Cost of Installing Gutter Leaf Guards

All you need to know about having gutter leaf guards installed including costs of materials, costs of labour and time frames.

gutter leaf guards

What the job entails

Clogged gutters are more than just a minor annoyance, overflowing waters can cause serious damage to your property and be very expensive to fix. If your home suffers from blocked gutters even with regular cleaning then it may be a good idea to fit gutter leaf guards to prevent debris from blocking the guttering system. With leaf guards you don’t have to clean the gutters nearly as much and still will not suffer from overflows and blockages, as the design keeps out leaves, debris, birds etc so your gutters rarely need cleaning.

Fitting leaf guards entails removing and cleaning the existing gutters thoroughly, then fixing the guards on to the gutter, then re-fixing the protected guttering back on the fascia boards. Gutter guards are simple products, consisting of mesh or filters attached to the roof gutters which prevent leaves, twigs, moss and other debris from entering the guttering where they can cause blockages and overflows.

As you will be removing the guttering from the fascia boards, this is a good time to check the condition of the guttering and downpipes, as well as the fascia and soffit boards. If they are in need of replacement then you may as well get this done at the same time - it is pointless fitting leaf guards onto leaking, broken guttering, then fixing onto rotten fascia boards! This would also be a good time to inspect the roof tiles for damage or moss growth.

There are a number of leaf guard systems on sale in the UK, most are designed for standard sized guttering which is 4.5 inches wide (112mm to 114mm), however some manufacturers do sell a domestic guttering which is only 100mm wide so you need to double check the leaf guard system will fit. Also most domestic leaf guard systems will be too small for industrial size 6 inch gutters found on some commercial properties.

There is no planning permission required to fit leaf guards and they can be fitted by a competent DIY'er as long as they are confident working at height. The job involves dismantling the gutters to clean them and re-affixing them to allow sufficient gap for the guard to be fitted. However most prefer these systems to be professionally installed by experienced tradesman with all the right safety equipment and insurance!

Fitting the wrong type of leaf guard can mean little to no improvement, you have to choose the right system to keep out the type of debris causing problems. For example if the main problem is pine needles blocking the gutters, then fitting a guard which allows pine needles to get through while stopping larger leaves is useless! Also care has to be taken when removing guttering from the fascia boards as you can often find on older guttering that leaks may start to appear as soon as the joints in the gutters are disturbed.

In addition if the fascia boards are not in good shape they may be damaged when removing the guttering brackets. In fact it may be a good idea to routinely replace guttering along with fascia and soffit boards when fitting leaf guards as a general rule. Badly sloping fascia boards (caused by subsidence or sloppy tradesman) which run contrary to the run of the gutters can cause problems when fitting leaf guards and will often need replacing in any case. Badly installed bottom tiles and valleys can also cause problems as can wrongly located down pipes, or not enough down pipes - all good reasons to get a professional roofer to inspect your property before fitting a leaf guard.

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Cost of Installing Gutter Leaf Guards

The average cost of having gutter leaf guards fitted is usually in the range of £200-£350 depending upon the ease of access to the gutters and the type of guard you choose.

A pair of roofline worker will usually charge around £250 per day and this type of job normally takes around half a day to complete. In some cases where the bottom few tiles need to be removed in order to install the leaf guards, it may take a full day to finish the job.

Here are a few average costs for having gutter leaf guards fitted:

Guard Type Scaffolding? Avg. Cost Duration
Hedgehog No £250 1/2 day
Mesh No £200 1/2 day
Hedgehog Yes £500 1 day
Mesh Yes £450 1 day


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs to install hedgehog leaf guards on the guttering of a 2-storey semi-detached house with easy access - Total Cost: £250

40%

Materials
£100

60%

Tradesmen
£150

0%

Scaffolding
£0

FAQ's

Prices will obviously vary depending on the property and the type of leaf guard required, but for a typical 3 bed semi-detached home the price will be around £200 to £350. There are two main types of leaf or gutter guard sold in the UK, the Gutter Hedgehog which is a brush like device that sits inside the guttering and is very easy to install; and gutter mesh which can often found in local garden centres and DIY stores. The DIY mesh type is quite flimsy, but does keep out leaves and other large debris and is cheaper than the hedgehog design.
If you hire a professional to fit leaf or gutter guards then the first thing they will do is unblock the guttering and rainwater downpipes, then check the underground drains. After clearing the gutters out and making sure drains are clear, the existing gutters are checked for leaks and replaced as necessary. Finally the gutter guard is fitted using clips to hold it in place (the hedgehog type is inserted into the gutter and held in place using coated garden wire).
It depends on the property but as a rule it will take two men around half a day to clear out the gutters and install the Hedgehog type guard, but the mesh type may take slightly longer. This is assuming you are using the mesh or hedgehog type leaf guards, neither of which require roof ties to be moved or adjusted for the installation.

If you choose a system that requires the bottom rows of roof tiles to be removed and refitted, then this will greatly increase costs with additional labour and likely some replacement roof tiles too. There is a poly-net type leaf guard which is becoming more popular and is easy to install with no clips or fixings required, however this is not suitable for areas where pine needles or other smaller debris are the main culprits.
No, but they do greatly reduce the maintenance required. Gutter leaf guards will keep out most but not all of the leaves and debris, so your gutters will still need to be cleaned occasionally.