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How to Install Gutters: Everything You Need to Know

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

When considering water management outside your house, gutters are a must. It’ll make your life easier!

Still, labor costs for gutter installation can be very high. It’d be almost a miracle if you could install them yourself, right?

Good news; I’m here to make that miracle happen. I’ll teach you the process of installing gutters.

So, how to install gutters?

To start off, attach the end cap to one side of the gutter. Afterward, install the hangers. Then, install the downspout and cut holes in them for water draining. After that, install the other gutters and the corner gutters. Finally, screw all the hangers with the wall to complete the installation.

This is not everything you need to know about the installation. There’s a lot more to know, which you can find by reading the article fully.

Get started here!

Preparations for the Installation of Gutters

Before directly moving on to installing the gutters, a couple of preparations are needed. These preps can actually help make the installation really easy! 

I have discussed the prerequisites for installing gutters below. Read them properly and check you have completed them. It is a vital step! Read along to know them.

Paint the Area behind the Gutter

You must make sure that the area or wall behind the gutter is painted. Additionally, you should also inspect for damages to the wall. If there are damages, they should be fixed before installing the gutters. 

This is a step that very few people are aware of and care about. Any gutter installation manual can easily overlook this step.

Or else, you might need to remove the gutter to fix them afterward! That’s why you should repair your drywall holes and damages as soon as possible. 

You may be planning to paint your wall. In such cases, paint the area behind and under the gutter installation for the future.

Since this is not directly connected to the installation, you may think it’s not needed. But if you try to paint that specific area after the installation, it will be tough.

Or worse, you can even spill paint on your brand new gutters! Hence, to avoid squeezing the paintbrush under the gutter, paint the wall beforehand.

You can also paint the entire wall if you have time! Nowadays, paint spraying is the new hype. You can consider painting using Graco airless paint sprayer.

Buy the Necessary Pieces of equipment

Firstly, you have to buy the gutters. There are 2 types of gutters. Vinyl and aluminum. You can choose any of the 2 types; depending on your budget. 

There are many elements associated with gutters. Here are the list-

  • Gutters (different feet sizes)
  • Downspouts
  • Downspout channels (90-degree)
  • Joint connectors
  • Hanger pieces
  • End caps
  • Elbows (90-degree bends)

On top of these pieces, you will need tools. These tools will help you operate and get the installation going! Here is a list of the tools you will require. 

  • Hacksaw
  • Sharpie
  • Box knife
  • Tin snips
  • Power driller
  • Leveler
  • Caulking
  • Speed square
  • Measuring tape
  • Different types of screws (self-tapping and set screws)

These are all the tools you will need to successfully do a gutter installation. But what about the procedure?

Don’t stress about it. It is as easy as installing outdoor light fixtures outside your home. For you, I have explained the gutter installation process in simple steps in the next segment. 

Give it a good read!

How to Install Gutters?: Step by Step

You are now ready to learn the steps of installing the gutter. Read along!

Step 1: Attach End Cap

For this step, you will need to attach an end cap to one end of the gutter. It is a pretty easy task to do. Firstly, take about 10 feet of gutter pipe.

If you look closely, the end caps should have a foam substance around the edges. It is to help contain the water in the gutters and stop leaking issues. Attach it at one end of the gutter. It should firmly click when it is attached.

After the end cap is attached, you can further strengthen its foundation with screws. Note that this part is totally optional. Screwing in 2 self-tapping screws on the two sides of the end cap will help.

This will basically make the gutter and the end caps one piece. This way, the end caps won’t come off easily. To screw them in, get the power drill, place the self-tapping screw and screw them in.

You can put another layer of caulking around the inside layer for added protection. Apply caulking along the lines of the end caps inside the gutter. Wear some gloves and run your finger, spread the caulking on the outlines. 

Step 2: Install the Hangers

After the end cap is attached, it’s time to install the hangers. Take the hangers and feed the gutter right through the channels on each side.

The flat portion of the hanger should be on the outside of the gutter. Slide the hangers on the gutter. Keep about an 18-20 inches gap between each hanger. You can add extra hangers if you wish.

Some people like to install the hangers after installing the downspouts. It is possible, but it is not recommended. That way, installing the hangers might be way tougher than usual.

Step 3: Install the Downspouts

After the hangers, install the downspouts. Take the downspout and match the flat surface with the gutter. You don’t have to slide the downspout in. You can just attach it from the bottom of the gutter.

The 4 hooks of the downspout should be aligned with the gutter edges. You don’t have to make any cuts. The downspout will adjust to the size of the gutter.

Apply a bit of pressure from the bottom and it should snap right in! Let me tell you, it is quite satisfying to watch. After installing the downspouts, you have to take measurements.

Go outside and temporarily put the gutter up. Locate the downspout hole on the ground. Try to move the downspout and match it with the hole.

Make sure they are in one straight line. Make marks of the downspout with a sharpie; we will need it in the next step.

After that, take the measuring tape. From the downspout to the downspout hole on the ground, measure it.

Whatever measurement you get, add a couple of extra inches with it. Trust me when I say this; you’d have some extra channel instead of coming up short.

Now, mark a spot in the downspout channel according to the measurements. Then use the speed square and draw lines all the way around the tube. Center the spot while drawing the line.

After that, use a hacksaw and cut the connector along the lines. Then, attach the connector from the downspout to the downspout hole. Use a leveler to ensure that the downspout connector is at 90 degrees. 

If you’re trying to buy the top-tier levelers of the market, here are some suggestions for you-

Procedure 1
Procedure 2

By using any of these levelers, you can precisely set angles. They also last really long; so you can consider it as a one-time purchase. 

After using the leveler and ensuring balance, finally, secure the connector with a hanger. Screw the hangers on the wall to stick the gutters on the wall.

Step 4: Cut Holes for the Downspout

It is time to cut some holes now. But first, secure the downspout in its place. You can use two hangers on each side of the downspout. 

Alternatively, you can use two set screws to attach the gutter and the downspout together.

Make sure you’re attaching the downspout in the marking made in the previous step. It should be precise. After attaching the downspouts, put some caulking around the edges, further securing them and preventing leaks.

Then, cut a hole of roughly 4.5 x 2.5 inches on the gutter. Use the box knife to cut through the gutter. The hole should be in the middle of the downspout. It will help the water transfer smoothly.

After that, finally, attach the downspout funnel with the downspout hole on the ground. It should ideally make a ‘T’ shape. The angle will help the water drain out as fast as possible!

Step 5: Install the Other Gutter Tubes

While installing the other gutter tubes, there is one rule to follow. After every 10 feet of gutter, you must drop down half an inch. This will help create a downward slope.

This way, the water can move and go through the drain. You may use your leveler and read the leveler bubble to adjust.

If you’re trying to add another straight piece of gutter, follow step 6 to connect them. The joining of the bent and straight pieces of connectors will follow the same procedure. 

Step 6: Fabricate Corner Gutter Tubes

For any house, you cannot get a straight line of gutter installation. There will be multiple bends along the roof lines. In that case, you will need to fabricate the corner gutter tubes.

To do that, you can use the 90-degree bend and joint connectors. First, take a joint connector. Separate it and you will get two pieces. Take the smaller piece and slide it onto the gutter end. 

The joint connector will stick out a bit. You will use that extended part to attach the 90-degree bend. 

After you attach the bend, attach the second piece on top of the first piece. The second piece will secure the connection of the joint connector and bend. 

Again, you can add some caulking around the edges to further prevent leaks. This step can be used to connect all the pieces of gutters around your house. After you are done with your installation, screw all the hangers on the wall.

And that is about it! You can easily install gutters by following these 6 steps!

A post disclaimer after learning the steps; follow the sequence. Incorrect installation may require you to take off the gutters and reattach them. 

By the sound of it, you know it will be a huge pain! That is why it is important to take your time and go through the process slowly. 

FAQs

How long does PVC guttering last?

Although many people are skeptical about this, PVC gutterings can last up to 20+ years. It may sound a bit absurd, but they can actually last for decades. It has a couple of reasons behind it. One of them is that PVC gutters are associated with advanced formulations. So longevity is maximized that way.

Can you bury the aluminum downspout?

Yes, it is possible to bury the aluminum downspout. The procedure of burying it has some prerequisites. If there are any extensions to the aluminum downspout, it has to be removed. To remove the extensions, one can use a screwdriver. By removing these, new extensions can take place, replacing the old ones.

Which is better: vinyl gutters or aluminum?

Between the vinyl gutters and aluminum gutters, the aluminum ones are better. Aluminum gutters have greater options to choose from. Additionally, they are more strong against adverse weather conditions. On the other hand, unfortunately, vinyl gutters have leakage issues and are prone to irregular weather.

The Final Words

That is all there is to know regarding the procedure of how to install gutters. I hope that you are very clear about the instructions after reading this article!

Be aware of the height during installation. It’s always better to be safe, so use a sturdy ladder.

Wishing you all the best!