How to Install Rain Gutters

Rain gutters and downspouts are designed to divert and carry rainwater away from the foundation of your house, which helps maintain the integrity of the construction. Gutters help prevent soil erosion, damage to siding and basement leaks. It is essential that rain gutters and downspouts are measured, pitched and installed correctly in order to function properly. Gutter installation is a job that many homeowners can tackle on their own with a little effort and the proper tools. Read the article below for instructions on how to install rain gutters.


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    Calculate and purchase at least the total length of gutters needed, as well as the correct number of necessary downspouts and attachment brackets. Rain gutters should be attached to the fascia and run the entire length of the roof, ending with a downspout. If a gutter run will measure longer than 40 feet (12.2 m), the gutter should be positioned to pitch down from the middle, aimed toward a downspout at each end. A fascia bracket will be attached to every other rafter tail, or approximately every 32 inches (81.3 cm).
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    Measure and snap a layout line using a chalk line.
    • Locate the starting point, or highest point, of the gutter run.
    • Mark the point on the fascia, 1.25 inches (3.2 cm) below the roof flashing.
    • Locate the ending point, or the downspout location, of the gutter run.
    • Mark the low end point on the fascia, while calculating the slope of the gutter .25 inches (0.6 cm) for every 10 feet (3.0 m) of length.
    • Snap a chalk line between the two points.
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    Cut the gutters to size. Use a hacksaw, or heavy duty tin snips to cut the gutter at the appropriate measurement.
  4. Image titled Install Rain Gutters Step 4
    Attach the gutter brackets. Brackets will either snap onto the gutters or will be mounted into the face board first, depending on the type of gutters you purchase. Review the manufacturer's recommendations for your type of gutter.
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    Mark the location for the downspout opening on the gutter. Use a jigsaw to cut a square opening at the appropriate place in the gutter.
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    Attach the downspout connector and end cap to the gutter using silicone sealant and short metal screws. An end cap should be used on any open-ended run of gutter.
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    Mount the gutters. A bracket should be mounted to the face board every 18-to-24 inches (61.0 cm). Use a stainless steel lag screw long enough to penetrate the face board at least 2 inches (5.1 cm).
  8. Image titled Install Rain Gutters Step 8
    Attach the downspout to the gutters via the downspout connector. Make sure the tapered end of the downspout is facing down and aimed in the appropriate direction.
  9. Image titled Install Rain Gutters Step 9
    Seal any gutter connection seams with a heavy bead of sealant and allow it to dry overnight.


  • Test the newly installed gutters for leaks and proper water diversion by running a garden hose at the highest point.
  • Insert leaf guards to help prevent gutter clogging if your house or office is located on a densely wooded lot.
  • Repair any fascia rot or eave damage prior to installing gutters.

Things You'll Need

  • Gutters
  • Screwdriver/drill
  • Lag screws
  • Hacksaw
  • Downspouts
  • Fascia brackets
  • Silicone sealant
  • Tin snips
  • Short screws
  • Downspout connectors
  • Chalk line
  • Rain guards
  • End caps
  • Measuring tape

Article Info

Categories: Plumbing Drains Waste and Vents