Gutters are usually installed by professionals, but there's no reason why you can't do it yourself. All materials and accessories are readily available at home centers, sawmills and roofing supply companies. Self-made gutter replacement can save you much more than gutters installed by a professional, but there are some difficulties you should pay attention to. Inspect the band and ceiling (fig.
B, below) for signs of rotting wood, which must be replaced before installing the rain gutters. Many homes have a molding board or roof molding nailed to the fascia just below the shingles. You'll have to remove it, as we did, or add a continuous strip of wood underneath to create a flat plane for the gutters. In any case, print and paint the bare wood before hanging the gutters.
Homeowners who use the experience of a gutter installation company can expect to maintain or even increase the value of their property without having to worry about gutter malfunctions, water damage, or odd-sized gutters that detract from the appearance of the home. Replacing a gutter on your own may not save money in the long run if you buy the wrong materials, if the new gutters leak, or if someone is injured falling off a ladder. It's important to ensure that the gutter hangers that hold the gutters aren't too far apart when installing them at home. And if you want an unusual gutter design or color, you won't be hampered by the limited options that any gutter installer presents.
A gutter that is too small for heavy rain or for snow can leak under pressure or spill water into the structure or foundation of the house, but gutters that are too large could reduce the attractiveness of the house or separate from the house if they are not properly closed. A local gutter installation company will be familiar with the best gutter style for your home and weather conditions. Installing rain gutters isn't as short and dry as it seems, but it's helpful to familiarize yourself with how gutters are carefully installed to encourage water flow out of the house. Since gutters play an important role in the structural integrity of a home, replacing worn gutters should be a priority.
This can make it a little difficult to work with gutters for DIY enthusiasts who have never worked with a gutter before. A professional will be able to properly evaluate the home to select the correct gutter style, inspect the house for water damage to walls or foundations, and install the gutters at the appropriate slope with the correct connections and seals to prevent leaks. A common mistake some homeowners make when replacing their own gutters is choosing a gutter style or material that isn't right for the house. The metal apron for gutters may be short, preventing it from reaching the rear edge of the gutter.
Installing a gutter on your own may cost less than hiring a professional, but if the gutters are installed in the wrong location or are in the wrong style for your home or region, structural damage could result in the home over time.
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