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How to Install a Rain Gutter | Ask This Old House

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner install a rain gutter, downspout, and rain barrel. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)
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Shopping List for Installing a Rain Gutter:
– Aluminum gutter
– Aluminum downspout
– Aluminum elbows, end caps, mounting straps, and downspout outlet
– Gutter hanging brackets, for securing the gutter to the house
– Sheet metal screws, used to fasten together the gutter and downspout parts
– Gutter sealant, for creating waterproof connections between gutter parts
– Two 2-inch-thick concrete pavers, used to create a solid base for the rain barrel
– Rain barrel and diverter, used to collect rainwater

Tools List for Installing a Rain Gutter:
– Chalk line
– Tape measure
– Drill/driver
– Level
– Caulk gun
– Crimping tool
– Hacksaw and tin snips
– Hammer and cold chisel (or hole saw), used to cut a hole in the gutter
– Ladder

Steps for Installing a Rain Gutter:
1. Snap a chalk line across the fascia, creating the proper pitch toward the downspout end.
2. Measure the fascia to determine the length of the gutter.
3. Apply gutter sealant to an end cap, then press the cap onto one end of the gutter.
4. Secure the end cap to the gutter with a crimping tool.
5. Use a hacksaw and tin snips to cut the gutter to length.
6. Use a hammer and a cold chisel (or a hole saw) to cut a round hole in the gutter for a downspout outlet.
7. Apply gutter sealant to the flange of the downspout outlet, then screw the outlet to the hole in the gutter.
8. Temporarily screw the gutter to the fascia, positioning it about 2 inches below the chalk line.
9. Install hanging brackets onto the gutter, positioning one in front of each rafter.
10. Raise the gutter to the chalk line and fasten each hanging bracket by screwing through the fascia and into the rafter tail.
11. Set two 2-inch-thick concrete pavers on the ground directly below the downspout outlet.
12. Set a rain barrel on top of the concrete pavers.
13. Use a hacksaw to cut and assemble the downspout and elbows.
14. Screw the upper end of the downspout to the downspout outlet protruding from the gutter.
15. Fasten the downspout to the house with mounting straps.
16. Install a diverter in the downspout, positioning it even with the top of the rain barrel.
17. Attach a short length of downspout to the underside of the diverter.
18. Connect the diverter’s flexible hose to the port on the side of the rain barrel.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Install a Rain Gutter | Ask This Old House


  1. I’m 15 and had to opportunity to do work taking off and replacing rain gutters, downspouts, and all the gravy. Ever since then I feel like I’ve found a cheat code to earning some nice money

  2. you mention screwing the gutter in with a wood screw through to the rafter. How do you know from the outside where the rafter is?

  3. You do not need a chalk or string line to install a gutter, I've installed thousands of feet of gutters and never once used a string of any kind

  4. Sadly, there are many jurisdictions across this once great nation wherein you are violating local ordinances if you collect rain water. I lived in oine for a few years, and the local inspectors were visiting homes as citing homeowners for diverting water.

  5. I thought the standard drop was 1/2" every 10'. Nice seeing a video showing exactly how those type of hangers go on, but I didn't see the measurement for down spout to the wall, wonder how you figured that out, eye micrometer maybe? I should've ask that question 7 years ago………..

  6. do we need install the gutter that low if I live in an area that doesn't have snow or ice?

  7. I had my gutters "professionally" installed; unfortunately, they didn't watch this video. 80% of the gutters have standing water in them from 1/2 to 1 inch. I put a level to them, even though I knew it would the bubble would go toward the downspouts, it sure as heck did. I am going to send this video to the company that installed them. Since I didn't see one level the whole time they were here I am going to offer to buy a few levels for that crew with free classes on how to read them.

  8. Hahahaha you are not good

  9. My grandmother had a nice 2600 sq. ft. brick ranch and never had gutters on it. Lived in it 30 years. No foundation problems, passed inspection upon selling. Thinking about removing ours, they seem to be causing more problems than not.

  10. Thanks for teaching us how hang a GUDDA !!

  11. I installed a gutter after watching this great video and it worked perfectly. The whole project was about 130$. Saved me a lot of money since I was planning on hiring a contractor. The only portion of the video that I did not follow was that I placed and spaced the hidden screws 24" apart on the ground and not up there while on the ladder. Thank you so much for this informative video!

  12. We get a ton of ice sliding off the roof here in Southern California.

  13. Funny how ATOH was how TOH started out and has far, far deviated from.

  14. Thanks for the great information, Amanda Swiderek

  15. Such a gorgeous book – each shed is unique and inspiring, and I love all the tiny details Kotite features to help readers imagine how to create their own She Sheds https://www.youtube.com/post/Ugkxe9yi0sulKgsp0VJJCIrLWWkvVqcU7LFR . The feature on Dinah's Rustic Retreat is like something from a fairy tale. It's really inspiring to see how creative all these ordinary people are in making beautiful and useful spaces on a modest scale.

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