If you are a frequent DIY-er, you’ve probably done some big projects on your own. There’s a good chance that if you’ve taken on other large projects around the house – replacing a tile backsplash or installing crown molding, for example – you can probably tackle rain gutters with ease.
Study up before you begin so that you know everything that could go wrong, and make sure you have everything you need before you begin.
Here’s how to make sure you do the best possible job on your do-it-yourself rain gutters!
- First, choose the right type of gutter for your home.
There is a wide variety of gutter products on the market today. You can choose your material, size, design and gauge. Most homes do fine with a standard K-style aluminum gutter that is 5 to 6 inches wide. Your local hardware store should have information about what works best in your particular region. If you want something fancier, like round copper gutters, talk with them to make sure that will work in your area and with the overall look of your home.
- Next, calculate the pitch of your roof correctly.
Pitch doesn’t just refer to the up-and-down measurement of your roof. You also have a side-to-side pitch to calculate. Most residential roofs have a pitch decline of 1 or 2 inches per 40 feet, just enough to make sure water flows toward the downspouts. Install your gutters along the same pitch for good water flow.
- Then, space your hanger system appropriately.
You may not realize how much water your gutter system handles during a hard rain. That amount of water can be very heavy, so your gutters need proper support. A mistake that many amateurs make is not putting enough mounting equipment to attach their gutters. Gutter hangers should be a maximum of 3 feet apart. Otherwise, your gutters will sag or pull away from the house.
- After that, make sure to but the gutter in the right place.
At first glance, it makes sense to put gutters directly under the edge of the roof. However, when you think about how water soaks into the roofing material, you should realize that some of the runoff comes from the underside of your roof as well. Therefore, you should slide your gutters back slightly so that they are 2 to 3 inches underneath the overhang of the roof.
- Finally, plan ahead so that there are as few seams as possible.
Where there is a seam, there can also be a leak. Many varieties of rain gutters need to be welded or soldered together. Try to use longer sections of gutter so that you don’t have so many places where leaks or cracks are likely to begin. Also, you can consider continuous rain gutters, which are seamless and, therefore, eliminate the risk of leaks.
Installing your own gutters can be a tough job if you aren’t prepared, but if you follow all these guidelines carefully, you should be able to self-install your home’s gutter system with no problems!