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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Window Sills on new windows

    We are building an addition on our 1895 home. New Marvin windows (aluminum exterior/wood interior) are specced, but of course they do not have exterior window sills. We will be doing smartside siding and window casing.

    If possible, I would like some kind of exterior window sill to mimic our existing original windows. Can this be accomplished? How difficult?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Window Sills on new windows

    Of course it could be accomplished. How good are you with finish carpentry?

    Not sure? call an experienced handyman or carpenter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: Window Sills on new windows

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Of course it could be accomplished. How good are you with finish carpentry?

    Not sure? call an experienced handyman or carpenter.
    How? Our contractor is telling us not to do it. He wants to run the smartside all 4 sides around the window with no sill.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Window Sills on new windows

    Your window installer has his opinion, you have yours. maybe he doesn't know how to build a sill.

    You can still get a good carpenter to come and do it to match exactly. It's not rocket science to figure out how the original carpenters did it.

    Hey, they build McDonald restaurants all over the world - same design, same looks, same everything - but different carpenters are doing the work, don't they?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Window Sills on new windows

    sounds like your contractor is looking for the easy cheap way out to me. make sure you tell him what you want, not what he wants. any decent contractor can do it.

  6. #6
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Window Sills on new windows

    Problem is many new windows are not formed to take molding in the way that traditional wood-framed windows were. They can still look OK from the curb, but close inspection reveals the galling shortcomings. When a new window (like Andersen 400 series) has a 1x1 protrusion of clad molding as the jamb, you are stuck with it; any additional molding can only butt up to it, as it's too thick to cover. There obviously are windows that can be custom-ordered with any trim configuration you desire (like Marvin Magnum/Ultimate lines) but "if you have to ask how much they cost..."
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: Window Sills on new windows

    Actually, I think "sill horn" is the correct term for what I want... a sill that sticks out 1" or so from the siding.

    I will talk to the contractor and window supplier. We are using Marvin double hung windows, but not sure of the exact model name.

    On the Marvin website it talks about exterior "subsills" which kind of looks like what I want, but I want the window trim / sill to be a different color than the window sash itself (since the original house is circa 1895).

    I don't necessarily need an exact match since I am leaving the original windows (with ugly storms) in the main part of the house, but I don't want it to be out of character either.
    Last edited by G_Larson; 10-22-2013 at 11:27 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,188

    Default Re: Window Sills on new windows

    If the contractor doesn't want to do this when it is rather easy to do, I would want to know why. And when (not if) he can't give a really good reason to not do this I'd send him packing and find someone who actually has good carpentry skills. That's not as easy as it once was, but every area will have at least one company with real carpenters in it who can (and will) do almost anything you want done. We're usually pretty busy but we will work you in! You may find that another equal window will be a better choice here, that will have to be based on what you're trying to match. These windows you've chosen may be a good choice, just not for this particular installation, and only with my seeing all of it can I offer an opinion there. I do know that there are a lot of good windows to choose from and some have features which don't always fit into the plan as well as others.

    The problem is that most so-called carpenters these days only have new-home construction skills. They are clueless as to how to do more than nail into the studs or cut a 45 degree miter on speed-base for trim work. Neither would they know how to shape the sill from stock, they would not know how to install it correctly or even know what wood it should be made out of. You need someone better than this so go find them. You and your historic home deserve better than this.

    Phil

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