8 Easy Steps for Gutter Installation
If you’re a handyman, gutter installation can easily be done by yourself. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you should leave eavestrough installation to the professionals. Below is a 8 step installation plan for the ambitious homeowners looking to take on the project themselves.
How to Install Gutters in 8 Easy Steps
1. Snap Layout Lines
- 1 ¼ inch below the metal drip-edge flashing, mark the highest point of the gutter run on the fascia (on the extra-wide fascia, the gutter is lower down).
- Mark the low end of the gutter run at the opposite end of the fascia (or at the downspout location if there is one in the middle of the run), keeping in mind that the slope should be approximately 12 inches for every 10 feet of run.
- Snap a chalk line between the two marks.
2. Attach Fascia Brackets
- Find the rafter tails behind the fascia; they’re usually separated 16 inches on centre (look for telltale nail heads).
- Make a mark at the chalk line on every other rafter tail.
- At each mark, drill an ⅛-inch-diameter pilot hole through the fascia and into the rafter tail.
- Install fascia brackets with ¼-inch stainless steel lag screws that are long enough to penetrate rafters by 2 inches.
3. Cut Gutter to Length
- Use a hacksaw and aviation snips to cut the gutter section to length, or a 12-inch power miter saw with a carbide-tipped finish blade.
- If the gutter continues around a corner, create the required angle (usually 45 degrees) on that end.
- If the run requires two sections of gutter, overlap them by 8 inches and join them with two rows of four 3/8-inch-long self-tapping stainless steel screws or pop rivets.
4. Attach End Caps
- Attach a spherical end cap to the square-cut end of the gutter with aluminium pop rivets. (If the gutter does not curve around a corner, attach an end cap to each end).
- To do so, temporarily secure the end cap with a single sheet-metal screw, then drill a 1/8-inch-diameter hole and install one pop rivet (above).
- Install a rivet in place of the temporary screw.
- Seal the rivets and the end-cap seam on the inside of the gutter with a high-quality siliconized caulk to ensure a watertight joint.
5. Cut Downspout Holes
- Using a downspout outlet, mark the location of the downspout on the lowest end of the gutter.
- Turn the gutter upside down and place the outlet on top to accomplish this.
- Mark the downspout hole on the gutter by tracing around the inside of the outlet.
- Drill a ¼-inch-diameter hole through the circular outline.
- Turn the gutter over and cut the downspout hole with a drill and a 4-inch-diameter hole saw (You can also cut the hole with a hammer and cold chisel).
6. Install Your Eavestroughs
- Insert the gutter into the lag-screwed brackets on the fascia.
- Rotate the gutter upward until the back edge of the gutter fits into the hooks at the top of the brackets’ backs.
- Drill a 3/16-inch-diameter hole in the front edge of the gutter through the screw-mounting hole in each bracket.
- Finally, secure the gutter to the bracket with a 1-inch-long #8-32 stainless steel machine screw and flanged nut.
7. Form Strip-Miter Joint at Corner
- Cover the joint between two lengths of gutter at each corner with a strip miter — a 3-inch-wide strip of aluminium.
- Wrap the aluminium strip tightly around the gutter’s underside. Fasten it together with eight pop rivets or sheet-metal screws.
- Using snips, cut a triangular section from the top of the strip miter, and then fold the two flaps down around the top edge of the gutter.
- A high-quality siliconized caulk can also be used to make this joint more waterproof.
8. Finally, Connect Downspouts to Gutter
- Four pop rivets or screws should be used to secure the downspout outlet to the gutter.
- Attach a downspout elbow to the outlet tube that protrudes from the gutter.
- Place another elbow against the house and cut a downspout piece to fit between the two elbows.
- To fit the elbow into the downspout, use needlenose pliers to slightly crimp it.
- Fasten the parts together with pop rivets or screws.
Looking at these steps as a none handyman might seem overwhelming. Inspiration for this article was taken from This Old House’s blog about gutter installation so check out their blog post for more info! If you’re looking to hire professional gutter installers then contact our team at A&K Gutter. We’d be happy to help.