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DIY rain gutters - anybody installed their own?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wahoowad, Sep 14, 2007.

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  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I am finally getting around to installing rain gutters on my house. I'm tired of rain sheeting off my roof and causing problems with flower borders and a new patio I made with pavers (the rain comes off the roof in sheets and displaces the sand I put down between the pavers right where the water hits).

    I had a local guy give me a quote to install seamless vinyl gutters but it was more than I wanted to pay. I'm planning on going to Lowes this weekend and getting whatever they have and put up one test section to see how it goes. Has anybody put up their own gutters and can advise on anything special to avoid? I read somewhere that certain installation methods could cause the board behind the gutter to rot out, but don't remember what caused it.

    Thanks!

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  2. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Word to the wise....... Vinyl gutters= junk. Many yards of gutter installed while roofing years. Call a few local gutter companies, ask them how much per foot to have aluminum gutter "cut & drop" Meaning they will come to your house with their truck containing the forming machine, and form & cut all the lengths on site at your house for you, & you install. Plus you will have several choices of color so you can match existing trim color. They will have all the accessories also. You will need the gutter length (figure each run with an extra inch on both sides, except on sides that but against a wall. Actually see how much the rake edge of your shingles hangers over and add that much plus about a 1/2" or so. DON'T bother using the spikes & ferrules to install the gutter with. Junk, always pull out, bend & look like sheet. Request screw in metal hidden hangers, usually made of aluminum.
    They clip to the inside lip of the gutter, and slide over the back top edge, then screw into the face board. You can try and shoot for rafter tails with them if you want. I always went overkill and do a hanger every 2'. With the screw in type, as long as your face board is solid, you don't have to hit the rafter tails.

    You will need the following: just for reference, adjust as you see fit.
    Gutter lengths for each eave.
    Hidden hangers (total length of gutter divided by 2 and I always added a few more to the total.
    Elbows: there are "A" & "B" elbows. I will post photos so you have a better idea.
    Possibly miters "inside" &/or "outside".
    Downspout
    Extra downspout for extensions at bottom to get water away from house/garden etc.
    Outlets: you trace a hole in the bottom face of gutter where you want your downspouts to go, these pop in the hole and are sealed & screwed into place.
    End caps Right & Left
    Down spout straps or clips to secure downspouts to side of house.
    Zip screws: can be gotten in white, brown & bronze. Maybe cream & a few other colors.
    Gutter sealant, gutter guy will have it, it comes in almost toothpaste size squeeze tubes, or use a good urethane caulk from HD or Lowes etc. DO NOT bother using silicone. If you don't apply it right, it will leak.
    Right & left hand tin snips are valueable here.
    A hacksaw, just in case.

    If you want me to figure out exactly what you need, let me know.
    If you have a soffit area, whch most homes do, you have to figure 2 elbows for each spout coming off gutter 1 elbow brings it back to the wall, the other sends it down. Depending on how deep your soffit is, you may need a small section of spout between those 2 elbows.
    Like I said if you need help figuring materials, lemme know. I would just need some measurements & a diagram of the house etc.

    I'll post some photos I just took, so you know what I am babbling about.
    I did NOT install the gutter on this place, it will look better when I get to that lower place on my never ending list of things to do.
    Photos to follow.
  3. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Notice gutter end past soffit area and slightly past shingles.
    You can also see what I mean about needing 2 elbows to get spout from gutter back to house wall.

    Attached Files:

  4. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    A & B elbow

    A's are used for coming off a wall facing the direction you want the water to flow.
    B's are for coming off a side wall to make it go in in the direction 90 degrees of the side wall.

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  5. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    This is an Inside & outside miter together. Usually just need an one on each corner corresponding with another section of gutter.
    Some houses dont need these. These are for where two roofs meet. (Usually at the bottom of valleys). They aren't usually so close together is at all, bad design by previous homeowner. Note on miters, these are basically miter strips, a good miter is about 10" x 10". These in photos are junk, but no other choice given the closeness of the turns.

    And the end cap. These are the only parts to putting up gutter that have a left or a right. Only fits one way each side. This is a right.

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  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    One more shot showing the 2 needed elbows to bring the spout from the gutter to the wall. In essence, you need at least 3 elbows to bring the spout from gutter to wall, down wall (2) and 3rd at bottom. You may hook a 2 or 3' or whatever length of spout extension of the lower elbow to shoot water away from house. Remember, the longer it is, the easier it gets stepped on, run over by lawn mower etc.
    For long runs, figure if possible, figure 2 spouts, one on each end, then pitch the gutter from high center to low on each end for proper drainage.

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  7. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I can get you photos of an outlet & the hidden hangers tomorrow if you want them. Its too dark & I am too tires to walk on the roof tonight.
    Surprised you can see these pics if at all.
  8. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Wow, thanks for all the input!

    Lowes only had white and brown. A drive around my neighborhood revealed everybody else has gutters in cutom colors that match their house. The quote I had from an installer last year was for $4/foot for gutter and $3/foot for downspouts installed, plus a little here and there for mitres. Overall $1250 which I can live with. I don't even remember if he was offering vinyl or aluminum. Duh. I am going to call him back as well as get a couple other quotes. I'm now convinced I want the custom color ones. I read elsewhere online to ask what thickness they use as it is a sign of quality (I want 0.032 supposedly) and whether it is 'primary' or 'secondary' aluminum. Good advice?

    Thanks!
  9. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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  10. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Geez - Hogwilds is the pro! I only did gutter for a couple of years - I can't think of anything to add! - This should be put in the DIY Wiki!

    The only thing I would be curious about, is if you are going to Home Depot, etc - you are probably getting 8 or 10 ft lengths, then patching them together. I wonder if a guy could call up the local seamless gutter place (my preference would be aluminum) and see if they would just come out and run you a number of lengths on the ground, drop off a certain number of elbows, corners, spouts, etc. - and if they would do it cost effectively? I can't believe it would take 15 minutes just to spit out a bunch of raw lengths, you could then cut and miter them to fit and install on your own time and labor. Might be possible to get a seamless gutter quality at or near the HD stick-built prices.

    Corey
  11. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I went ahead and had seamless gutters installed by someone else. It was $1125 and the guy did a fantastic job. Color matches my house great and it looks a little more 'finished' now. Wish I had done it years ago.
  12. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Thats exactly what I was talking about in a " cut & drop". The guy comes out, you give him the measurements, he cuts all the lengths you need, and has the accessories, elbows, spouts, outlets and even sealant with him ( just let him know ahead of time before he comes out). You get all the necessary materials dropped on your front lawn, or near garage etc. I bet it is very comparable to the box store pricing, plus a couple factors:
    Box store gutter & accessories are prolly a lil thinner grade.
    And you have to burn gas getting to the store, then try and tie them off to whatever your driving to get it home.
    And again only 2 color choices, white & brown.

    Oops a lil late LOL.
    Welp, congrats! Did you have him use the hidden hangers? or the gutter spikes? With hidden hangers, you most likely will never need to touch those gutters again.
    With the spikes.............. In time you will have to tighten them up occasionally, and a heavy ice load may pull them out and the gutter to ground. So just keep an eye on it in the winter. Congrats again, not a bad price, and money well spent.
  13. kdiman

    kdiman New Member

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    Must have a lot bigger house than i do. I think that mine only cost me like $650. But the same people did my roof. So it was all on one bill.

    Kelly
  14. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    They used hidden hangers.

    Maybe gutter work varies region to region. The quotes I received were all within a 15% of each other. I went with the guy with the best customer service and references. I have enough open projects in work around the house so it was good to just have this one DONE with zero sweat, zero nagging worries over spots where I learned something the hard way!
  15. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    For whatever it's worth, I did a strip across the back of our house a few years back with the white vinyl stuff from Home Despot. Not the greatest looking, but it does the job, and it was low cost. IIRC it was under $100 for about 50 feet of gutter, all the mounting brackets, the downspouts and so forth... Haven't had to touch it since, which is fine by me.

    The seamless aluminum probably would have looked better, but I doubt if it would have worked better, and probably would have cost more just to have the gutter guy pull his truck into the driveway...

    Gooserider
  16. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    I did vnyle and love it, it put the down spouts right into drain tile leading away from my house, that way a little shower waters my garden down by the roots and a heavy rain runs out the far end from a pop up cap by the street. I actually took an aluminum gutter off on part of my house as I didn't like it and it leaked. (scrap prices were good then) As for the color, my house is white aluminum siding with white trim. 3 years now and no complaints.
  17. Beanscoot

    Beanscoot Member

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    I reshingled my house a couple years ago and also redid the eavestroughs, as we call them here. It's an old house so had no face board, as the long gone original cedar gutters served that purpose. The Five inch aluminum gutters were held in place with those long aluminum spikes and tubes, most of which were loose or pulled right out. It's pretty hard to remove the tight ones without wrecking the gutter.

    So I carefully reattached the sections and used a line level to pitch the gutter toward the downspout. I would recommend checking the roof levelness first, as my house was about two inches higher on one end. So the downspout goes on the lower end.
    I got those hidden hangers and they are really great compared to the crummy old spikes. Especially when the gutter fills up with heavy snow. Happily, they install a bit higher than the spikes so you will be attaching to fresh wood, not the big old holes left by the spikes.

    As an aside, a gutter cleaner man told me that several houses he maintains still have the 50+ year old cedar gutters. Like most things, if they are regularly maintained they last a long long time.

    As for gutter size, smaller gutters work fine if they are cleaned occasionally. Bigger gutters will merely hold a few hundred more pounds of crud before overflowing. If you look around at houses it's amazing how many have plants growing out of the gutters, gutters sagging in the middle that can never drain, or obviously faulty pitching and bad leaks. Good for mosquito cultivation, I guess.

    Although the white aluminum gutters looked okay, I thought the downspouts were quite ugly so I shopped at a local scrap metal dealer and bought 2" copper drain tubing and miscellaneous fittings to make my own downspouts. They look very nice and the wife also was quite pleased. I recall it cost about fifty to seventy dollars for enough to do three downspouts. I was able to solder it together with just one ordinary propane torch.
  18. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    A few years back I replaced all the spikes with long screws with tubes designed for gutter repair. It was a very big help; stiffened up the old gutters quite a lot.
    (Might help somebody reading the post....)
  19. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    My dad put the plastic ones on his house about 8 or 9 years ago.
    I've had to replace a couple of the gaskets. Was ready to have seamless put up and decided to repair it.
    Had a guy come for an estimate and when he claimed the gutters were put up wrong I never called him back. Said the space behind the gutter shouldn't be there. If he had ever climbed a ladder and looked at one he would have seen that the space was from the hangars.

    Vinyl gets moldy and has to be washed. I've had the same problems with vinyl replacement windows. Mold.

    Might be the paint on these aluminum ones but I've never had to wash them.

    I've got the non-seamless aluminum gutters on my house.
    I just replaced the cedar gutter on the north side with the same aluminum.
    The front needs all the seams taken apart and recaulked. I tried just smearing over the seams - no such luck. The south sides are 30 years old, though.Fronts have all the returns around the roof ends. I didn't bother with that on the back.


    Seamless looks attractive to me after dealing with seam leaks.
  20. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    The gutters on my woodshed would take a beating from the snow sliding off the metal roof. There are metal brackets holding the gutter up so what I did was to sister another metal bracket next to the existing ones but I bent them slightly so they connect higher up on the fascia than the original ones, essentially forming a triangle.
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