How to Install Roof Gutters

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Roof gutters, or rain gutters as they are commonly called, come in a variety of styles and types. They are normally installed by professionals; however, it is a project that homeowners can take on themselves. The rain gutters will protect the ground from being eroded and prevent a moat from forming around your home after a heavy rain. This is especially important if you have delicate landscaping below the roof edge. This project should be planned for a weekend when no rain is predicted.

Things You'll Need

  • Rain gutters, downspouts and hardware Ladder Power miter saw Chalk line Drill Hole saw Rivet gun Pop rivets Silicone sealant Strip miter
  • Run a chalk line along the roof fascia. Start at the end opposite the downspout and mark 1 1/4 inches from the drip edge. The line will need to slope down 1/2 inch for every 10 feet of length. Snap the chalk line. If the run is longer than 40 feet, you will want to start your high point in the middle and run down to both ends, installing a downspout at each end.

  • Attach brackets. Look along the fascia for nail heads. This should tell you where the rafter tails are. They are normally every 16 inches. Make a mark on the chalk line on every other rafter tail. Drill 1/2-inch diameter pilot holes on each mark. Attach the fascia brackets with 1/4-inch stainless lag screws. You want them long enough to go into the rafters at least 2 inches.

  • Cut the gutter. Use a power miter saw with a carbide-tipped finish blade to cut the lengths of gutter. If you will be going around a corner, cut at 45-degree angles to fit. If you need more than one piece to complete a length, you can overlap by 8 inches and use pop rivets on the sides of the gutter to connect them.

  • Install end caps. At the ends of the gutter attach end caps by drilling two 1/8-inch holes in each and placing in pop rivets. Cover the inside seams with an outdoor silicone sealant.

  • Mark and cut the downspout hole. Use the outlet on the bottom side of the gutter to mark the hole. Draw a line from the inside of outlet. Cut the hole by using a hole saw the diameter of the hole.

  • Put the gutter into the brackets you installed on the fascia. You will have to slip it up into the hooks at the top, back of the brackets. Drill a 3/16-inch hole through the screw mounting bracket on the front of the fascia bracket and into the gutter. Attach the gutter with 1-inch long stainless machine screws and flanged nuts.

  • If you have corners use a strip miter and cover the joint. Place the strip miter under the joint and attach with four pop rivets on each side. Wrap the outer edge tight by cutting a "V" in the center of the overhang and bending over the lip. Then use silicone sealant to waterproof the joint inside the gutter.

  • Install the downspout. Install the downspout outlet with four pop rivets. Screw an elbow to the outlet tube and hold another elbow against the house. Measure the space between them plus room to connect them and cut a piece of downspout to fit. From that elbow, measure to just above the ground and cut the downspout. Use pliers to crimp the elbow to fit inside the downspout. Fasten the elbows to the downspout with pop rivets. Install two brackets to secure the downspout to the house.

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  • Photo Credit jade
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