How to Measure for Gutters on a House

William Adkins

Rain gutters are one of the mundane parts of a home no one thinks much about unless they become clogged or need replacing. Gutters do more than just keep rainwater from dousing you. Without them, runoff can eventually damage a home’s foundation through erosion. It’s not difficult to measure gutters for a house.

You do need to be accurate. Keep safety uppermost in mind wherever you must use a ladder while making your measurements..

  1. Determine the length of the wall where gutters are or will be installed by using a measuring tape to find the length of the wall. This method will work anytime there is no eave or overhang that makes the length of the gutter different than that of the wall. It’s also easier and eliminates the need for a ladder.

  2. Place a ladder at one end of any section where you must measure the gutter length directly. Climb the ladder and use masking tape to fasten one end of a length of twine exactly at the corner of the roof. Dismount the ladder and move it to the other end of the section you are measuring.

  3. Roll out the twine along the ground and take the other end (or ball of twine) with you up the ladder. Gently pull the twine taut and use masking tape to mark the point where the twine reaches the roof corner. Dismount the ladder and give the twine a sharp tug to pull it free of the roof. You Measure the twine to find the gutter length.

  4. Adjust your measurements for points where the gutter turns a corner. For inside corners, subtract the width of the gutter to leave room for a box miter (connecting piece). For outside corners, add the width of the gutter since it will extend beyond the length of the wall by that distance.

  5. Add up the measurements to find the total length of gutter you need so you can make a cost estimate. You’ll want to keep a record of the length of each section, however. That way you won’t have to measure again when it comes time to cut and install the new gutters.