A DIY Guide to Rain Gutter Installation

DIY Guide Home Improvement

Rain gutters are an important outside element of a house. Without them, rainwater will collect and seep into the dirt surrounding a house leading to soil erosion, foundation leakage, and dirt splashing up onto the sides of the house.

Many times homeowners call professionals to install rain gutters, but proper DIY rain gutter installation isn’t impossible. Here are some steps to get DIY rain gutters properly installed along with some hints and tips about what materials are needed and where to buy them.

Before starting, it’s important to know what tools you may need for the project. For rain gutter installation, you should have a hacksaw or miter saw for cutting gutters and downspouts to length, snips to trim up edges on the gutters, an assortment of twist drill bit sizes, needlenose pliers, tape measure, levels, and a ladder. If you need any help in choosing a drill then you should try Impact Driver Guide that will guide you through the different types of drills that are there in the market so that you can choose one that is suitable for your restoration projects.

Now that you have the tools, you need the supplies. These supplies can be found at most major home improvement centers, such as Lowe’s and Menard’s. Gutter sections, gutter joiners, gutter brackets, downspouts, downspout outlets, elbows, and brackets, end caps, and stainless steel screws.

When buying your supplies, keep in mind that not all manufacturers of gutters have exact-fitting components. It’d be best to save yourself some time and buy all your gutter components from one manufacturer

Using the tape measure, measure the sides of the house where gutters will be installed. Gutter pieces are normally preferred as a gutter section or trough and are generally sold in 10 feet increments. Joiners are used to connect sections together when there is the necessity to have a section longer than 10 feet in length.

For multi-level homes, map out a way in which the rainwater will flow from the higher levels onto the lower levels and then through the gutter system. Also, figure in how many sections of 10-foot gutters you will need. If the total measurement of the home came to 85 feet, you will need nine sections, which equals 90 feet. Depending on where you need more than a 10-foot section determines how many joiners you will need. If the front of the house measures 40 feet, then you need two joiners and two end caps: an end cap for each end and two joiners in the middle. Using this model, calculate how many joiners and end caps you will need for the home.

Also, count how many downspouts you will need. There are two different styles to choose from, a fixed elbow style and a flex elbow style. The downspouts attach to the gutter section and allow rainwater to flow through the downspouts once the elbows are affixed to the downspouts. Downspout piping is measured from the elbow to near the ground. If more than one section of downspout piping is needed, make sure to insert each piping inside each other following the flow of the water. A helpful hint is to make sure that for every eight feet of downspout piping, there should be at least one downspout strap on the side of the house. This will ensure that the downspout stays put. Rainfall can be pretty forceful. You wouldn’t want to run out in a rainstorm and have to fix your downspout.

Hangars or brackets vary by manufacturer. Some mount on the inside, some on the outside and others through the face of the gutter section. Choose a method based on your own preference. No matter which way the brackets are mounted, they should be placed every 18 to 24 inches.

When hanging the gutter sections, make sure there is a slight slope towards the downspout drop outlet. A suggested slope angle is a quarter-inch for every 10 feet. You can use a laser level or a chalk line to map out the slope on the overhang.


Now climb on that ladder, it’s time to start installing hangars. Follow your line and install the hangers according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Make sure you’re using galvanized, stainless steel, or any type of rust-resistant screw. Snap the gutter sections into the hangers and then join any sections that you may need with the joiners. Many manufacturers have specifications regarding this procedure as well. Diy rain gutter installers will find the various manufacturer specifications frustrating. This is also another reason to buy all components from the same manufacturer, but if it’s done right, you probably won’t have to install gutters again, so read carefully.

Once gutter sections, joiners, and outlets are in place, install the downspout elbows to the bottom of the outlets making sure to securely fasten the downspout to the side of the home (again, hope you read those manufacturer’s specifications). Remember the hint from earlier and install downspout brackets for every eight feet of downspout piping.

Once you’re almost to the ground, attach another downspout elbow at the end and a short section of downspout piping to direct the water flow away from the house. Stand back and enjoy your DIY rain gutter installation.