Snap layout lines
Installing a gutter
Mark the highest point of the gutter run on the fascia 1 ¼ inches below the metal drip-edge flashing (on the extra-wide fascia shown here, the gutter is lower down).
At the other end of the fascia (or at the downspout location if there's one in the middle of the run), mark the low end of the gutter run, keeping in mind that the slope should be approximately ½ inch for every 10 feet of run.
Snap a chalk line between the two points (as shown).
Tip: Check the fascia for rot — and make repairs if necessary — before installing the gutters.
STEP THREE // How to Install Rain Gutters
Attach fascia brackets
attaching fascia brackets for a gutter installation
Locate the rafter tails behind the fascia; they're typically spaced 16 inches on center (look for telltale nail heads).
Make a mark at the chalk line on every other rafter tail.
Bore a ⅛-inch-diameter pilot hole through the fascia and into the rafter tail at each mark.
Fasten fascia brackets with ¼-inch stainless steel lag screws long enough to penetrate rafters 2 inches (as shown).
Tip: Rub soap on the lag screws so they'll be easier to drive through fascia and into rafter tails.
STEP FOUR // How to Install Rain Gutters
Saw gutter to length
Cutting the gutter with a miter saw
Cut gutter section to length with hacksaw and aviation snips, or with a 12-inch power miter saw fitted with a carbide-tipped finish blade (as shown).
If the gutter continues around a corner, cut the appropriate angle (typically 45 degrees) on that end.
If the run requires two sections of gutter, overlap them by 8 inches and use 3/8-inch-long, self-tapping, stainless steel screws or pop rivets, in two rows of four each, to join them.
Tip: Locate screws or rivets in the sides of the gutter, never in the bottom.
STEP FIVE // How to Install Rain Gutters
Attach end caps
attaching end caps to a gutter
At the square-cut end of the gutter, attach a spherical end cap with aluminum pop rivets. (If the gutter doesn't turn a corner, fasten an end cap to each end.)
To do this, hold the end cap in place temporarily with a single sheet-metal screw, then drill a 1/8-inch-diameter hole and install one pop rivet (above).
Remove the temporary screw and replace it with a rivet.
To ensure a watertight joint, seal the rivets and the end-cap seam on the inside of the gutter with a high-quality siliconized caulk.
STEP SIX // How to Install Rain Gutters
Cut downspout holes
cutting downspout holes in a gutter
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).
STEP SEVEN // How to Install Rain Gutters
Lay the gutter into the brackets that you've lag-screwed to the fascia.
Rotate the gutter upward until its back edge slips into the hooks at the top of the back of the brackets (as shown).
Through the screw-mounting hole in each bracket, drill a 3/16-inch-diameter hole in the front edge of the gutter.
Secure the gutter to the bracket with a 1-inch-long #8-32 stainless steel machine screw and flanged nut.
Tip: Aluminum gutters and brackets can be spray-painted to match — or contrast with — the house trim.
STEP EIGHT // How to Install Rain Gutters
Form strip-miter joint at corner
Cover the joint between two lengths of gutter at each corner with a strip miter — a 3-inch-wide strip of aluminum.
Wrap the aluminum strip tight around the underside of the gutter. Secure it with eight pop rivets or sheet- metal screws.
Cut a triangular section from the top of the strip miter (as shown) with snips, and then fold down the two flaps around the top edge of the gutter.
This joint can also be made more waterproof with the addition of a high-quality siliconized caulk.