Adding leaf guards to a home’s gutter system is a great way to improve the overall efficiency of the gutters and lower the cost of gutter maintenance by reducing how often they need to be cleaned. Several factors affect the cost of leaf guard installation.
Materials and installation
Cliff Morris of Gutters Installed & Construction in Atlanta, Georgia, installs and repairs gutters and leaf guards and handles a variety of construction and remodeling jobs. He says leaf guards offer an enormous advantage by helping keep gutters free of leaves, pine needles, acorns and other organic debris. Morris offers leaf guard installation starting at $5–$6 per linear foot for standard guards. Upgraded guards that carry a manufacturer's lifetime guarantee and help keep pine needles out of gutters specifically cost $7–$8 a linear foot. If a building is more than three stories high, some contractors will charge more because the height requires crews to do more of the work from very tall ladders—or in some cases on scaffolding or in a basket lift, which also incurs additional costs. Morris estimates that the cost to install guards on a 1,500-square-foot home is about $1,000–$1,600.
Gutter guard types
Morris of Gutters Installed & Construction recommends and sells metal mesh gutter guards that snap on to the gutter’s edge close to the edge of the eave. There are a variety of other types, though. Professional installers can offer advice on what type is best for a particular geographic region—and the homeowner’s budget. Here is a rundown of the various types available and the estimated materials costs. (Gutters Installed & Construction charges an additional $2 per linear foot for installation.)
Metal mesh (curved rust-resistant aluminum mesh, such as E-Z Gutter Guards): 80 cents per linear foot
Bottle brush (cylindrical brushes): $3 per linear foot
Nylon (convex, curved guard such as Flo-Free): $2.50 per linear foot
- Foam (fills gutters to block leaves but allow water passage, such as GutterStuff): $1 per linear foot
Morris of Gutters Installed & Construction always cleans out gutters before installing guards, but if the gutters are especially full or in need of deep cleaning, it will add to the cost. Morris has seen gutters that have become totally clogged with organic debris as well as living plants and saplings.
Second- or third-story gutters, unstable terrain and hard-to-reach locations can all have an affect on the cost of installing leaf guards. Morris of Gutters Installed & Construction charges extra when crews need to work on top of tall ladders. If a building is tall enough or situated in such a way that scaffolding or a basket lift is necessary for the installers to reach the gutters, the overall project fee will reflect those extra costs. If an installer must work from a rooftop with a steep pitch, it could cost up to $250 more. Morris says the guards he most often installs clip onto the gutters and can be installed from ladders, so his crew can avoid the added risk of scaling a roof.
Additional height required
If an installer must rent and set up scaffolding to reach the highest points of the roof for gutter guard installation, the cost can increase by a few hundred dollars, depending on how much scaffolding is required and how long it takes to set up and take down. If a basket lift is required, which is more common for taller commercial installation jobs, the cost is likely to be an additional $250–$300 to cover the daily rental cost.
Downspout screens redirect floating debris away from the downspout opening and allow water to head into the drain immediately. Adding these increase overall gutter guard installation costs by $5–$7 for each screen plus the additional labor required.