1. Avoid using
galvanized gutter and parts. The little bit of money saved
in materials wont off set the extra maintenance costs
down the road, and if it isnt painted regularly,
it will have to be replaced much sooner than copper or
painted aluminum gutter.
2. Dont mix metals. Use all the same material from
the circles, to the nuts and bolts, to the gutter, to avoid
problems with galvanic reaction.
3. Install shanks and circles every 16 to 24 inches. I usually
install shanks every 20 inches.
4. Attach shanks to the sheeting, under the starter slates for the sturdiest result. Often, the slate is beat up
along the drip-edge from old gutter straps and needs
replaced anyway, so this isnt that much extra work.
You might decide to attach the shanks to the fascia or
rafter tails if they are sturdy, and the slate are in
good shape. Use screws if you use this method.
5. The outer lip of the gutter must be below the plane of
the roof or sliding snow and ice will damage it. With
the use of extension shanks the gutter can be installed
low enough to be missed by sliding snow and ice, but
still able to catch dripping water. To determine the
position of the high end of the gutter, install a shank
(and probably an extension shank) and then hold a circle
with a short piece of gutter in place. Looking over the
top of the gutter and up the plane of the roof, adjust
the height of the circle until the outer lip of the gutter
is below the roof plane. Now install a shank, extension,
and circle on the low end of the run. A drop of about ¼ inch per
10 foot of run is about right. Stretch a line between
the two by tying the string around the shanks right at
the top of the circles. Use a level to make sure you
have an incline. Dont assume that the house is
level. Now you can use the string to set the height of
the circles in between.
6. If you are replacing a previously snow-damaged gutter,
contact the insurance company. Even if the previous gutter
wasnt half round, the insurance company will often
pay for the cost of replacing it with half round gutter.
Often, there has been a reoccurring problem with gutters
tearing off because conventional gutter cant be
installed low enough to avoid getting hit by sliding
snow and ice. If you make a compelling case to the insurance
adjuster, youre in luck. Dont forget to include
the slates that were damaged by the gutter straps being
nailed on through them (unfortunately quite common).
7. Attach the circles to the shanks with two bolts. There
is a little nubbin on the circle that is supposed to
keep it from sliding down, but it isnt enough.
Drill a 2nd ¼ inch hole through the shank using
the circle hole furthest from the first bolt as your
guide and install the 2nd bolt.
8. Join two gutter sections together with a simple lap joint.
Start piecing the gutter together from the lowest point
and overlap the next piece on top of it with about a
2 inch lap. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to wrap
the rolled lip of the lower section a little bit tighter
so that it can fit into the roll of the top piece. Install
all of the spring clips before riveting the pieces. Attach
the two sections together with 4 rivets trying to keep
the joint as tight as possible, especially as seen from
the top, which is where it will be soldered.
9. After attaching the spring clips, bend the ends around
the lip of the gutter with a pair of pliers. The clips
will pop off easily otherwise.
10. Install strainers in each of the drops. This detail is
the finishing touch that will go a long ways toward keeping
the gutters flowing freely.