Whether you're installing your new gutter guards yourself or hiring workers to do it, the first step will be cleaning out any existing debris in your gutters and making sure that they're working properly. In our experience, the only way to know for certain that your gutters are working right is to test them with water, and that means taking the garden hose up to the roof and running water through the gutters. During this stage, you should also check for any leaks that will keep water from making it to the downspout.
Before ordering gutter guards, you'll of course want to measure the length of the gutters on your home. Although we're sure that you're pretty handy with a tape measure, we recommend measuring twice -- just to be sure. If you end up ordering a gutter guard that's slightly too long for your gutters, you'll probably need to cut it so that it fits perfectly. Depending on the type of gutter guard you choose and the material it's made from, you'll need a circular saw, a chop saw or metal snips to cut it.
You'll also want to gather all of the tools needed to install the gutter guards. If you choose one of the simpler designs that fit inside your gutters, you won't even need to crack your toolbox. But gutter guards that fit over the top of your gutters often require screws, nails or pop rivets to hold them in place, so if you're using one of those designs you'll likely need a power drill and a screwdriver. Each design is slightly different, so check with the manufacturer to see how they're attached.