Rain gutters out of 3″ PVC pipe, DIY How to!

Jul 03 2017
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This is a post on how Joe and I created gutters for my house using PVC pipe! So, quite awhile ago, I stumbled on to the coolest thing online: Rain gutters made out of 3″ PVC pipe. Since then I cannot find it online ANYWHERE! The only thing I can find online about it is forums of people like me who want to try it and other people telling them to just hire a crew to put up seamless gutters because apparently: we’re all rich. Not that I wouldn’t love to be able to afford seamless gutters but, seriously, that’s just not my style! On top of that, we just so happened to have enough 3″ pipe leftover that using it for gutters on my house cost almost nothing!

How to make seemless rain gutters out of 3Turn Your To Do List Into A To Done List at acehardware.com

See, this 100 year old farm house has never had a gutter on it and has never had a water issue. However my poor little flower garden in the front of my house absolutely gets hammered. The summer rains create a trench right down the middle of it and, not to mention, all along the front of my house my hydrangea bush and various other plants get similarly beat up. I decided we would start above my flower garden and, eventually, do the rest of the front of the house too.

How to make seemless rain gutters out of 3

The next dilemma was figuring out how to hang/attach it to the eve. (My eves are only covered by little 1x4s so they wouldn’t be strong enough to hold it so I would need to make certain I hit the ends of the roof joists with whatever screws I used.) I did some looking at pipe hangers etc. because not only have I seen them in hardware stores I’ve also used them but I didn’t find anything I thought would work and also look ok. PVC pipe is very strong so when Joe (my now ex husband) suggested steel screws (screws made specifically for going through steel) I thought we had a good plan. The screws themselves have hex heads and come with a rubber washer right on them – we even happened to have some leftover from when we did the steel roof on my garage. We had both expected to need to pre-drill all of the screw holes but as soon as we got started we realized it wasn’t necessary – yay for saving a step.

How to make seemless rain gutters out of 3

First thing was first though, we had to cut the pvc pipe. Initially we were going to just cut it completely in half so one pipe would make two gutters but the more we talked and thought about it the more Joe and I decided we wanted a “deeper” gutter then that. We took it down to my basement work shop and adjusted the blade on my table saw as high as it would go. You can see how the guide on my table saw is less then an inch from the blade, adjusted like this we cut about 1/3rd off of the pipe – perfect! (This isn’t for the faint of heart and it was quite a pain in the butt with Joe pushing and me pulling – pvc is flexible so getting it to go STRAIGHT through the blade was not an easy task, my workshop still stinks like burned plastic and we were walking through plastic shavings like it was fake snow.)

How to make seemless rain gutters out of 3How to make seemless rain gutters out of 3How to make seemless rain gutters out of 3

I held the pipe in position (cheers to us short girls: On my tip toes, in my flower garden, using just the tips of my fingers… sighs) Joe sunk the screws in every other stud through the back inside of the pipe. To get this done we had to have a bit extender on the end of my impact driver or the drill never would have reached fully. Joe was careful not to over tighten the screws but PVC is pretty darned tough and took the screws like a champ.

How to make seemless rain gutters out of 3

With the portion above my garden done I can say that this was a brilliant idea that someone had and I would totally endorse it. Joe and I got the pipe cut and hung in less then an hour and BOOM: the problem in my flower bed is only a memory. We had a serious rain storm here just the next day after we got them up and we watched like two little proud kids as a plan actually worked like it was supposed to. We hung the pipe so it slanted toward the porch then drained down into the second pipe that slanted toward our driveway.

How to make seemless rain gutters out of 3

I am so impressed with them! I’m also pleasantly surprised by how nice they look because with no hangers, no parts, no joints etc. they are totally seamless and no one in my family has even noticed that they’re up lol because without looking right at them they’re entirely unnoticeable and I totally love that! I did have to get up there and sand them down to clean them and get the writing off of them (why didn’t I do that before we hung them you ask? Because I apparently like making my life more difficult…) We wanted them white anyway so I didn’t need to paint them but they sell specific plastic paints that I think would probably work great here.

How to make seemless rain gutters out of 3

Plastic pipe gets brittle in the sun? Why yes, yes it does, just like ALL plastic including the plastic gutters that you can buy in the store. Because these have literally no other parts I’m confident these will out last any other plastic gutter out there though I don’t know if they could compete side by side with steel in survival time because, seriously, steel is hard to compete with.

How to make seemless rain gutters out of 3

All in I am totally stoked that this worked and was so easy to do! It literally cost me nothing but a little time. However, for the curious, here’s the cost breakdown. One length of 8 foot PVC pipe is around $8 the equivalent gutter in aluminum is $7, the equivalent gutter in vinyl is $4 and the equivalent gutter in steel is $12 and none of that includes the hangers etc that you need for any type of premade gutter to actually attach it to your house. So, do I think I would do this again as opposed to buying actual gutters if I had to actually go out and buy the PVC pipe? YES. I really love how well these work, how they look and how easy it was to do.

(Oh and YES I am fully aware that my eves need to be painted lol, one thing at a time!)

PVC rain gutters DIY out of a 3" PVC pipe cut in half with a table saw and then screwed to the eve using steel hex nut screws, how to, do it yourselfHow to make seemless rain gutters out of 3

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  1. July 6, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    What a clever trick! We’re required to have downspouts, which would make this project much more difficult, but this is a great option for sheds or smaller structures that might not need full gutters. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  2. July 6, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    great idea, thanks so much for sharing the tip, this is something I will be adding to our to do list soon
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    • July 6, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Great Angie! Thanks for coming by!

  3. July 6, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    I love the idea of using what you have… and not always doing it the “right” way! Thinking “outside the box” is great. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your project.

    • July 6, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      Thank you! Have a great weekend!

  4. Jann Olson
    July 7, 2017 at 4:30 am

    What a clever diy! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.

    • July 7, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks Jann, have a great weekend!

  5. July 7, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    I’ve been looking for quick ideas for just above my front door and this would be perfect! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • July 7, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Awesome Trudy, have a great weekend!

  6. July 8, 2017 at 4:59 am

    Great job! We have a friend that has the expensive gutters. They look terrible because the water is overflowing the gutters and leaving them very dirty.

  7. July 9, 2017 at 7:14 am

    That’s an absolute genius idea! I’ve got a shed in my garden that this would be perfect for, even better as PVC pipe is rather cheap and I’ve found guttering to come at a premium.

    Aside the fun with the tablesaw and the pipe, did you have any other tricky bits?

    • July 10, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Adam, no tricky bits besides making sure to have an extending on your screw driver, the head of it will be too big to get into the pipe so make sure you have at least a 3″ extender for your bit! Thanks for coming by!

  8. July 9, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Great job! Have you thought about using a rain barrel as well? Just curious…

    • July 10, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Hi Nancy, yup next on my list is to look into rain barrels actually! I was even thinking about putting a little one in the corner of the garden (moving the perennials as need be to make room for it) gosh that would make watering the garden so easy!

  9. July 9, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing your ideas at the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  10. Marlene Stephenson
    July 9, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    I love your guttering it looks very professional. I would not be surprised if it works better than seamless guttering.

    • July 10, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Thank you so much, we’re really happy with it so far!

  11. July 12, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Shared. See you again soon.

    • July 12, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks Theresa for coming by!

  12. July 12, 2017 at 11:03 am

    What a wonderful idea, Thank you for sharing, have a great weekend!

    • July 12, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you, have a great weekend!

  13. August 13, 2017 at 8:41 am

    That’s wonderful DIY idea..Thanks for sharing


  14. Dory
    September 11, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Absolutely love this idea! Just bought a doublewide mobile home and plan on doing this! It will be perfect and mumu sturdier than the flimsy vinyl gutters you can buy. Been there done that. AZ can get some pretty heavy down pours and I think this will stand up much better. And for the down spouts can use drain tees as well as full cap at end where the run would end. All very doable!! Thank you for sharing this awesome idea!

    • September 11, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      What a great idea Dory! I was planning on doing the same thing on one end (an elbow down) so I can connect it to a rain barrel someday!

  15. Wanda Johnson
    September 19, 2018 at 9:45 am

    I am so glad I found this. It Is exactly what I need to do to my new single wide. I like trying to do projects that I mostly can manage myself and cost efficient. I was wondering though do you ever deal with leaves/debris getting caught in it? I was wondering if screwing/gluing/latching on some screening would be doable? I have to figure out where to screw it in since I dont have eves, so may be doing right into the siding trim near the roof. And I have added rain gutter to my future outside wish list. Thank you.

    • September 19, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Hi Wanda, this was such a great project that I am STILL really happy with how it worked out. I don’t have close leaf or pine trees near this part of the house so I haven’t had any problems with debris. They make something that’s like a foam that you can cut to size and put into your gutters that keeps the debris from going into them that might be an option for you. Any kind of screen over top should work too! Good luck!

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