- Foam gutter guard: $2.00-$3.25
- Micro-mesh steel gutter guard: $2.25-$4.00
- Brush gutter guard: $3.15-$4.25
- Solid-surface gutter guard (helmets): $3.50-$6.25
Professional installation cost when you purchase the materials: $1.85-$3.75
Full-service professional installation — materials supplied and installed by a gutter guard company: $7.50-$12.00