Compare Cost of Fall Cleanup for Leaf and Debris Removal
Updated: Monday, November 27, 2017
The cost to have yard and leaf cleanup done at your home depends on many factors listed below. In general, an average size, 1/4 acre yard is going to cost around $240-$300, which includes cleaning gutters and removal of all leaves and debris.
Estimated Cost Comparison Table
$0 – $80
Average Cost Estimate
$120 – $280
$240 – $560
||Self / DIY
||Handyman / Landscaper
||Handyman / Landscaper
|Size of Yard
||Up to 1/2 Acre
||Up to 1 Acre
|Amount of Trees / Leaves
||Few / Many
||Bagged or Burned
||Bagged or Removed
||Weekly / Seasonal
||None / Minimal
||Minimal / Average
||Minimal / Average
|Cost of Tools & Supplies
||$0 – $35
|Permits, If Required
Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro | Web Compare | Shared Pricing
Overview of Fall Yard Cleanup
Fall yard cleanup does more than tidy up your property. It protects it too by removing leaves and debris that can lead to problems in your yard or around the house. Here are a few issues that are commonly associated to leaves building up in areas that should be cleaned.
- Stain asphalt shingles, encourage corrosion in metal roofing and rot in wood shingles and shakes.
- Cause water to overflow gutters where it’s a threat to siding, the garage door and your home’s foundation.
- Kill grass and prevents new grass from growing, leaving unsightly bare spots.
- Create a slip-and-fall hazard on decks, stairs and walkways, especially when wet.
Affordable yard cleanup costs compared with the cost of home and landscaping repairs make this an easy decision for homeowners. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
This Costimate explores yard cleanup costs in one-stop fashion: Clearing the roof, cleaning gutters and downspouts, as well as raking and removing leaves from your yard for disposal. Fall is also a good time to trim trees that overhang your roof, especially if any branches make contact with the roof as they are blown back and forth in the breeze, as this can quickly damage all types of roofing. Further down the page we’ll share information provided by both professionals and other homeowners who have completed a fall cleanup, as well as their experience and costs.
Related Cost Estimates
Experienced landscape and lawn maintenance pros quickly size up the job to determine your autumn yard cleanup costs based on these factors:
- Size of Yard – Time, rather than materials and equipment, is the primary factor driving the cost of fall yard cleanup, and the larger the yard, the more time it will take and the higher the cost estimate will be.
- Amount of Debris – This is the second part of the time factor. If you have many and/or large trees in the landscape, there will be more leaves and twigs to clean up, and the estimate will increase.
- Type and Cleanliness of Gutters – Gutters that have been maintained don’t have much small sediment in them, so are easier and cheaper to clean. Costs go up as the amount of debris in gutters does. Here’s a tip if you’re thinking about installing gutter guards – some types, especially “helmet” type guards, make it more difficult to remove the fine debris like seeds and pine needles that eventually get into the gutters. While gutters might need cleaning less frequently, the cost will be higher when they do need to be cleaned and flushed.
- Method of Disposal – You won’t have disposal costs if the leaves can be dumped in the garden to become compost for next year’s vegetables and flowers or if they can be deposited along the curb for pickup by your city or county. If the landscaper hauls them away, loading them into a truck in bulk form is more affordable than bagging them.
- Frequency of Cleanup – If you are fortunate enough to have large trees to shade and beautify your property, one tradeoff might be needing leaf and debris removal two or more times during the “fall” season.
- Obstructions in Yard – Landscapers like clear sailing when removing leaves with a leaf blower or mower equipped with a bagger. When they must work around a shed, garden, pool, pool fencing, yard fencing, and other obstacles, the job takes more time and cost.
- Length of the Grass – It’s difficult to clear leaves from tall grass, so if the grass must be cut as part of the project, the cost of yard cleanup will be slightly higher.
- A Pool Cover – Removing leaves, especially when they’re wet, from a pool cover is slow work and might lead to slightly higher cost estimates.
- Fall Weed and Feed – If the landscape or lawncare company adds fertilizer and weed killer, the cost for the material and application will raise fall cleanup costs accordingly.
- Who Does the Work – Ambitious high school or college students might be more affordable but the least skilled, followed by a handyman service and lawn maintenance service. Professional landscaper rates are usually higher, especially when their services cover winterizing perennial beds and bushes and related skilled work.
- A Minimum Fee – Most landscape companies have a minimum fee to cover the costs of travel to your property and one or two hours of work
Cost of Supplies
Here’s what a collection of tools and equipment cost for doing fall yard cleanup yourself. They also demonstrate the investment landscapers make when outfitting a crew for the work. Commercial-grade equipment prices are two to five times higher than those listed here for power equipment:
- $14-$25 | Leaf rake
- $25-$40 | Brush head with extension pole for removing leaves from roof valleys and other locations they collect
- $15-$50 | Large tarp
- $6-$8 | Set of five 30-gallon lawn and leaf bags
- $40-$85 | Homeowner-quality backpack leaf blower
- $375-$500 |Push-type leaf blower
- $60-$95 | Non-motorized, push-type yard sweeper
- $225-$350 | Non-motorized, pull-behind yard sweeper
- $200-$400 | Push or self-propelled mower with bagger attachment
- $950-$2,000 | Homeowner-grade riding mower with bagger attachment
- $1,000-$1,350 | Gas-powered, pull-behind leave vacuum
- $30-$80 | Fertilizer spreader
- $12-$20 per bag | Fall-blend fertilizer and weed control, 5,000 square feet of coverage per bag
- $85 – $165 | 8′-10’ aluminum or fiberglass step ladder for first-story gutters
- $160 – $270 | 24’ aluminum or fiberglass extension ladder for second-story gutters
Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $0 | No permit is required for lawn maintenance
Related Costs, Fall Cleanup and Leaf Removal Time
How much does yard cleanup cost? Here’s the range of rates most lawncare and landscape services charge based on the cost factors listed above:
- $100-$325 | Minimum fee for small lots
- $100-$250 | Cost per each additional quarter acre
- $50-$125 | Lawn fertilizing per quarter acre depending on the blend used and its coverage
- $0.65-$1.45 per linear foot | Gutter cleaning
Fall Yard Cleanup and Leaf Removal Time Schedule
How long fall yard cleanup takes for a crew of 2 or 3 workers depends on what’s done and the size of the yard:
- +/- 1 hour: Small yards, leaf blowing and debris removal
- 2-4 hours: Larger yards, leaf and debris removal; Smaller yards with additional services
- 3-6 hours: Larger yards when other services are included
- +6 hours: Very large (2+ acres) yards
DIY or Hire a Pro?
Like most homeowners, I do most of my own yard and leaf cleanup. We do make use of a landscaper for things like aeration, reseeding, and other tasks they are better equipped to do, but lawn and leaf cleanup alone is a DIY job for sure. If the gutters are in need of a cleaning, I’m much more likely to pay someone to do both, and save time.
- Be in good health to perform tedious manual labor.
- If you can afford a gas or electric blower, it saves a lot of time.
- Working around fencing obstructions can be a pain if you have a lot of leaves and could otherwise easily blow/remove them into the woods surrounding your property.
Is Leaf Removal and Fall Maintenance a DIY Project? What do You Think?
Leaf and Debris Cleanup Costs from Around the Web
Costs Submitted by Homeowners and Pro’s