Getting Started With Rain Gutter Installation

photo_gutters_sidingSo, you know you need to install or change the rain gutters on your house and you want to do it yourself, but realize you’ve no idea how to get started! We’d like to help you get it right the first time. You will need:

  • a tape measure
  • a friend to help hold the tape measure
  • ladder (optional)
  • pen and paper to note the distances and square footage


Goal: Measure the length. You may stand on the ground for this exercise. Begin at a corner. Give your trusted friend one end of the tape measure and hold the other. Go to the next corner. How long is this length? Write it down.

Repeat for all sides of the house, noting any areas with bay windows or other such features.


Goal: Figure the width needed. Measure the square footage of your roof. Access the roof through a window or a ladder. Have your sidekick stand at one end toward the side of the roof and you at the other, each with one end of the tape measure. Do the same for the top of the roof to the bottom. Note the distances. Multiply them together and you have the square footage of your roof.

Please be careful. Injuries acquired from falling off the roof can be serious.

You now need the average rainfall, easily found with a Google search. Clearly, the more rainfall and bigger the roof, the wider the gutter.

Hint: Ask your local home center store for the most common width sold.


For every forty feet of length, there should be at least one downspout. They should empty somewhere other than the basement, the house wall, or the swimming pool!


Other Considerations

A cover over the gutters keeps them free of debris with a lot less maintenance. Purchase them now!


  • vinyl – most cost-efficient and easiest to install
  • aluminum – tend to be more hardy
  • galvanized steel – hardier still but may rust
  • copper – the hardiest, do not rust, most expensive

Still have questions?

Read through our planning and installation guide for detailed instructions on installing gutters along your roof line. Visit your local home center store. The exterior home care professionals are there to help!  Don’t forget to ask for Amerimax products.


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