How to Install Gutters

There are some people who don’t have any qualms about calling a contractor to handle a home improvement project. But there are other intrepid souls who prefer to do everything themselves. They see each complex DIY job as a challenge, and view each completed project as a trophy that signifies their handyman prowess.

These do-it-yourselfers will undoubtedly choose to install their own gutters instead of farming out the work to a contracting company. So for these individuals, here is an easy ten-step guide to hanging your own gutters.

  1. Before you lift a tool, you have to plan your project. Measure the sides of your home where the gutters will be running so you know how much guttering to purchase. Then make a map of the outside of your home with all of the appropriate dimensions.

To-Scale Map of Your Home
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  1. For rooflines longer than 35 feet, the gutters will slope from the center toward each end. For shorter rooflines, the gutters will simply slope from one end to the other. Measure your rooflines and determine the high point of each gutter run, and also figure out where your downspouts will be.

Measuring Your Roofline
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  1. Snap a chalk line away from each high point that slopes one-quarter inch for every ten feet of gutter length. This will ensure that runoff water will flow downhill to your downspouts.

Using a Chalk Line to Hang Gutters
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  1. Install your downspout outlets by attaching them to the fascia with 1 1/4-inch deck screws. Make sure these outlets are affixed at the low points of your chalk lines.

Attaching Downspout Outlets
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  1. Using the same size deck screws, attach one gutter hanger to the fascia every two feet along your chalk line.

Attaching a Gutter Hanger to the Fascia
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  1. Lay your gutters in your yard in an approximate shape of how they will be hung on your house. If you need to cut gutter sections to fit your home, use tin snips or a hacksaw and then use a file to soften the edges. Snap on any endcaps to corner sections where no downspouts are present and apply sealant to prevent leaks.

Cutting a Gutter Section
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  1. Start by snapping in the downspout sections and work outward from there. Hang the gutter sections on the hangers, making sure each section fits together neatly (use sealant if necessary).

Hanging Gutter Sections on the Hangers
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  1. Attach an elbow joint to each downspout outlet and run a length of drainpipe until it reaches the outside wall of your home. Then install another elbow and run more pipe down the wall and stop it a few inches above the ground. Then put another elbow on the bottom end of the drainpipe.

Installing Elbows
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  1. Fasten the pipe to the wall using two anchors: one near the bottom of the pipe and another just below the elbow at the wall.

Hammering in Anchors
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  1. After you have installed your gutters, you may want to consider purchasing gutter covers like Gutter Helmet® to keep debris from clogging up your gutters.

Gutter Covers from Gutter Helmet®

As you can see, it is best to have at least two people installing gutters to make the project progress more smoothly. But with a little patience and a can-do attitude, anyone can hang their own gutters and protect their home’s foundation from damaging runoff water.