I woke up to a 54 degree bedroom around 10 and by 10:30 was layered up with my flannel-lined Duluth Trading Company fire hose work pants and smart wool long underwear trying to extend a ladder up to the front gutter. I scored 60 gutter guards for free (after rebate) a few weeks ago at Menards and decided it would be good to take a day out of painting and window scraping and devote it to putting them up before the leaves start to fall.
According to Consumer Reports, DIY gutter guards rated better than the professional models that rely on surface tension and cost about 20x more per foot. The type of guards I ended up with weren't my first choice of guards though. The best ones according to CR seem to be the mesh ones that have an arched shape (which would be visible from the ground). After installing mine, the arched mesh model would probably also be the simplest to install. But free is free so I'm happy.
For every ladder placement I could put 2 of these 3-foot gutter guards on. The front half of them pinch onto the lip of the gutter. The back edge sits between the drip edge and the shingles. They were pretty easy to put on as long as the gutter wasn't too close or too far from the edge of the shingles. I just slid them under the shingles, slid them over into place, and then brought them straight out to the lip of the gutter to be snapped on. Sometimes when the gap was large, they would fall out. I solved this problem by taking a section and cutting it in half lengthwise, sliding it under the shingles, and then resting the full sized piece of gutter guard on top of it. This seemed to be a pretty good solution. I hope this trick works after they're exposed to our Michigan weather.
On the corner pieces, I measured and trimmed the correct length and then cut it at a 45 degree angle for clean corners. I used my trusty tin snips to trim off the snap-on edge wherever it overlapped a connector because they wouldn't fit over the wider lip.
I did about half the job by myself. My dad must've gotten bored at home because he decided to come over and help. It was nice to have someone be able to get things and help move the heavy fiberglass ladders. Helper bonus: he tripped on a stump next to an old fence post so he got kind of angry at it and cut it out!
We'll see how these guards hold up over time!