Ten Steps to Proper Gutter Installation
Without rain gutters, the foundation of your home is vulnerable. Without
gutters to protect your home, rain can deteriorate the foundation,
seep into basements and cellars, and cause problems with your
siding or clapboard.
How to Install Rain Gutters
Most rain gutters are professionally installed, but you might
need to replace a section on your own. Here's how to do just
- Measure the area very carefully before
purchasing gutters. A rain gutter that's too long can always be
trimmed down, but a gutter that's too small can be a problem.
- Check the fascia for signs of rot or insect
damage. If everything looks fine, use a chalk line to mark the area
where you will hang the gutter. The gutter should slope 1/2 inch
per every ten feet of run.
- Locate the rafter tails behind the fascia.
They're usually spaced 16 inches apart. Fasten the fascia brackets
to the rafter tails with screws long enough to penetrate the
- Measure the gutter again, and, this time, cut
it to size. You can use a hacksaw, aviation snips, or power saw
with a carbide-tipped blade.
- At the end of the gutter, add the spherical
end cap with pop rivets. Make sure to put the rivets on the side of
the gutter, never in the bottom. Seal the joint with high-quality
caulk to prevent water seeping through the gutter seam.
- Using a four-inch diameter hole saw, measure and
cut the holes for the downspouts.
- Lay the gutter into the brackets and rotate it
gently until the back of the gutter slips into the hooks on the
brackets. Secure the gutter to the brackets with screws.
- Secure the downspout outlet and elbow to the
gutter with rivets. Crimp the edges of the downspout to fit into
the elbow. Use one downspout bracket for a one-story house and
three downspout brackets for a two-story house.
- When you're done with the installation, wait
for the rain! Walk around your house and watch the rain flowing
down the gutters. If you see water going anywhere it shouldn't,
check all of your work as soon as the rain stops.
- When you're satisfied with your work on the rain gutters, paint or spray-paint them to
match or contrast with the trim on your home. Make sure the
downspouts are firmly placed at the ground and pointing away from
your home's foundation.
Follow these ten steps to properly install your rain gutters,
and you can rest easy knowing the rain, rain WILL go away.
About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a
journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real
estate. Her current home was built in 1901, so home repair and
renovation have become her necessary hobbies.
Check out some of these popular projects in the Seattle area: