Step 5: Cut downspout holes

cutting downspout holes in a gutter
Photo: Mary Beth Montgomery
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Use a downspout outlet to mark the location of the downspout on the low end of the gutter.
To do this, turn the gutter upside down and place the outlet on top.
Trace around the inside of the outlet to mark the downspout hole on the gutter.
Drill a ¼-inch-diameter hole through the center of the circular outline.

Turn the gutter over and cut the downspout hole using a 4-inch-diameter hole saw chucked into a drill (as shown).

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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