Follow along as we share how to DIY gutter installation. We decided to add gutters to the back of our house to keep the water off our back patio.
Today I (Brent) am sharing our latest unexpected project. Well, I don’t know if you can call it unexpected because it has been long over due but it was one of those boring home maintenance projects that is necessary but not the most fun way to spend a Saturday. The project I am talking about is DIY gutter installation.
The saying goes when it rains, it pours and that literally couldn’t be more true about the weather the past few weeks in Houston and all over Texas. This year it was as if April showers brought lots and lots of May… showers. It felt like it would never stop raining. It is hard to imagine that such large areas of our city experienced major flooding.
Although the water on our street was at one point up over our curb, we count ourselves extremely fortunate that we didn’t experience any major damage. Our problem was insignificant compared to what many others faced and we are so thankful for that.
Every day we checked the weather app on our phone it said the same thing. Monday: rain, Tuesday: more rain, Wednesday: lots of rain, Thursday: rain all day, Friday: 100% chance that is will most definitely rain.
Our issue was we had no gutters on the back of the house and the concrete back patio was proof that this was not an ideal situation to be in with all this rain. The inadequate drainage had spelled disaster for the slabs. Let’s just say the concrete has turned all kind of unnatural colors. Heavy rain also caused the run off from the roof to splash off the concrete and hit the back of our house causing problems with the siding.
A few weeks ago Courtney’s dad came over to help us do a little spring cleaning in the backyard and pressure washed the entire concrete patio. We were amazed at the results. Honestly, we forgot what color concrete is supposed to be. The patio looked brand new and we even ate dinner out there twice the following week because it felt so clean. However, that only lasted for about two weeks and then it rained and rained and our patio was quickly returning to its previous state.
It became clear that we were going to need to take preventative measures and fast because more rain was on the way. We had to bite the bullet and install gutters to help avoid any excess water from pooling on the concrete and causing mold and mildew to grow.
DIY Gutter Installation
1. The span of the roof over the patio is 16 feet wide and since the gutters that can be purchased from our local hardware store only come in 12 foot lengths we had to cut the second section of gutter to the correct length.
2. Before hanging the gutters on the eave of the roof we installed the end caps on each side of the gutters. We will eventually be painting the gutters to match the eave so we used a black paintable caulk to seal the joint between the gutter and the end cap. We were able to use a pair of vise grip pliers to crimp the cap to the gutters.
3. There are several different types of hangers to secure the gutters to the eave of the house. We chose to use a type that slides into the gutter and can’t be seen from the ground when the gutter is installed. Each screw is anchored through the siding into a roof rafter.
4. To make certain that the maximum amount of water enters the gutter and stays in the gutter, we installed flashing under the shingles and over the back edge of the gutter. This prevents water from getting underneath the shingles and on the roof sheathing. For the seam where the two pieces of gutters connect, we wrapped a piece of metal over that seam and caulked it to prevent leaking.
5. To allow the gutter to drain effectively, the gutter was installed at a slight angle and on the low side we installed a downspout. To install the downspout, we marked a hole the size of the downspout connector. Then we drilled a hole next to each place where we marked to make it easier to cut open the hole for the connector with snips.
6. The downspout connector was installed with rivets to avoid having the sharp point of a screw being exposed through the bottom of the gutter. After we installed the connector we caulked all the seams inside the gutter.
7. The downspout pipe is held to the siding of the house with clips.
8. One foot off the ground we turned the downspout away from the house to allow the pipe to have a gradual slope. Once past the house the downspout was finished off with a plastic flexible pipe.
As we finished the last several steps, we started hearing thunder in the distance. Which was not a bit surprising. It wasn’t long before we were running around frantically trying to get the tools inside before the next downpour. On the bright side we got to put the gutters through the ringer within minutes of installation and so far so good.
The backyard still has a long way to go and I promise the projects to come in the backyard will be much more exciting. Now that we have solved the water drainage problem, we are hoping to start working on a deck. Stay tuned and let us know if you have had any rainfall nightmares at your house.
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