How to Install a Rain Gutter

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on February 22, 2016

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This Old House general contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner install a rain gutter, downspout, and rain barrel. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for Installing a Rain Gutter:
– Aluminum gutter
– Aluminum downspout
– Aluminum elbows, end caps, mounting straps, and downspout outlet
– Gutter hanging brackets, for securing the gutter to the house
– Sheet metal screws, used to fasten together the gutter and downspout parts
– Gutter sealant, for creating waterproof connections between gutter parts
– Two 2-inch-thick concrete pavers, used to create a solid base for the rain barrel
– Rain barrel and diverter, used to collect rainwater

Tools List for Installing a Rain Gutter:
– Chalk line
– Tape measure
– Drill/driver
– Level
– Caulk gun
– Crimping tool
– Hacksaw and tin snips
– Hammer and cold chisel (or hole saw), used to cut a hole in the gutter
– Ladder

Steps for Installing a Rain Gutter:
1. Snap a chalk line across the fascia, creating the proper pitch toward the downspout end.
2. Measure the fascia to determine the length of the gutter.
3. Apply gutter sealant to an end cap, then press the cap onto one end of the gutter.
4. Secure the end cap to the gutter with a crimping tool.
5. Use a hacksaw and tin snips to cut the gutter to length.
6. Use a hammer and a cold chisel (or a hole saw) to cut a round hole in the gutter for a downspout outlet.
7. Apply gutter sealant to the flange of the downspout outlet, then screw the outlet to the hole in the gutter.
8. Temporarily screw the gutter to the fascia, positioning it about 2 inches below the chalk line.
9. Install hanging brackets onto the gutter, positioning one in front of each rafter.
10. Raise the gutter to the chalk line and fasten each hanging bracket by screwing through the fascia and into the rafter tail.
11. Set two 2-inch-thick concrete pavers on the ground directly below the downspout outlet.
12. Set a rain barrel on top of the concrete pavers.
13. Use a hacksaw to cut and assemble the downspout and elbows.
14. Screw the upper end of the downspout to the downspout outlet protruding from the gutter.
15. Fasten the downspout to the house with mounting straps.
16. Install a diverter in the downspout, positioning it even with the top of the rain barrel.
17. Attach a short length of downspout to the underside of the diverter.
18. Connect the diverter's flexible hose to the port on the side of the rain barrel.

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