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How To Install Rain Gutters - Part 1

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The installation of rain gutters or eaves trough as it is sometimes called is not a complex project although the logistics may make the project difficult to complete.

aluminum gutter sections and accessories
Figure 1 - Aluminum gutter parts and accessories

Gutter material is available in plastic (PVC, vinyl) and metals (aluminum, see Figure 1, copper, see Figures 2, 3, 4 and 5). The plastic materials are the easiest to work with, however, aluminum and copper will last longer.

K style gutter trough
Figure 2 - Copper K style gutter trough
half round style gutter trough
Figure 3 - Copper half round style gutter trough
<q>K</q> style gutter accessories
Figure 4 - Copper K style gutter trough accessories
half round style gutter accessories
Figure 5 - Half round style gutter trough accessories

For the home handyman, the installation of a rain gutter (eve trough) system is created by the connection of a group of components that are designed to interconnect to one another.

It should be noted at this point, that as a general statement each manufacturer, whether it is plastic or metal, will have similar components, however because of slight differences in contours, sizes and shapes, pieces from one manufacture will not generally fit into the pieces of another manufacturer. Hence, it is important that you purchase all of the components from the same manufacturer, to avoid connection problems.

The primary piece of gutter is known as a section or trough. These pieces are usually available in 10' lengths and if a longer length is required a joiner is used to connect the ends of two sections together.

Note: Some of the larger gutter installation companies have a machine that will form the trough on site, from a roll of aluminum, to almost any length and hence create a seamless installation. This is not a machine that is available to the home handyman.

Because of the multitude of possible roof designs it is impossible to provide a standard configuration for the rain gutters and its components. It is therefore important that you sketch out the roof and the location of the gutters and downspouts.

Where there are multilevel roofs you can drain from the upper roof gutters to the lower roof gutters, as shown in Figure 6, or from the upper roof directly to the ground, as shown in Figure 7.

Upper roof gutters draining to lower roof gutters.
Figure 6 - Upper roof gutters draining to lower roof gutters.
Upper and lower roof gutters draining directly to ground
Figure 7 - Upper and lower roof gutters draining directly to ground.

Sketching out the roof perimeter:

Figure 8 is a sketch of a very small bungalow, the dimensions and layout were chosen to provide a requirement for numerous styles of fittings and accessories.

gutter trough and accessory layout
Figure 8 - Sketch to determine the number of sections and fittings required for a gutter installation

Continued...