Do-It-Yourself Instructions for Installing Rain Gutters

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Guttering is a necessary part of your home and it serves a dual purpose. One purpose is to remove water away from the base of your home's foundation. Water that settles in this area will cause leaks in crawlspaces and basements and can lead to the growth of mold. The other advantage of guttering and downspouts is that you can actually control where rainwater flows. This can reduce lawn erosion. Installing gutters is not a simple job and requires a high level of skill. If you are going to undertake this project it may be a good idea to find some help through family members or friends.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Ladders
  • Chalk line
  • String level and carpenter's level
  • Hacksaw
  • Gutter sections
  • Angles and downspouts
  • Mounting brackets
  • Gutter connectors
  • Power drill and screwdriver bits
  • Rust resistant screws

Preparing for the Project

  • Examine the outside of your house and how it flows into the rest of your landscape. Your primary concern is to have the water run away from your house down natural drainage areas or toward the street.

  • Measure along the edges of your roof adding another couple of feet. Some portions may require cutting so this gives you room to compensate for mistakes or poor measuring.

  • Add the total amount of area your guttering plan will require. Do not forget to add in the lengths for corners or angles. Remember, over measuring can be fixed, under measuring cannot and may lead to more expense.

  • Start by measuring 1/2 inch off of the roof line from the end farthest from your downspout. Go to where the downspout is and mark half an inch down from the roof line. Pull the chalk line and snap it to leave a straight line. Determine how far the distance is between the far edge of the gutter is from the downspout. Remember to lower the gutter toward the downspout 5/8 of an inch for every ten feet of run. This will help the water flow to the downspout. Mark where the end of the gutter will be.

Hanging the Gutters

  • Place your mounting brackets every 24 inches. These attach into the house with large screws. Hang the downspout gutter section first. This is done with galvanized screws to hold the gutter sections into place. Do this wherever you intend to have an angle, corner or downspout.

  • Hang the long, straight lengths of guttering. If you need to make cuts, make sure you measure accurately. These will snap easily into the mounting brackets. Attach lengths of guttering to the downspouts, guttering lengths and corner pieces together with gutter connectors.

  • Use a hacksaw to cut lengths of guttering to make them fit.

  • Caulk all of the joints that are in the gutters. This will prevent leaking.

  • Attach the dropspouts to the downspouts. Screw them into the downspout opening and then attach them to the brackets in the wall of the house. This secures the gutters and will stop them from rattling during heavy ran. Caulk over the screws.

Tips & Warnings

  • This is a two person job. For larger jobs you may want to have scaffolding.

References

  • "Time-Life Books Complete Home Improvement and Renovation Manual;" Bob Vila and Time-Life Books; 1991
  • "Homeowner Basics (Black & Decker Complete Photo Guide);"Jodie Carter, Matthew Palmer, Steve Wilson, and Jerri Farris; 2008
  • "How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding & Maintaining Your Home;" Charlie Wing; 2007
  • Photo Credit ornate roof detail image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com
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