Rotten Window Sill Replacement

 
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Old 09-17-2006, 07:39 PM   #1
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Rotten Window Sill Replacement


What is the best way to go about replacing rotten wood window sills?

I have a homeowner's association that I work with every year replacing rotten masonite siding and trims before the painters go in and do thier thing. I use Hardi-plank for all siding and plastic for everything else(Brickmould, drip cap, 1/4 round). There are several windows that have rotten sills and brickmould, but are otherwise in good shape. I know that the sills can be replaced, but I just want to know how to do it right.

I have heard of people using Trex for the replacement sills.

Does anybody have experience repairing these types of windows?

Any input will be greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-17-2006, 08:41 PM   #2
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


If it's a wood window, MW has a no rot sill that can replace the wood sill. You still need to pull the window but most of the time the bottom of the side jambs are rotted too. Some wood sills are two piec and you can just replace the nose , Home Depot sells that here in plastic/vinyl whatever.

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Old 09-18-2006, 12:53 AM   #3
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


You can get almost all sills at a real lumber yard, noone rebuilds them anymore though.. they all get replaced with metal windows. How old are you talking? Rope and pulley or....
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:48 AM   #4
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


The windows are not that old. Around 10-15 years.

I don't know how they do it, but there are a few companies here that will rebuild them without pulling the window. That is what I am hoping to do if possible. This is only on the windows that are in good shape other than the sills. These windows are everywhere in my area. Almost every house that has been built in the last 20 years has them, with the exception of the last 5 years, where they put the cheapest vinyl window they can find and slap it in.

I know on the windows I replace, I will use the pvc clad windows.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:00 AM   #5
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


I've never replaced a whole silly without removing sashes and tracks. Personally I stay away from rotten wood replacment unless it is attached to a window replacement job.

I've seen many times in the past where someone would cut the exposed wood off and simply fasten a new piece similiar in size to the one cut.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:16 AM   #6
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


I've done it plenty-o'-times in the past, - - just break out the sawzall, - - use a thin metal blade, - - that'll not only get you through any fasteners, but it will also provide for a nice thin cut.

Cutting/removing the sill is actually simple, - - custom making the new jamb to both to match and to slide on in is more dependant on one's skill level, - - but is completely do-able. Just takes a little more time for some (each sill has angles, bevels, rabbetts, horns, etc.).

Last time I did it was about 3 years ago in Princeton, - - we had to do 9 of 'em, - - we cut one out for match-up, - - then I ran back to my shop to 'duplicate' them, while the other carp (experienced) cut 'n cleaned the rest out.

The whole job only took about 5 hours (including riding time).

Oh, - - and the customer was to do the painting.

Last edited by Tom R; 09-18-2006 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 09-18-2006, 09:53 AM   #7
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


Tom,

Does the new sill slide in from the inside? If so, the stool and inside trim need to come off, don't they? I want to do one long piece if possible. Some of them are three windows wide.

I'm hoping that I can use the no-rot sills at H.D. and modify them if neccesary.

I am pretty good with a tablesaw, so I can make whatever I need to make. I'm just trying to go through the process in my head so I can figure out a price.

Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:41 AM   #8
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


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Originally Posted by jmancan View Post
Tom,

Does the new sill slide in from the inside? If so, the stool and inside trim need to come off, don't they?

No, - - from the outside, - - you can remove the apron if you want, - - but you don't necessarily have to (we didn't). Although the apron is often nailed into the sill (just a few finish nails), - - once all your cutting is done the sill can be pulled away, with the apron remaining right in place. Any nails (downward) that might be though the stool can be easily cut out with the sawzall.

The sill has to slide in from the outside because the horns are longer then the window (opening) width.

If you're confident in yourself with your table-saw cuts 'n being able to 'match-up' the old, - - you'll pull this off . . .
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:09 PM   #9
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


Oh, - - and here's a little trick to make the 'removal' easier.

Cut a center-section out of the sill first (just 2 or 3" wide), - - that'll give you more (side-to-side) 'play' to lever the other sections out easier.

You can use a wood-cutting sawzall blade for this part, - - but do 'it' before your other cutting or the rough wood blade will give you too much vibation.
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Old 09-18-2006, 02:15 PM   #10
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


And here I thought I was the only one that replaced sills without pulling the windows.. heh, ya it works pretty good. If you have to replace the inside peice something is wrong with the seal IMO, most times its a tounge and grove deal with the outside sliding right out... now the older ones, with the ropes and pully deal... those are a pain in the azz. Start with a 35 bevel on the newer wood windows and adjust from there.
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Old 09-19-2006, 08:40 AM   #11
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


Thanks for the help guys. I feel confident that I can pull it off now. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Old 09-19-2006, 10:14 AM   #12
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


OK, - - good luck!!
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:12 PM   #13
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


To build on Tom's trick, make sure you cut the center piece out in a "V" so that it lifts out easily.
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:07 AM   #14
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


Thanks Wayne.

I went and took a closer look at one of the sills that need to be replaced. It is a double window. It looks like the sill will come out pretty easily. Just have to pull the brick mould and the center muttin. I went ahead and purchased the no rot pvc sill and nosing at H.D. and it looks like it's going to work perfectly on these types of windows.

I also can't put in just one long sill, but the sills come out flush with the window jamb, and then the nosing goes on and covers it up and makes it look like one piece. Then the new center muttin covers the seam in the sills. Pretty cool

Thanks again guys.
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:35 AM   #15
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


Good to hear, jman, - - but just for your future info, - - it's 'muntin'.

'Muttin' is the final hunt for the leftover gals at bar closin' time . . .
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:25 AM   #16
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


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'Muttin' is the final hunt for the leftover gals at bar closin' time . . .
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:36 AM   #17
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


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Old 09-20-2006, 10:16 AM   #18
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


If the sill is not totally rotten, there are alternatives like GitRot and penetrating epoxies. You can read up on it here: http://www.rotdoctor.com/

We use this type of repair on wooden boats all of the time. The rotten wood acts like a wick and draws the epoxy into it where it cures.
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Old 09-20-2006, 11:29 AM   #19
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


Tom, the word I was actually looking for was mullion. Just got cornfused!

Teetor, thanks for the info. I will have some areas that I will need something like this. Might just order some and have it handy.
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Old 09-20-2006, 03:22 PM   #20
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Re: Rotten Window Sill Replacement


Quote:
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Tom, the word I was actually looking for was mullion.
Oh, OK, - - I must'a been confused, too, - - I'm lookin' to make a mullion myself . . .

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