How to Calculate Linear Feet for Gutters

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Things You'll Need

  • Ladder

  • Measuring tape

  • Calculator

  • Twine

  • Masking tape

From time to time rain gutters wear out and must be replaced. Keeping gutters in good condition is more important than many people realize. Not only can runoff from a roof ruin landscaping next to a building, it may cause erosion that will damage the foundation. And of course no one likes to get soaked when stepping outside. There is a simple and accurate way to measure and calculate linear feet for gutters that doesn't require climbing all the way up on the roof.


Step 1

Position a ladder at one end of a wall with a gutter--or where one is to be installed. Always inspect ladders before using them and make certain the feet of the ladder are secure before climbing up.

Step 2

Use masking tape to fasten one end of a ball of twine to the corner of the roof. Make sure the end of the twine is exactly at the corner to maximize accuracy.

Step 3

Feed out the twine while you descend the ladder and walk to the other end of the wall. Move the ladder to this point.


Step 4

Take the twine with you up the ladder. Gently pull the twine taut and mark where it reaches the end of the roof with another piece of masking tape. Then give the twine a sharp tug to free the other end and descend the ladder.

Step 5

Use a measuring tape to find the length of the twine from its end to the spot marked by the masking tape. If the gutter turns an outside corner, add the width of the gutter to the length measured--do this twice if the gutter turns the corners at both ends. Subtract the width of the gutter for any inside corners to allow room for a connecting box miter.

Step 6

Repeat Steps 1 to 5 for each section where gutters are needed. Calculate linear feet for gutters by adding up all of the measured lengths.



William Adkins

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.