How to Install or Replace Gutters

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Straightedge
  • Tape measure
  • 2-foot carpenter's level
  • Drill/drive and bits
  • Fine-tooth hacksaw
  • File
  • Screwdriver
Materials Required
  • Vinyl gutter components
  • Pencil
  • Goggles
  • 2 ladders
  • Rust-resistant screws

Before You Begin

Enlist the help of someone to help you to accurately measure the length of each side of the building where you're installing vinyl gutters. Then refer to a manufacturer's installation guide for estimating the components you'll need and where to locate the drop outlets, brackets and downspouts. Carefully read the directions to give you an overview of the procedures for locating and installing the components. Draw out a rough sketch or layout plan for the components and follow it during installation.

Don't want to do the job? Click here to get to Home Advisor, a free referral service and find Handyman Contractors in your area.

  • Step 1 : Plan the system

    Plan the gutter system

    To prevent the water from rushing past the gutter in a heavy downpour the gutter should be located below the roof shingles. To establish this location put a straightedge flat against the roof shingles so it extends a few inches over the edge of the roof. Then hold a drop outlet against the fascia board of the house and move it up until the outer edge meets the straightedge. Mark the location on the fascia. Then repeat at the other end of the roof. Stretch a chalkline between the marks, make sure it's level, and snap the line. This is your level guideline to aid in determining the proper pitch.

    The gutters are not mounted level, they're pitched 1/16-inch for every foot of length so they drain. For example, a 10-foot gutter should have the downspout end 5/8 inches lower then the other end. Measure the length of the gutter, calculate how much the drop outlet should be lowered, then mark the drop outlet end. Snap a chalkline between these points and use this line to align the gutter components. Do this on all the fascia boards.

  • Step 2 : Fasten corner components first

    Fasten corner components of gutter system

    Use rust-resistant screws to secure the corner components, attaching them with a screwdriver.

    Page 1 of 2
    Go To Page 2