How to install gutters

Posted by Kevin Leahy on November 29, 2017

As first time home owners, we rarely have a true understanding of how much time and money goes into keeping our homes standing upright. The rain gutters are just one example of an unobtrusive part of the house that doesn’t seem like much until it breaks down. Then you truly appreciate its function in your home.

If your rain gutters are old and starting to break down and not do its job correctly, then it is time to install a new one before the next rainfall leaves a small pond in your basement again. The big question when it comes to home gutter systems is whether to install it yourself or have it installed by a professional company.

Money and time will always play a role in your decision. If you have the time to do it yourself and really don’t have the money to hire a professional installer, then make sure you keep in mind these nine mistakes to avoid with DIY gutter:

Nailing into the Roof

Some gutter guards will require you to nail the system into your roof. We can’t stress enough how bad this is for your roof. This will create damage on your roof and your shingles will no longer do their job at protecting your home properly from the intrusion of water. As soon as you poke a hole in your roof, you will have reduced its effectiveness in maintaining that barrier.

Gutter Materials and Styles

Gutters need not look too industrial and function-oriented. In fact, choosing the right material and shape adds to the house’s curb appeal. Most gutters are made from varying materials such as aluminum, steel, vinyl, and zinc. Each material’s cost varies per linear foot. Here are price estimates to help guide you on material costs.

  • Aluminum: $2-$3 per linear foot
  • Copper: $12-$25
  • Seamless Aluminum: $5-$11
  • Steel: $4-$6
  • Vinyl: $1-$2
  • Zinc: $10-$24
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Below are the different types of gutters you can use for your home.


This gutter has a flat bottom and back. its front usually has a decorative, folded shape that appears as a curve or ogee. It has varying styles and designs in the market. Professional roofing companies can modify the shape of the K-style gutter to suit your roof’s style.

How to Install Gutters on Your Garage

If you don’t already have gutters installed on your attached or detached garage, now’s the time to have them installed. This project is incredibly involved, especially if you’re starting from scratch.  Be sure to plan thoroughly and read up and watch plenty of do-it-yourself videos before attempting to do this on your own.

If you want to save yourself a weekend or longer of your time or the difficulty in attempting to figure out how to install a gutter system on your own, call in the professionals.  There are plenty of local contractors who are practiced and experienced to get this job done in a timely manner.

Getting Started

Before you head to your local hardware store to purchase the required materials, start with some basic planning.  You don’t want to go into this project blind or have to make countless trips to the store, so go easy on yourself by beginning with a basic sketch of your garage.

Step 1: Measure the horizontal length your rain gutters will run.

Step 2: Take note of where you’d like to place your downspout locations.  Each downspout usually requires three elbows, available in either a front or side style.

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Step 3: Count the number of inside and outside corners.

Choose a weekend with nicer weather to complete this project; the last thing you want to be doing is trying to install gutters on your garage in the rain.

When planning out your new gutter system, try to place your downspouts in inconspicuous areas.  Although they’re necessary, downspouts aren’t the most attractive. However, this is where you’ll be redirecting the water away from your house, so make sure they’re clear of any obstacles that may prevent it from doing so.


Purchasing Your Gutters

When you’ve reached the point to purchase your gutters, you’ll find that they’re available in a number of different materials such as aluminum, vinyl, or even copper.  Vinyl is perhaps one of the more common gutters used these days, and one of the most cost effective.  Gutters come in standard sizes, but be sure to get a little extra when it comes to length just in case.

It’s going to be much easier to lay out all of the gutters on the ground first rather than attempting to figure out the placement of the segments on top of a ladder.  Wearing gloves, use a pair of tin snips to cut the gutter segments to their appropriate lengths.

Connect the gutters together with your gutter sealant, rivets and drill. Attach the end gutter caps.  Next, attach the downspout outlet to the fascia with the help of your cordless power drill and do this for each gutter section.  To connect the gutters, on the exterior use connectors and on the interior use your gutter sealant.  This will help prevent leaks.

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Downspouts can be attached with elbows and a few brackets, diverting the water away from the foundation.  You can also employ the use of a splash guard in order to keep the heavy stream of water from eroding your soil and landscaping.

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