Do-It-Yourself Installation of Gutters

Rain gutters play an important role in protecting your home.

Rain gutters carry water away from your home.Rain gutters carry water away from your home.
They channel snow melt and rainwater that runs off your roof into a downspout and away from your home's foundation. This prevents water from dripping straight off the edge of the roof and collecting next in the ground next to your home, where it can leak into your basement and damage your foundation. Installing rain gutters can help save you money in the long term.

Hammer a nail about halfway into the fascia about 1 1/4 inches beneath the flashing on the high end of the gutter. The fascia is the flat board that covers the rafters beneath the roof.

Go to the other end of the house where the gutter is being installed, and hammer another nail into the fascia to mark the low point of the gutter. Slope the gutter about 1/2 inch for every 10 feet of length. For example, if the gutter will be 30 feet long, the lower nail will be about 1 1/2 inches below the higher nail.

Snap a chalk line between the two nails.

Locate the spots where the rafters are nailed to the fascia (look for nails in the fascia every 16 inches). Mark these locations along the chalk line on every other rafter.

Drill a 1/2-inch-deep pilot hole into the fascia at every mark along the chalk line.

Connect fascia brackets to the fascia by driving 1/4-inch stainless steel lag screws into the pilot holes. If you're having trouble doing this, rub soap on the lag screws to help provide lubrication.

Measure and cut the gutter to fit the length that you need. If the gutter is shorter than the length needed, overlap two pieces of gutter by 8 inches and join them together with pop rivets. If sections of the gutter will wrap around the side of the house, cut the ends at a 45-degree angle.

Connect the end cap to the end of the gutter by placing poop rivets 1 inch apart. Insert the tube of silicone caulk into the caulking gun with the tube nozzle pointing away from the trigger. Apply a thick bead of silicone caulk along the joint between the gutter and end cap on the inside of the gutter to prevent leaks.

Turn the gutter upside-down. Hold a downspout outlet near the end of the gutter that will be the low end. Trace the outlet onto the gutter.

Drill a hole into the center of the circle with a 1/4-inch drill bit.

Turn the gutter over and drill a hole into the gutter with a 4-inch hole saw, using the 1/4-inch hole as a guide.

Insert the downspout outlet into the hole and attach it to the gutter with four pop rivets around the edge. Apply a thick bead of silicone around the edge of the downspout outlet.

Slide the gutter onto the brackets sticking out of the fascia. Rotate the gutter up until the back edge of the gutter catches the hooks on the back of the brackets.

Drill a hole in the front of the gutter with a 3/16-inch drill bit. Drill through the screw mounting hole in the bracket.

Connect the gutter to the brackets with 1-inch-long No. 8-32 stainless steel machine screws and flanged nuts.

Wrap a strip miter under each joint along the length of the gutter and secure it to the gutter with eight pop rivets.

Connect a downspout elbow to the outlet tube coming out of the gutter. Place another downspout on the ground directly underneath the one connected to the gutter. Measure the distance between the two and cut a piece of downspout to fit the length between the two downspout elbows.

Crimp the edges of the downspout elbows slightly inward with needle-nose pliers so the elbows will fit inside the downspout tube.

Connect the downspout to the downspout elbows with screws or pop rivets.

Things You Will Need

  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Tape measure
  • Ladder
  • Chalk line
  • Drill
  • Fascia brackets
  • 1/4-inch stainless-steel lag screws
  • Soap
  • Gutter
  • Saw
  • Pop rivets
  • Pop rivet gun
  • End caps
  • Silicone caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Downspout outlets
  • 4-inch hole-saw blade
  • Stainless steel machine screws, 1-inch-long No. 8-32, and flanged nuts
  • Strip miters
  • Downspout elbows
  • Downspouts
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • PVC pipe
  • Rain barrel

Tips

  • Connect a length of PVC pipe to the end of the downspout to help carry water away from your home.
  • Place a rain barrel at the end of the downspout. This can prevent runoff and provide you with water to water your plants.

About the Author

Carson Barrett began writing professionally in 2009. He has been published on various websites. Barrett is currently attending Bucks County Community College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in sports management.