- Home Improvement
How to Install Vinyl Gutters
Key Components (Labeled)
This is a quick and easy guide to installing vinyl gutters from someone who has done it firsthand. It will cover the basics and also point out tips so that you will know what to expect throughout the process.
Be sure to install your gutters at a slight angle so that the water will flow towards the downspouts. In other words, if you are going to have a downspout at both ends it is a good idea to have a bit of an upward bow in the middle of the gutter rather than a downward bow that is going to collect stagnant water. If you only plan to have one downspout you can employ a straight tilt leading to that downspout.
The angle does not need to be drastic or even very visible to the naked eye. To achieve an angle simply screw the support brackets at graded increments of height from the bottom of the fascia. You can do this with a tape measure or use a chalk line to create a guide.
Brackets, Slip Joints, & Gutters
Knowing that you will be screwing the brackets at increasing heights, begin by screwing the drop outlet at a fairly low point to work up from. Be sure not to put the drop outlet beyond the end of the house even though the roof goes beyond it. Otherwise you will have nothing to secure the downspout to later. Three support brackets per ten foot gutter section is sufficient. So measure 2.5 feet (30 inches) from the drop outlet, moving away from the close end of the house, and install the first support bracket.
It can be hard to drill with the tip of the bracket getting in the way and preventing a straight shot at the screw. It’s best to drill a bit of a pilot hole using the screw without the bracket in the way and then screw the bracket in by hand with a screwdriver.
Continue this process along the length of the house, snapping the gutters into the brackets as you go. You will screw a slip joint connector to the fascia in between each ten foot bracket and snap the gutters into those as well. This way there is structural connection to the house every 2.5 feet either in the form of a slip joint or a bracket. The slip joints should come with a rubber seal at both ends to prevent leaks once the gutter is snapped in but you can also add vinyl sealant. As for the ends of the roof beyond the drop outlet, cut an appropriate length of gutter using a hacksaw and snap it into the end of the drop outlet as well. Use evenly spaced support brackets as necessary and fit an end cap on.
Downspouts & Finishing Touches
Use an elbow and straight couplers to extend the opening of the drop outlet to the side of the house and then use another elbow into which the downspout will be placed so that it is parallel and flush to the side of the house. Include a final elbow to the bottom of the downspout and place a dispersion platform under it to direct water away from your foundation. Secure the downspout to the house using downspout brackets. If the house is brick you will need to drill pilot holes into the mortar (not the brick) using a 5/32” drill bit rated for concrete. Use 3/16” concrete anchors to screw the brackets in place.
It is a wise idea to snap gutter guards on top of the gutters if you have trees nearby so that the system does not clog with leaves.
Ideally, gutter installation is a two person job, but it can be done solo fairly easily.
I wish you success with your installation!