Here are several key benefits and drawbacks of DIY gutter guard installation.
Pros of DIY Gutter Guards
DIY gutter guards can be useful in some situations. Here’s why you might want to pick up your drill and get out your extension ladder.
Low cost. The primary advantage of DIY gutter guards is the lower cost compared to professionally installed guards. The materials are generally cheaper per linear foot and you don’t pay installation fees.
Easy installation. DIY gutter guards can be easy to install, depending on the installation method used. The more challenging methods are doable with general handyman skills.
No scheduling. When you install your own gutter guards, you do it on your time. It can be difficult to coordinate with contractors and ensure the work is completed on schedule. When you need gutter guards installed immediately to protect against heavy rain in the forecast, a DIY option can be the right choice—at least until you can put up something heartier.
Cons of DIY Gutter Guards
Although installing DIY gutter guards can be tempting, it’s important to carefully consider the following downsides before committing to the project.
Product quality. Gutter guards designed for DIY installation are typically made from inferior materials to guards offered by full-service providers. DIY gutter guards will likely fail sooner and have shorter limited warranties.
Professionally installed gutter guards are often more effective, last longer, and include industry-leading warranties. While DIY gutter guards are great in a pinch, most homeowners are better off with a professionally installed guard for long-term use.
Expensive tools. Unless you’re a handyman with a fully stocked shed, you may be missing the necessary equipment for installing gutter guards. A good ladder, tin snips, and a cordless drill are necessities, but you’ll also want to consider specialty equipment for safety.
A roof harness, for example, is highly recommended to prevent injury. Cut-resistant gloves will keep your fingers safe as you resize materials with sharp edges and fit them into place.
Unseen costs. Installing gutter guards on your own is cheaper than hiring a pro for the same job, but it might not be as cheap as you think. In addition to acquiring any tools and equipment you don’t have, you may have to stop mid-job to restock on supplies. Whether you have mismeasured cuts or misplaced screws, the minor expenses can add up.
Additional risk. Although professional installation represents a higher up-front cost, you’re not just paying the crew for materials and their time. They show up with the expertise and equipment to complete the job safely—and insurance in case of a mishap.