• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner install a rain gutter, downspout, and rain barrel.

    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.
    • 2 to 4 hours
    • $80-$100 for a 50-gallon rain barrel, plus gutter/downspout cost per linear foot
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Just be careful working on a ladder
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • chalk line
        Chalk line
      • 100-foot tape measure
        Tape measure
      • drill
      • two-foot level
      • caulk gun
        Caulk gun
      • crimping tool for gutters
        Crimping tool
      • hacksaw
        Hacksaw and tin snips
      • hammer
        Hammer and cold chisel (or hole saw), used to cut a hole in the gutter
      • extension ladder

      Shopping List

      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