How to Replace Gutters

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Pencil or chalk
Pry bar
Fascia board
Fascia plate or cover
Chalk line
Work gloves
Tin snips
Gutter hangers
Hole saw
Rivet gun
Silicone caulk

Replacing your gutters probably isn’t at the top of your list of fun things to do, but it is a necessary task if your gutters are damaged in some way. Schedule plenty of time to complete this project, and make sure that you have all of the necessary tools and take all safety precautions before you start.

Step 1 - Take Measurements

Calculate how much material you’ll need to replace the gutters and downspouts. Measure the length of each fascia, which is the wood the gutters are attached to, from end to end and from the outer edges of the shingles. Total these figures to determine the length of gutter you’ll need. To determine downspout heights, measure from the roofline to the ground. Plan on having a downspout for every 20 feet of gutter length.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Gutters

Using a screwdriver or pry bar, remove the downspouts and old gutters from your home. Look for any damage to the fascia; if there are any rotted or otherwise defected areas, replace the board or use a fascia plate or cover to seal the area. Use a pencil or chalk to mark where the new downspouts will be placed.

Step 3 - Snap Layout Lines

Layout lines are your guide for where the new gutters will go. Measure one and a quarter inch below the metal flashing and drive a nail into this point on the fascia. Attach a chalk line here. For every 25 feet, drop the line by a quarter inch to get the slope right for the gutters. At the end of the fascia, pull the chalk line taut and snap it to create your guideline. This chalk line represents where the top of the new gutters will be placed.

Step 4 - Preassemble the Gutter Sections

Spread the new gutters on the ground according to how they will be mounted on the fascia. Put on gloves and cut the gutters to length using tin snips. If you need more than one length of gutter for a section of fascia, overlap the gutter pieces by eight inches to prevent leakage. For gutters that turn corners, cut that edge at a 45 degree angle and attach them to one another with gutter seam sealant. Determine where on the gutter sections the downspout holes will go and cut the holes out with tin snips or a four-inch diameter hole saw attached to a drill, if necessary.

Step 5 - Hang the Gutters

Follow your chalk line to attach the gutters with screws. Every two feet, install hidden hangers on the back edge of the gutter to provide more support.

Step 6 - Attach Downspouts and Outlets

Install the downspouts and outlets at the areas you marked previously, securing them with screws. Use elbow pieces at the top and bottom of the spout to move the run toward the house at the top and away from it at the bottom.

Step 7 - Attach End Caps

Add end caps to gutter ends that do not turn corners. Use screws or rivets to secure the end cap and seal them with silicon caulk to make sure they are watertight.