Introduction

installing rain gutters tout
Photo: Mary Beth Montgomery
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For homes in most regions of the country, rain gutters and downspouts are necessary to collect and carry away rainwater. Without them, water would erode the soil around the foundation, splash dirt onto the siding and likely leak into the basement or crawlspace.

Gutters are most often installed by professionals, but there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself. The all the materials and accessories are readily available at home centers, lumberyards and through roofing-supply firms. And if you’re going to replace your gutters and downspouts, you may as well upgrade the entire look and performance of the rainwater system.

Here, we’ll show how to install reproduction half-round gutters that are exact replicas of the size and style gutters found on older homes. This system features corrugated downspouts and decorative cast-aluminum brackets.
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    Tools List

    • hack saw
      Hacksaw,
      for cutting gutters and downspouts to length
    • Nut screwdriver
      Drill/driver with nut driver,
      for driving self-tapping, hex-head stainless screws
    • pop rivet gun
      Pop-rivet gun,
      used instead of drill/driver and screws to join gutter sections and end caps
    • Aviation Snips
      Aviation snips,
      left- and right-handed versions used to cut gutters and trim aluminum strip miters
    • drill
      Electric drill with 4-inch-diameter hole saw,
      for cutting holes in gutter for downspout outlet
    • chalk line
      Chalk line,
      for snapping gutter layout lines on fascia
    • miter saw
      12-inch power miter saw with carbide-tipped finish blade,
      to cut gutters and downspouts to length
    • ratchet wrench
      Ratchet wrench with 7/16-inch socket,
      for attaching fascia brackets to house
    • Drill bit
      Assorted twist drill bits
    • needlenose pliers
      Needlenose pliers
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • ladder
      Ladders with ladder brackets and aluminum scaffold plank,
      all can be rented

    Shopping List

    1. GUTTERS

    2. FASCIA GUTTER BRACKETS

    3. DOWNSPOUTS

    4. DOWNSPOUT OUTLETS

    used to join gutter to downspout



    5. DOWNSPOUT ELBOWS

    6. DOWNSPOUT BRACKETS

    7. SPHERICAL END CAPS

    8. 1/4-INCH-DIAMETER STAINLESS STEEL LAG SCREWS

    long enough to penetrate rafter tails 2 inches



    9. 3-INCH-WIDE ALUMINUM STRIP

    to form a strip-miter joint at gutter corners; available from gutter manufacturer



    10. 3/8-INCH-LONG, SELF-TAPPING, HEX-HEAD STAINLESS SCREWS

    if using drill/driver to join together gutter sections and end caps



    11. 1/8-INCH-DIAMETER x 1/4-INCH-LONG ALUMINUM RIVETS

    if using pop rivet gun to join together gutter sections and end caps