Updated Jan 10, 2023
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Home renovations are a time-consuming but necessary process if you’re a homeowner. You’ll be faced with choosing between DIY repairs and hiring a professional for any given job. Properly-installed, functional gutters and gutter guards will pay substantial short- and long-term dividends. No matter where you live, a gutter system will be needed at some point to drain water away from your home and foundation. We’ve got you covered if you’re opting for the DIY route.
If you haven’t taken on a project like this in the past, it can all seem overwhelming. However, the list of tools you’ll need is relatively basic. Temporary rental of specific power tools, such as the miter saw, are available from most home improvement stores.
You’ll want to buy about 10% to 15% more than you think you’ll need when purchasing materials. For any project to go smoothly, providing some insurance for mistakes is necessary.
Follow this step-by-step guide to effectively complete your DIY gutter installation.
This step is pretty simple but is important to get right. You can get a basic idea of how much you’ll need in the way of materials by pacing out or measuring your home’s footprint (outer perimeter).
Keep in mind that gutter and downspout sections are sold in ten-foot lengths. You should plan for six to eight inches of overlap at each joint. For example, if you have a 20-foot section of gutter to install on a given side of your home, two ten-foot lengths of material will not be sufficient. The same applies to downspouts.
Assume that each joint and downspout outlet will require the following:
Each corner of your gutter system will require:
Once you’ve measured your home and purchased the necessary materials, you’ll be ready to begin actual preparations for your gutter installation. The first step is to mark your gutter line on your fascia boards. Check your fascia for any damage or rot before installing new gutters.
When lining up your gutters, do the following:
After your gutter system route has been effectively plotted out, you should attach your mounting brackets to your fascia boards.
This step will require the most attention to detail overall. Measure out exactly how many linear feet of gutter you need while accounting for overlap and excess material needed on your corners (at least six inches per end, per corner). Using your miter saw, cut your lengths of gutter to size.
The ends of the gutter sections will each have an end cap affixed with either pop rivets or self-tapping screws. You’ll need four of whichever one you’ve elected to use. Use your silicone glue to seal around the edges and around the rivet or screw holes.
Joining sections with silicone glue and with your rivets or screws will also be necessary here. Gutter sealant is necessary for any non-seamless gutter and will reduce maintenance costs in the coming years.
If yours is a standard house and floorplan, then you’ll be adding downspouts at the corners of your home. If not, you’ll be drilling these every 30 to 40 feet. Downspout location should coincide with the low points that you measured in step two.
Now that your downspout holes are cut and your gutter sections are solidly together, you can begin hanging your gutters onto your brackets.
Here, you’ll be joining and sealing your corners using strip miter joints. These are three to four-inch-wide strips of aluminum that slip over both sides of each corner. See this video for a complete guide on installing strip miter joints:
Your final step will be to ensure proper drainage down the side of your home and away from the foundation.
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After your core gutter system has been installed, you can opt for some add-ons. While not necessary, the following are among the most popular:
This is a question that any homeowner is well-acquainted with. During the lead-up to any project, you’re sure to weigh the cost/benefit ratio of doing things yourself. When it comes to gutters, hiring the right help comes with a few benefits, including:
Most two-story homes would be better tended to by a professional. Ladder injuries at such heights are worth considering, as they can seriously hamper the quality of life going forward. Similarly, if you think you would prefer a one-piece gutter system, the DIY route won’t be an option.
Gutters may not be an oft-thought about component of your home, but they are essential for any area that experiences rainfall. Channeling rainwater away from your home will prevent erosion to existing landscaping, reduce the chances of foundation rot and basement flooding, and will protect your eaves and roof from water damage. These issues can seriously affect your quality of life within your home and be far more expensive to fix than the cost of simply installing gutters.
Properly installed and cared-for gutters can last decades. If you install quality gutter guards, you’ll reduce maintenance costs and time and ensure that your gutters last as long as they should.
We at House Method will typically recommend hiring a professional gutter installer over staging a DIY project. That said, installing gutters on your own is a fairly straightforward project and is a viable option for many homes and homeowners. If you follow the steps outlined above properly and purchase quality materials, you’ll be able to install your gutters without much trouble.
As is the case with any project like this, careful planning and precise measurements are key. As long as you take your time measuring, cutting, and observing proper power tools and ladder safety, your new gutters will turn out well.
This is the gap between your fascia and the actual roof planking. Your shingles will cover this from the outside, but a couple of inches of clearance will sometimes allow for some moisture or pests to get into your attic. You can install galvanized flashing before placing your actual gutters to prevent this.
They are extremely similar substances but are not quite the same thing. Silicone glue is ideal for gutter projects because of its consistency when dry. It is relatively pliable and flexible once it has dried in place in a gutter joint or overlapped. It can expand or contract with temperature changes rather than drying out and wearing over time.
If you live in an area with more moderate rainfall, then PVC or vinyl gutters will work well for you. Aside from that, they are the cheapest option for most gutter systems. These can last ten to 20 years when properly installed and cared for, which makes them a good choice for many.
Here, we’ve broken down our rating methodology for gutter guards. You should know that we’ve taken the utmost care to provide the most up-to-date information and to ensure that you make the best choice for your budgetary and home maintenance needs.
At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. We’ve done the homework for you and have researched over 50 gutter guards so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each gutter guard and gutter guard provider company according to our gutter ranking methodology.
We also dug into the details of each gutter guard to ensure that you could make the best decisions for your home and keep your gutters debris-free for years to come.
To make the most of our research, we developed a formula to objectively determine the best gutter guards based on the following criteria:
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