Putting up a new gutter system

If you need to fix a gutter to your property, replace one, or add new sections, this guide will ensure you do it right first time.

Step by step: fitting a plastic gutter

Fixing a gutter

Centre option splits the load

On a long roof, consider placing the downpipe halfway along the eaves. This halves the weight of water that the gutter has to carry. It also halves the gap between the gutter and the edge of the tiles or slates, created by the fall of the gutter, so there is less chance of wind driving rain on to the wall in the gap between the edge of the roof and the gutter.


Water for the garden

Diverter kits, available from garden centres and DIY stores, enable you to fill a rainwater butt from the downpipe. The diverter returns water to the downpipe before the butt overflows. Raise the butt on bricks or a stand, so a watering can will fit under the tap.

Read more: How to collect rainwater for the garden


Diagram of gutter fittings


Fixed and replaceable seals

The rubber seals on gutter unions eventually perish. Sometimes they are bonded and you have to buy an entire new union to stop the leak, but with some brands the seal can be detached from its groove and replaced separately.


Cure dislocated joints

Plastic gutters expand in the heat—you can hear them creaking in the sun—and sometimes sections come apart at the unions. Check the joints after a spell of hot weather. Tap the end of the gutter back into place with a mallet if it has pulled out of a union.


Cutting it fine

Always cut lengths of plastic guttering and downpipe at ground level. Use a hacksaw or tenon saw, and remove the burr with a file, so that it can be neatly joined to another length. To cut round pipe squarely, wrap a piece of paper around it so that the edges line up, then stick it down with tape. The edge of the paper provides a cutting guide.

Learn more about gutter systems here