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How to Install Gutters: 5 Valuable DIY Tips

When the time comes to replace your gutters there are numerous types to choose from, but many DIYers find aluminum K-style gutters to be the easiest to work with--and they're also budget friendly. Most residential homes use 5-inch gutters, but if you have a section of roof that's very large, you might want to upgrade to a larger 6-inch size for that area.

How to Install Gutters the Right Way

If you already have gutters on your home and they have seemed to work correctly, you might just want to copy your current arrangement for your new gutter system. However, if the home doesn't have gutters or they have never worked properly, you should plan out how to install the new gutters on your house. A few tips to keep in mind:

  1. A 2 x 3-inch downspout can handle up to 600 square feet of roof area; upgrade to a 3 x 4-inch downspout to handle up to 1,200 square feet of roof area
  2. Plan on downspouts coming down in inconspicuous areas if possible and away from walks and driveways where water might freeze during the winter
  3. Gutters should be pitched toward downspouts at a rate of 1/4 inch per 10 feet
  4. The high point of a gutter should be 1 inch down from the top of the fascia board
  5. A gutter with a run longer than 35 feet should have a high point in the center rather than at one of the ends

Aluminum gutters are available in sections of various lengths that snap together using special connectors. The connectors, end-caps, hangers, and other trim accessories should be purchased with the guttering. Hangers need to be installed every 24 inches along each gutter run and chalking a line on fascia boards showing the pitch helps when installing them. Thin gauge aluminum bends very easily so you may find it very helpful to have an assistant when putting longer runs of guttering into place.