GUTTERS

Cleaning your gutters is an inexpensive job.

This is not a favorite job for most homeowners, but it's an important one because cleaning and repairing a gutter system prevents soil erosion and water damage to the siding and foundation. We call it grunt work because it's messy and unpleasant, but it's so inexpensive to do compared to the high cost of water damage. Your reward is knowing every time it rains, your debris-free gutters are hard at work carrying the water away from the house and foundation.

Checking for leaks and needed repair is part of the job that can involve securing sagging gutters or replacing and refastening the straps that hold the gutter and downspouts in place. Patching any leaks at the joints that need to be resealed with caulk is another quick fix.

You can hire a gutter repair service to clean 20 linear feet of gutters on a one-story house and make minor repairs for $131, which includes labor and material. You can do the job in a few hours for $35, the cost of the repair materials, and save 73 percent for your trouble. You'll need a ladder to reach the gutters and a bucket to fill with the debris, so wear rubber gloves. It helps to have a helper on the ground to hold the ladder and empty the bucket. Then flush out the gutters with a garden hose to see that water flows through them and down the downspout, and check for any leaks.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com

Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$131 -- $35 -- 3.3 -- 3.5 -- $96 -- 73 Percent