Seamless gutters and leaf/debris protection

Our house does not have any gutters at all, and we've decided to get them. We want seamless, with some type of leaf protection system. We've had 5 local places come out and give us estimates. We've narrowed it down to probably either the LeafGuard system, Gutter Helmet, or GutterGuardian. Would appreciate any input on any/all of them. We don't want to "cut corners" and want a good, quality product that will enhance the value of our home and look good and do what it's supposed to. We have a large oak tree on one corner of the house, and we have a couple pine trees in the back, so figure on oak and pine debris. We live in Michigan, so also have to think of winter ice/snow buildup also.
Some info:
LeafGuard system: use .032" aluminum 5" gutters with 3x4" commercial size downspouts. Gutter and leaf guard is a one-piece system, no seams except at mitered corners (we have 1). Quoted us $2059.55 including all "discounts" (price with no discounts was $2,423). Discounts are for things such as: allowing them to place a sign in our yard, install at their discretion (currently running about 2-3 weeks out), prepayment at time of order, and 50% labor special they currently have. No biggie - we can deal with all of that. Since we'd be paying with a credit card, I don't mind prepayment as we could always contest the charge if for some reason they didn't do it or did a crappy job). They have a lifetime, transferable warranty. Their system does NOT go underneath any shingles, therefore any shingle warranty is protected. They included a facia support in the quote because the facia on our house is "stepped", and this would provide more support behind the gutter.
Gutter Helmet of Michigan: use .032" aluminum 5" gutters with standard 2x3" downspouts. The gutters are a one-piece seamless system, except at mitered corners, and the helmets are in 5' sections. Quoted us $3,720.82 with all "discounts" (price without discounts was $5,104). Discounts are for: 10% ad special, Volume discount of another 10%, 1st visit discount of 10%, and cash/credit card payment discount of 3.5%. Since we'd be getting both gutters AND the helmets, it comes with a lifetime transferable warranty. Their system goes underneath the 2nd row of shingles, but they have letters from the various shingle manufacturers stating that if properly installed, the Gutter Helment system would NOT void any shingle warranty. If we needed to re-shingle our roof, they would charge $2/foot ($200 in our case) to take down the system and put it back up. Neither we nor the shingle installers can remove the gutter system. Don't really like that part of the deal. They did NOT include any facia support; he didn't think it was necessary.
GutterGuardian: use .032" aluminum 5" gutters with standard 2x3" downspouts. The gutters are one-piece seamless system, except at mitered corner. I'm not sure about the gutter protection system, as the quote does not state whether it's seamless or not - I would guess that it comes in 5' sections like Gutter Helmet does, since LeafGuard touts itself as being "the only one-piece debris shedding gutter system on the market today.". Quoted us $1,919 for everything, gutters and protection system. Comes with a 20-year guarantee. Does not say if it's transferable if we sell the house. Their system goes under the 2nd row of shingles also. They provided no mention of whether or not the shingle warranty would be protected. They did include a facia support to go between the stepped-back facia and the gutters.
Please reply with any comments on ANY/ALL of these systems. Thanks!
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AJDupree wrote:

Don't have any of these but my BIL has LeafGuard or similar and it works except on one inside corner (hip roof) with strong downpour. Biggest drawback is bees & wasps love to make nests inside them and you can't effectively spray inside the gutter.
The inside corner problem could probably be handled with something like this but he never tried it. http://www.rainhandler.com/RVRD.html
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No experience with any of them, but I'd toss this one out. May be good, but very high price. They want to dazzle you with a huge "discount".
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IG2 is the only one I've seen that does not clog up (in Chicago, anyway), I use this on my own buildings when gutters are in a location that makes them difficult to service.
http://www.swistun.com/invisiguard.asp
Local manufacturer, don't know if they have national distribution.
Even this stuff does need to be hosed clean yearly in a few shelterd locations where it's not swept clean by the wind.
Michael Thomas Paragon Home Inspection, LLC Chicago, IL mdtATparagoninspectsDOTcom eight47-721-0776
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We have the type of gutter covers where the cover has 2 or 3 "steps" to keep debris away. Under each "step" the water goes in and into the gutter. We love the system. Sorry, I don't know the brand name. I can't say about the price. It was all included - new roof, new gutters, new fascia.(roughly 7k+). We have a lot of roof area.
Here are a couple of sites where the photos look similar to what we have:
http://www.b4ubuild.com/special/gutters/gutrgrd2.shtml - the 2nd pic down, the one split in half brown and white.
http://www.water-fall.cc /
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strongly recommend AGAINST getting leaf guard. I spent approx $1800 to have them installed on my new house while the gutters were put up, and they were a disaster. Every corner/angle was left wide open and birds nested in many places. Repeated calls to gutter installer proved useless so i contacted leaf guard corporate, who said that they would send, at their cost, another company to come and fix the problems.
no one ever came. repeated calls to leaf guard just got me the promise time and again. but no installer ever called or came.
this year i pulled them all off and trashed them. I have the birds nests to prove it. $1800 lesson.
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mike_0 snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in

Guess it all depends if you have a good installer. I'm happy, you're not. Mine was good from the beginning. We have tons of leaves from trees very close to the house. Nothing goes in the gutters except rain.
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well, you may be happy, but you don't know what brand you have.
Leaf Guard is only sold to authorized installers. Therefore, when an installer does a poor job, and won't return phone calls, I expect the corporation to rectify the situation. They ran me around and did nothing. I figured the OP would like to know about that.
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mike_0_007, may I ask where are you located?
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I don't know what to do now. The more I research LeafGuard and GutterHelmet-type systems on the internet, the more discussion threads I see where people didn't like them, or still had problems with clogs, or bird nests, etc.
I wonder if we'd just be better of just getting gutters (we only have 100' worth to install) and then maybe a screening material that pops in and out. It's all 1-story, so would be easy to access for cleaning when necessary. And it'd save about $1500 in cost, too.
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AJDupree wrote:

$1,500 divided by $50 for someone else to clean them = 30 years of clean gutters. And that is if you don't put the $1,500 in the bank.
Now you're on the right track.
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RayV wrote:

To the OP...listen to this guy. I had some dude come out to do 68' of gutter and the douche quoted me $1500. I could pay a company $100/year to come out and clean the gutters and it would take 15yrs before I started going negative.
Screw that nonsense. Don't waste your time with that gutter guard stuff..the prices are ridiculous.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Take your $1500 (actually $1400) and put it in a bank at 5% interest and you'll be good for 26 years. If you can squeeze out 7% interest you're good for the next 60 years. ;-)

...if you can hire someone for $100 a year to do the work.
--
Keith

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I've got trees all over. Giant cottonwood to the east, two silver maples to the north, ash to the south. And those are just the ones the hang directly over my house! I use plastic screens. They pop in real easy and keep most of the junk out. However, the maples grow these disgusting buds ever spring, and they slip through, and every few years the ash drops a big pile of sliver shaped seeds that also get through. So, at least once a year I pull out the screens and clean by hand. But unless you have that kind of small debric that can slip through, you may be able to just put in the screens and be done with it. They're really cheap too.

You should be able to find someone to clean your gutters for that or less.
S
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snipped-for-privacy@nomospam.com says...

I only have a sugar maple over the garage, though something has plugged up the leader from the main roof down to the garage gutter. The back of the house only has gutters by the family room. The back of the house roof (shed dormer) doesn't have gutters because the roof doesn't have enough pitch and I'm worried more about ice dams than run off.

I highly doubt it here. Most wouldn't bother to show up for a job ten times that.
--
Keith

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says...

I know! I just don't understand where these cheap prices come from. (as to hiring out for a gutter cleaning person).
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AJDupree wrote:

central mass.
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I can guarantee you that statement is not accurate. No gutter protection on the market keeps ALL debris out. I've seen them all. The REAL question is, how difficult will it be to clean the gutters once there is a significant accumulation of debris?!!
I recommend Steelco gutter screens. Very effective with large debris, and extremely easy to spray out the small stuff with a water hose (about every two or three years, in my case).
http://gutterscreen.net
In a previous posting, Usenet was endowed with the following text from

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I was going to get them until I checked with some friends and neighbors who had. They work great until they get wasp and hornet nest in them and even bees. The eves at my house are only about 10ft off the ground to I can clean the regular gutters using my pickup as a movable scaffold. I do have some hardware cloth across the top to keep the leaves out. This just snaps out if I have to but usually no problem, usually just sweep them off with a broom . I usally only clean them about twice a year in the fall and winter when the leaves are falling.From what I have seen/heard problems with regular gutters are usually simple to take care of. Problems with the capped gutteers may occur less often but they are more serious and costly to fix.. I also got rid of my downspouts. During a storm a treel imb hit a couple of them so I took them off until I could fix them. The first thing my wife noticed was how much better the house looked with out them. I had heard of rain chains before so a little research pointed me to sites that sold them for about $100 a chain. I sprayed some galvanised chain brown so it matched the brick and hung them from pieces of rebar in the gutters. Wife and daughter have been having funplaying with the water runoff putting the ends of the chains in pots and barrels and making water falls. The $100 ones are neat if you arent che..er thrifty like me. They have flipping buckets and water wheels and all kinds of flipppy spinny crap on them.
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