Gutter cleaning is one of those dutiful bi-yearly tasks that come with homeownership. To protect your house from water damage, the common recommendation is to clean your gutters at least twice a year to remove leaves and debris, and even more frequently if you live in an area with many trees or high annual rainfall. Now that it’s time for a spring clean-out, which option are you going to choose: to do it yourself, or hire a contractor?

At first glance, it makes sense that it should be cheaper to do it yourself, but there are several reasons it might not be as much of a difference as you’d think. Before you set yourself to this unpleasant task for the sake of saving money, let’s compare the financial costs (and risks) of cleaning those nasty gutters out yourself versus hiring a handyman or gutter contractor.

The Cost of Cleaning Gutters Yourself

Cleaning gutters might be a nasty job, but it’s not technical so many hands-on homeowners choose to tackle the task themselves. What’s the cost? Well, first, the work depends on the size of your home, especially whether it’s one level or two stories. A two-story home not only means more footage of gutters; it means you’ll need a taller ladder.

Second, it depends on what materials you need to purchase. The average extension ladder can be rented for as cheap as $25, but if you need to buy one, it’ll range from $50 to $200 depending on the features and quality you want. Then there’s the cleaning equipment. You can purchase a gutter kit for around $30 that includes all the tools you’ll need. You can also purchase a debris bucket, a trowel or garden spade, and…

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