Repairing Rotted Window Sills

By Robert Robillard on Exterior Repairs

Repairing Rotted Window Sills

Repairing Rotted Window Sills With Dutchman Patches

Look at any wood exterior building and you’ll notice that the windowsills take a beating form mother nature. Windowsills by design are sloped but still basically a horizontal shelf where water and snow can accumulate. Add to that a house without gutters and you’re a candidate for windowsill and related trim rot.

Once water finds its way behind trim or under paint and caulk to rot process begins. Ongoing exposure to this moisture will cause the windowsill to rot, and worsen over time. When caught in time often a small epoxy repair is all that is needed.

But when discovered late or left unchecked, the rot will penetrate deeper into the windowsill, and even wall framing requiring much more and more extensive repair.

Repairing Rotted Window Sills

Window Repair or Window Replace

The age-old debate of window replacement or window repair is a tough one to answer but I’ll do my best to address my thought process and how I try to guide my clients decision process.

I look at the repair verses the replacement question as a business approach. What makes the most sense; based on time, budget longevity and of course hidden costs.

When dealing with old historic windows, often times repairing is the only option. Many times these windows are protected by a city or town’s historic district commission specifying that the window details remain unchanged. Often times, replacement requires having a custom and costly window fabricated to match the style, look and dimensions of the existing old windows.

Other circumstances where repairing may be an option is on higher end homes with large expensive units, [PHOTO ABOVE] bay windows or multiple mulled windows. Many times these windows will have high-end trim, wainscoting or faux wall finishes that would add a multitude of extra costs if the window is replaced.

I often opt for window replacement when the cost of the window, any interior work relating to the replacement and my replacement labor are equal or less than the time I’d spend performing a quality repair. I often see this as a realistic option on more modern homes when dealing with stand alone window units and simple interior finishes and trim.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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