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Everything You Need to Know About Installing Gutters

Posted by Kevin Leahy on July 23, 2018

Installing gutters

Last Update: 26 Jan 2023

If your rain gutters are old and starting to break down and not do its job correctly, then it is time to install a new one before the next rainfall leaves a small pond in your basement again. The big question when it comes to home gutter systems is whether to install it yourself or have it installed by a professional company.

Money and time will always play a role in your decision. If you have the time to do it yourself and really don’t have the money to hire a professional installer, then make sure you keep in mind these tips in mind when installing gutters:

Choose the Right Size Gutter

Because your gutters need to be large enough to drain away all the rain from your home, finding the right size is crucial. If you go too small, the gutters will only get overloaded in heavy downfalls leading to a lot of water damage to your home. The wrong size can also lead to gutter damage and structural damage to your home. For the most accurate size, you need to take into consideration, the size of your roof and pitch as well as how much rainfall you tend to get in your area.

Don’t Space the Gutter Hangers Out Too Far

When installing gutters, the gutter hangers are the way you mount the gutter system to your home so they need to be spaced properly. If you leave too much space between the hangers, the rain gutters will actually sag causing the water to pool instead of flowing through. If this keeps happening and you have a lot of water pooling in different sections of the gutter system, the extra pressure is going to make the system separate from your home. The rule of thumb is to place the gutter hangers about every three feet or so, unless where you live there is a lot of snow and ice, then every 2 feet is better. Remember that while you think you might be saving yourself time and money to use fewer hangers, in the long run all the damage that will happen as a result will end up costing you a lot more.

Pay Attention to the Pitch of the Rain Gutters

The angle at which your rain gutters are hung is an important detail when it comes to a successful installation. Both too much of an angle and not enough of an angle can affect the speed at which the water flows through the system. In this case, moderation is best. Experts recommend that you allow for a ¼ inch slope towards the downspouts for every 10 feet of gutter. The most important thing to remember is that the gutters should never be level.

Gutters Should Be Below the Roof Line

You know the gutters go on the roof, but do you know exactly where? It is not enough to just hang them on the edge of the roof. Technically they need to be a few inches lower than your roofline to prevent water from damaging the fascia boards and siding.

Avoid Having Too Many Seams

The seams in your gutter system are a weak point in the system where leakage can happen so you don’t want to have too many of them in your gutter system. When shopping for your gutter system, look for one that doesn’t have a lot of seams or better yet one that is seamless.

Place Downspouts Carefully

How you place the downspouts and how many of them you install is also important. Not having enough downspouts will lead to standing water and overloading of the system during heavy rains. And when they are not placed properly you open yourself to erosion around the area, structural damage and even insect infestation, all of which can end up being pricey to fix.

Invest in Quality Materials

Going DIY is already saving you money on the cost of labor, so go ahead and invest in a good quality gutter system. If you opt for cheaper, poor quality materials to install your system, you will definitely be able to see the difference. Why risk the chance of having it break down and cause damage to your home just to save a few bucks? A quality gutter system is a good investment and will last you a long time.

Be Careful Not to Damage Gutters During Installation

The installation process needs to be precise and you need to carefully avoid damaging any of the gutters during installation. If you are installing aluminum gutters they are especially at risk of getting easily bent or dented so be careful that you don’t let one fall to the ground or hit it with the ladder by mistake. If it gets damaged, you are going to have to replace the whole section and you want to avoid that as much as possible.

Always Follow Safety Protocols

Not everyone should be climbing on the roof to install gutters. If you have any health issues or are afraid of heights or not in good shape, you should not sign up for this demanding home project. If you decide to do the installation yourself, then make sure you have someone working with you who can spot you as you climb and make sure that the ladder stays steady and secure. Also don’t lean too far out while on the ladder either.

Tools and Materials Needed for Gutter Installation

Depending on the kind of gutters you are installing, different equipment and supplies are required. However, some common equipment and supplies required for installing gutters include:

  • Gutter sections
  • Hangers or spikes
  • End caps and drop outlets
  • Gutter sealant
  • Seam sealer
  • Gutter flashing
  • Ladder
  • Measuring tape
  • Tin snips
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Level

Common Mistakes to Avoid During Gutter Installation

  • Not measuring the gutter’s length: Before buying the supplies, the gutter’s length needs to be measured. By doing this, you can guarantee that you have enough supplies on hand to finish the installation without making additional excursions to the store.
  • Not utilizing the right hangers or spikes: In order to attach the gutter to the fascia board, hangers or spikes must be used. To achieve a secure installation, it’s critical to utilize the appropriate hangers or spikes for your style of gutter.
  • Not utilizing a level: Using a level can help ensure that the gutters are put at the proper angle. By doing this, the water will flow correctly and not overflow.
  • Not utilizing gutter sealant: Gutter seams and joints must be sealed with gutter sealant. This will guarantee a watertight installation and stop leaks.
    not cleaning the gutters before installation: In order to remove any possible accumulated debris, it is crucial to clean the gutters before installation. This will guarantee a simple installation procedure and stop future jams.

Approximate Costs and Time Required for Gutter Installation

The type of gutters you select and the size of your home will affect the price of gutter installation. However, the typical cost of installing gutters is between $500 and $1,500. The size of your home and the kind of gutters you select will also affect how long it takes to install your gutters. The installation procedure can, however, take anywhere between one and two days on average.

Besides the gutter system itself, you should also consider purchasing and installing gutter guard, leaf catchers or other products that help you maintain your gutter system with as little hassle as possible. For example, TheSpoutOff are rain gutter outlets that can be easily added to a new gutter system and they are designed with larger openings which prevent leaves and debris from getting clogged up in the gutters. They also make it easier to check on your gutters because it comes with a removable downspout that allows you to inspect the system from the ground instead of having to climb a ladder.

Want to learn more about how TheSpoutOff can make your seasonal outdoor chores a lot easier? Contact TheSpoutOff today to learn how it can take the hassle out of cleaning your gutters.


  1. Billbill says:

    My gutters are higher on the outside edge and
    And leak into fachier board in a hard rain ???What is the cause ??

  2. Peter says:

    Where can I find a stainless steel gutters

  3. This is a great resource for homeowners considering installing their own gutters! I especially appreciate the breakdown of the different factors to consider, like gutter size, hanger spacing, and pitch. I’ve been thinking about tackling this project myself, and your point about avoiding seams is a great one I hadn’t thought about before.

    When it comes to safety precautions, did you find there were any specific tools that made working on a ladder easier or safer? I’d love to hear any additional tips you have for DIY gutter installation.

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