Did you know that you can easily create better looking and also stronger gutter by modifying old gutter systems on your Chicago home? This is a very simple project that anyone can tackle, so if you want to consider it, then below you’ll learn more about what you need to get started. There’s however one thing that you are not going to be able to achieve by following those guidelines.

Your gutter system will have to have seams on any run longer than 10 feet, there are no longer sections you can purchase in a home improvement store. Although, if done properly, the seams should hold for a long time but still, any seam could eventually start leaking.

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With just some basic handyman skills you should be able to complete such project over the weekend. Its cost may vary significantly because of the variety of materials available on the market. You can use plastic, aluminum, copper, or even galvanized gutters for your house.

1. Logistics of your gutter installation project.

Many home improvement stores have readily available gutter system which are designed so they can be installed in just a few simple steps. However, the good news is that you can make use of these same parts in order to install downspouts and gutters that not only look better, but are also much stronger.


You can save a lot of money by ditching a professional gutter system installation and installing them yourself. The first step to achieve this would be to carefully inspect the soffit and fascia boards in order to see if there are any indication of decayed wood in which case they would require repairs or replacement. If yours are aluminum clad or some kind of composite material you may not need any extra work in that area.

Prepare a drawing and carefully assess the size of your house

At this point the size of the gutter runs needs to be carefully recorded and you should also wisely choose the locations of the downspout as well. After that, the external and internal corners and end caps need to be counted up. The height of the downspouts will now have to be assessed, you should add four feet to each one of them. Keep in mind that you’ll need 3 elbows for every downspout and while the majority of installations are only going to make use of front elbows, a side elbow can also be required depending on your house.   Front and side downspout elbow1 Most of the times these are used for turning the downspout extension sideways. Below you’ll find some planning advice that is going to help you a lot with completing these steps:

  • The downspout should be located in areas of the house that are not obstructed by anything so that the rain water flow can be easily redirected away from the structure. Locations that feature obstacles of any kind, including sidewalls, hose bibs and electric or meters should be avoided.
  • The downspouts extensions should be placed (if at all possible) in concealed locations.
  • Oversized three by four inch downspouts are recommended to be installed on gutters draining big roof areas. The same also applies if you live in a region that receives frequent and heavy rain pours.
  • If your house’s roof has a 40 feet or longer span, you should slope the gutter from the center towards both ends and install downspouts at each end.
  • There are a few commonly used fascia designs, although the most popular one is vertical, which makes gutter installation easy, there are also angled fascia designs and ones without fascia boards. Therefore, make sure you pick the right hanger type for your design. 

Cut to size and join gutter sections

Using tin snips cut the back and front sides of the gutters, slightly bend those sections to create a gap and cut the bottom portion.

Assemble gutter components

Joining sections on the ground is by far a lot easier (and safer) compared to working while you’re on a ladder. The manufacturer generally recommends that you butt parts together and then use a seam cover in order to cover the joints. However you should try applying caulking between the overlapping surfaces (overlap seams from two to four inches), riveting joints and applying caulking along the inside edge. The same principle applies when joining a gutter section to a corner as well as joining any 2 parts of a gutter.

One more suggestion, when you’ll need to splice gutter sections though, it’s recommended that the best factory cut end is left on the exterior.

When lapping long sections of the gutters make sure that you do it in such a way that the interior section will face downhill. This way, water won’t be forced under the seam. Pay close attention to where the gutter ends and then carefully cut it in order to extend approximately 1” over the end of the fascia board so that it’s going to be able to catch water from the shingles that overhang. Use rivets to secure the end cap and finally, use gutter sealant along the interior of this newly  created joint.

Mark the downspout outlet

On the bottom of the gutter you’ll now need to mark the middle of the downspout outlet. The outlet should then be centered (making sure the flange is with the side down) over the mark and make sure that you’ll then trace around the interior. With a chisel cut a notch (in the shape of a V) which is going to be the main hole for the tin snips.

Cutting the downspout tubes

The first step you should take involves measuring from the corner of your property to the middle of the location you’ve chosen for the downspout. It’s very important that there are no obstructions. The dimension you got should then be transferred to the gutter so the downspout outlet can be cut. This method will eliminate 2 seams from your gutter design.

The downspout tube cutout can be made using a duckbill tin snips or a pair of offset snips. duckbill and offset tin snips1 To continue installation of a gutter system on your Chicago home, please follow this link – gutter repair Chicago