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How to Install an Alternative to Gutters

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva installs an alternative to a gutter where a traditional one does not work

Installing a gutter alternative

  1. Remove the old gutter by prying off the spikes with a hammer and a prybar. Then unscrew the gutter from the fascia with the drill driver.
  2. Mark 10” from the end of the house, then 30” from the end of the house, then 50” from the end.
  3. Screw the mounting brackets on your marks as far down the fascia board as possible. It should be at least 4” down from the roof edge and 1 ½” from the drip edge.
  4. Clip the louvers on the rain dispersal system into the brackets.
  5. Repeat the process as necessary to cover the whole side of the house.


In most circumstances, traditional-style gutters are the most effective at diverting water as far away from structures as possible, but they also require a downspout in order to redirect that water. In cases where large sections of roof require a gutter and there is no good place for a downspout, a rain dispersal system can be a viable option.

Tom installed a white aluminum rain dispersal system, manufactured by Rainhandler. The system comes with screws, brackets, and extenders if the fascia board is too short.