How To Measure Your Gutters (2024)

By Amanda Lutz Updated February 6, 2024

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Rain gutters protect your home from water damage by directing runoff away from the foundation. Whether you’re considering upgrading to seamless gutters, investing in the right gutter guards, or replacing a few damaged sections, taking precise gutter measurements is imperative. Our guide explains how to safely and accurately measure your gutters, plus offers tips for choosing the right gutters for your home.

 


 

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Measure the Length of Your Gutters

Use a sturdy A-frame or straight ladder with a stabilizer attachment to reach your gutters. Carefully extend a measuring tape from one gutter end to the other. Record the measurement on paper or use your phone’s note-taking app. If your tape measure cannot span the entire length, use a piece of chalk to mark your place to demarcate the first measurement before moving on to the next section.

Repeat this process until you’ve measured your entire gutter system, or the portion relevant to your project. Add all your gutter measurements together to determine how many linear feet you need.

Step 2: Measure the Width of Your Gutters

Measure your gutters’ width at three points: both ends and the midpoint. Add these numbers together, and divide the total by three to get an average width. Because slight variations are possible, taking an average of these three measurements will provide the most accurate number.

Step 3: Measure the Depth of Your Gutters

Starting from the top, measure down to the gutter’s bottom edge to determine depth. As in the previous step, measure the depth at both ends and the middle and use the average.

Wider gutters are generally deeper, as depth typically increases with width. Depth also varies by style. For instance, K-style gutters are deeper than half-round gutters. As a result, 5-inch K-style gutters can hold a greater volume of water than 5-inch half-round gutters.

Step 4: Measure the Slope of Your Gutters

Gutters need to slope at least 1/4 inch for every 10 feet of length to drain well. However, a more common slope is 1/2 inch per 10 feet. That means if your gutters are 30 feet long, the side with the downspout should be 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches lower than the other end. The tilt will ensure that water flows seamlessly toward the downspout.

Make sure your gutters are properly sloped. If you have a gutter run with a downspout at both ends, the gutter’s highest point should be in the middle, with a gentle slope on either side.

Step 5: Measure the Shape of Your Gutters

Use a pencil and paper to sketch a detailed outline of your gutter’s cross-section. Label your sketch with the gutter’s dimensions. If you’re not confident in your ability to accurately sketch the profile, consider tracing it.

K-style and half-round gutters are the two most common shapes. K-style gutters have a shape that resembles crown molding, while half-round gutters are semi-circular.

 


 

Safety Tips for Measuring Gutters

Measuring gutters is a straightforward do-it-yourself (DIY) job, but it does demand attention to detail and safety. Follow these tips to avoid accidents.

 


 

How to Choose the Right Size and Type of Gutters

If you’re installing new gutters, consider upgrading to a larger size or higher-quality material. To determine the right size of a gutter, calculate the roof’s adjusted square footage. Here’s how:

When choosing the right gutter size, compare different styles and materials. K-style gutters can handle more water than half-round gutters, but half-round gutters look better on historic homes. Aluminum and vinyl gutters are cost-effective and come in a variety of colors, but they aren’t as durable as stainless steel, copper, or zinc.

Weigh the cost of certain upgrades, such as gutter guards and seamless gutters, against the improved performance and longevity they promise.

 


 

Our Recommendation

Gutters need to be properly sized and installed to perform well. Follow the steps in our guide to get the measurements you need before repairing or replacing your gutters. Accurate gutter measurements will help you choose the right size and type for your home.

 


How We Chose the Top Gutter Guard Providers

We researched and analyzed dozens of gutter guards and gutter guard companies to create an in-depth review methodology. We formulated a rating system based on the factors homeowners find most important. We evaluated each provider’s gutter guard design and aesthetics, service offerings, customer service and communication, quote process, warranties, and financing options. 

We created a separate rating system for DIY-installed gutter guards sold on retailer sites. We evaluated these guards based on their quality of materials, aesthetics, communication, warranty, customer reviews, and cost.

We evaluated each provider’s reputation using independent, third-party sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Google My Business pages. For products, we analyzed the customer reviews on whichever online retailer primarily hosts the product.

 

How To Measure Gutters FAQ

How do I know what size my gutters are?

To determine your gutter’s size, measure the width at each end and the midpoint. Then average these numbers to get the most accurate measurement.

What is the most common gutter size?

5-inch and 6-inch gutters are the most common sizes for residential gutters.

How much do new gutters cost?

The cost of new gutters varies depending on the style, size, and material. The average cost of gutters for a single-story home is $1,200. Low-end options, such as vinyl, cost around $3 to $6 per linear foot, while high-quality options, such as copper, may cost from $25 to $40 or more per linear foot.