Buying, selling or running a home – everything you need to know about your home and garden!

Fitting new plastic guttering

OK, you’ve removed your old or broken guttering and decided to go for plastic (uPVC) replacement guttering. Now it’s time to install it!

Measuring up

The first step of all is to measure up to find how much guttering to buy. If you’re replacing old guttering, this could be as simple as measuring the length of the old gutter sections you’ve removed – otherwise, just measure at ground level the walls of the house where the guttering’s to be installed. When buying your new gutter sections, don’t forget that you’ll need enough brackets to give the guttering adequate support – at least one every metre, and at every joint too (unless your guttering system uses screw fixings for angles and outlets).

Now it’s time to start the job of fitting the guttering. Fixings go first.

Don’t forget to make sure your ladder (if you need one) is properly secured – and ideally have an assistant standing underneath to hold you steady!

Installing the gutter fixings

The first piece to be installed is the outlet. This goes directly over the existing drain, and needs to be attached to the fascia board under the eaves, by screwing the outlet itself (or its support bracket, if your system uses brackets) to the board. It should be no more than 50mm (2in) below the tiles at this point.

At the other end of the guttering run, fix a support bracket. This should be higher on the fascia board (ie a shorter distance below the tiles) to give the guttering a suitable incline and allow the rainwater to run off towards the outlet. How much exactly depends on the length of the run, but you should be aiming for a drop of at least 25mm in every 15m (or 1in in every 50ft).

You can then fit the rest of the brackets in a straight line between the two ends – a tight piece of string between them is a useful guide.

Fitting the gutter sections

Having done that, you can now install the gutter lengths themselves. The back edge goes under the roofing felt and into the back lips of the brackets. You then work your way along the length of the run, clipping the front edge of the section into each bracket in turn.

If (as is likely) you’re using more than one length of guttering, you fit the second into the first by pushing the spigot end (the plain end) of the second section into the socket of the first, using enough pressure to compress the rubber seal in the socket. Don’t push it all the way home, though – leave a small expansion gap of about 5mm (┬╝in).

Cutting lengths of guttering

At some point you’ll no doubt have to cut a section short. Use a hacksaw, and make sure that the cut is square (clipping a bracket round the guttering just next to where you’re cutting it is a good way of holding it rigid).

Make sure to check the two ends that the cut section is to fit between. If they’re both sockets, then you should measure your length from the spigot end; otherwise, measure from the socket end. Don’t forget to allow enough extra length for the spigots to be pushed into the sockets!