Adding Gutters and Downspouts to Your Home

Adding gutters and downspouts to your home is a great way to increase the livability and add to the value of your home.

Follow some simple steps to complete this improvement.

Step One – Choose a Gutter Type
You can either choose to have someone manufacture seamless gutters for you, or you can buy your gutter in 10 foot sections at the home improvement store near you.

Seamless gutters are manufactured to fit your home, but require an expensive machine to produce. You can see if a professional would make the gutters without installing them if you want to install yourself.

There are also different styles of gutters, such as the common k-style, the old fashioned half round and the fascia.

Decide on the gutter that fits your needs and budget.

Step Two – Measure
You’ll need to measure for both length of gutter and length of downspout. This is important information for both purchasing materials as well as hanging them.

Make a sketch as you measure so that you can visualize what you need, and also list the pieces and length of gutter you’ll need as well as elbows, downspouts, and end caps.

Step Three  - Mark the Drop
Using a chalk line, mark the line on the eaves where the gutter will hang.  Gutters need a drop of approximately ¼ inch every 10 feet so that the water flow in the gutter goes where is it supposed to and drains the gutters properly.

The simplest way to mark this is to begin at the starting height of the gutter. Using the chalk line, mark a line 10 feet long at that height.

Overlapping that line by about 6”, mark a line that is ¼ inch below the first and extends out 10’ from there. Then it is easy to see where the last bracket on that first length of gutter should be.

Then repeat the process for the second line and so on until you have reached the edge of the roof.

Step Four – Hang the Brackets
If you have chosen half round gutters, you will hang the brackets first. With K-style gutters, for example, you will install the gutter as you install the brackets.

Begin at the highest point on the gutter and install the first brackets. Put the next bracket slightly lower, adjusting them so that the last bracket on a 10 foot section is ¼” lower than the starting bracket.

Bracket hangers should be placed 6 inches from the end of any section, and 18 to 24 inches apart after that. They can be placed farther apart on seamless gutters.

Place any endcaps on the gutters as you snap them into place. If you use gutter sections, be sure to securely fasten them at the seams.

Step Five – Install Downspouts
After you have completed the installation of the gutters and bracket hangers, install the downspouts to the system.

Use elbows as necessary, assure that the downspouts are aligned properly. Place the downspouts in place and secure them with metal screws.