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    Gutter guards are they right for you and your house?

    I do most of the chores inside and outside around my house and as fall rolled around I began to think about the gutters. When was the last time I cleaned those? Well, with things that have gone on in my life I knew it had been at least three years and was pretty sure it’s been longer than that.

    I have maple trees around my house and the samaras otherwise known as helicopters or whirlybirds. These characters are the things that cause me the most problem.

    The Albany Home and Remodeling show happened to be coming when I was realizing it had been a while since the gutters had been cleaned, so I wandered out to see what kind of options were out there for gutter guards. I found a couple different kinds and of course they were all proclaiming they were better than the others.

    There are basically two styles of gutter guards (and within those two styles, there are several variations) and it really depends on where you live what would be best for each house. One of them completely seals your gutters so leaves and needles and other things floating around stay out. The other has a curved edge so that the water follows the contour into the gutter.

    I decided I didn’t want to mess with anything potentially getting into my gutters, so I dropped my name in for a free estimate from LeafFilter, got a call a couple days later and within two weeks of the home show someone was out to give me a quote. I’ll be honest, I had quite a bit of sticker shock. It was going to be almost $6,000 to get my gutters done. This was 19 times what it cost me to get the original gutters put on 17 years ago. This wasn’t going to be a hard project for anybody to do. It was going to be, clean out the gutters, make any slight repairs that needed to be made and put on the guards on about 140 feet worth of gutters on a single story house.

    After I got my heartbeat back down to normal, I decided this couldn’t be that hard to do and I could probably do it for cheaper. The stop at Home Depot was a little disappointing, but I found some products that would get the job done, just not what I was hoping to find.

    This is what I found and what I estimate it to cost to put on my house.

    Gutterstuff 4ft Foam filter Plastic Gutter Guard K-Style — $211.65
    Amerimax Snap in Filter Gutter Guard — $88
    Amerimax Vinyl Leaf Guard Plus — $189.94
    Titan 3000 Pro Guard — $200

    A trip over to Lowe’s found basically the same stuff, but it did have the Atlas Gutter Glove at the cost of $408 to do my house.

    Still not completely thrilled with what I was seeing I looked on Home Depot’s website to see what was available.

    Gutter Guard Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard by Gutter Glove — $399.88
    Spectra Metals Armour Lock Gutter Guard — 198.50

    After my expeditions, I took to the ladder to clean the gutters and see how bad things really were. I was pleasantly surprised the gutters really weren’t all that bad. Yes, there was about 13 gallons worth of stuff in them, mostly decomposing helicopters, but all told not bad. There was one spot about 8 inches long on the front side of my house that was packed full. I didn’t time how long I was up on the ladder, but it really didn’t take that long, maybe two hours.

    For me, since there really wasn’t that much stuff up in my gutters, I’m still fairly youthful and I don’t mind climbing a ladder once in a while, I think I’m going to pick up a few of the Amerimax Aluminum Downspout guards. They’re less than $5 a piece and should keep most of the stuff out of the downspouts.

    If you have lots of trees with pine needles and other such items, You’re probably going to need something more than a downspout guard. Also what kind of budget do you have? Personally, I don’t have six grand lying around to drop on this kind of project and don’t want to be paying on it forever if I were to put it on a credit card. Each homeowner has to evaluate their situation to figure out what’s best for them.

     

    Written By:
    Jessica Coudare
    Writer, Blogger, Mother & Homeowner

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