Gutter protection is a booming home improvement niche. It makes financial sense, saving time and labor clearing clogged gutters, is much safer and reduces the risk of damage to the home from uncontrolled water. But it doesn’t come free, and of course you can get systems that you install yourself and save the installation cost. Should you consider DIY gutter protection, if you are a competent home handyman?
First, let’s look at the advantages of DIY protection: Cheaper, but not necessarily by much. Remember, the cheaper brands are also likely to be made of poor quality. You get what you pay for. This is not to say that price should be the sole determinant, excellence in design, functionality and quality manufacturing is far more important considering how long gutter guards are expected to withstand all the variances of Mother Nature. You may possibly do a better job, if you are an expert at this sort of work. But inexperience in the requirements for proper installation of a gutter covering may lead to mistakes which are hard to correct, despite competence in other technical areas.
There is not a great deal to be said for the DIY option, is there?
Let’s look at the advantages of professional gutter protection installation:
First and foremost, Professional installers have the experience and training and know how to install the gutter guards properly. Practice makes perfect. They also know how to handle difficult aspects during the installation and have all necessary materials handy. Quality gutter guard manufactures train their installers properly and stand behind their workmanship. Professionals have all the proper equipment to do the best installation job. Incorrect equipment can result in a poor installation. If the gutter cover doesn’t work properly the company can’t claim that faulty installation caused the problem and they are therefore absolved of responsibility. Either the manufacturer or the installer would be liable.
DIY gutter systems have very limited warranties and it will be difficult to prove any problem is due to defective materials or design rather than defective due to poor installation. The best gutter protection system manufacturers would insist on proper professional installation, to protect their reputation. Professional installation means that safety during installation is not an issue for the homeowner. The risk of injury while working on the gutters is one of the reasons for having gutter covers installed. The installer should carry proper insurance for accidents or liability for any damages to your or other property during the installation. A professional installer has the time to do the install, after all, it’s his job. It also takes less time for a professional than for an inexperienced homeowner.
Any homeowner who is responsible enough to install gutter protection should also not be too cheap to opt for professional installation as well. The small amount of money that can be saved just isn’t worth the significant legal and practical downside incurred. Part of the price includes the cost of all the additional elements of risk involved. Affordability may be a major issue, but what is the point of spending less money on a system which isn’t up to the job or won’t last? Considering the total package and the expected benefits, professional gutter protection is really the only way to go after thoughtful weighing of the pros and cons.