Rain gutters might perform the crucial role of helping to protect your home against the elements, but they also have a few additional and unexpected purposes. One option that might surprise you is using them as bookshelves, which are particularly suitable for children’s rooms, since they keep the fronts of the books visible to the extent that they encourage reading. Assembling rain gutter bookshelves is a great way to re-purpose an old gutter system, especially if you’re upgrading to a
maintenance-free seamless gutter system. However, you can also buy basic vinyl gutters very cheaply, making it a viable alternative to buying the often low-quality flat-packed bookshelves.
Before you get started, you’ll need to gather a few tools and materials including, of course, the rain gutter sections themselves. Rain gutters typically come in ten-foot sections, although your local hardware store may well be willing to cut them into smaller sections as required. If not, you can easily do so yourself using a hacksaw. Optionally, you may want to install end caps on the ends of the gutters for a more complete appearance. You can also paint gutters using vinyl paint if
you want to further customize their appearance.
Have a friend help you by holding the rain gutters to the walls you want to mount them on. Using a spirit level to ensure that they’re perfectly level, draw an outline of the gutter on the wall using a pencil. Now, you’ll need to install the brackets, and for this, you will need wall plugs and matching screws. To ensure that the bookshelves stay on the wall, use a stud finder to find the studs (assuming you have a stud wall). Simply drilling into render will not be sufficient for keeping the bookshelves on the wall. Ideally, you’ll want to install one bracket at least every 24 inches.
Once you have cut the rain gutters to size and installed the brackets, you simply need to mount the gutter in the brackets. You can further smarten up the job by sanding the edges to ensure they are completely smooth or just cover them up with end caps. If you choose to install end caps, you may want to use some vinyl cement to prevent them from falling off easily. Simply repeat the process for any additional shelves you use, making sure to locate the studs each time which, in most modern homes, should be 16 inches apart.