replacing tile window sills
October 9, 2011 4:16 PM   Subscribe

We had the aluminum windows replaced in our 1968 brick veneer rambler. The replacement windows are vinyl. In the process we had the storm windows and ceramic tile sills ripped out. Now the original framing and drywall is exposed. What is the best way to finish the sills?

Bonus points if "best way" justifies the purchase of a miter saw.

Here are some images:

Window 1

Window 1

Window 1

The installer also said not to put any installation beneath the vinyl frame because the windows expand and contract. Really?
posted by mecran01 to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
It looks like you need to trim them out all the way around, not just the sills. You'll probably want to mimic the way your interior doors are trimmed, so take a look at those door casings and see if you can find similar moldings. You'll also have to decide whether you want an actual sill projecting at the bottom, or a picture frame sort of look with the trim the same all the way around.

The sill goes in first, if you decide to make one. Then the side and top jambs, which should be wide enough to butt against the vinyl window and stand just a hair proud of the drywall surface. Finally the casing to bridge the gap between jamb and drywall. If you have a sill then another board goes under it, flat against the wall, to help support it both mechanically and visually.
posted by jon1270 at 5:20 PM on October 9, 2011

I probably should have replied sooner, but I was too embarassed. Basically, I am trying to figure out how to make the sills, and what to make them from. I don't even know what you're telling me, my apologies.
posted by mecran01 at 4:24 PM on October 17, 2011

Don't feel bad. Since you mentioned a miter saw, I assumed you were interested in using wood trim. It sounds like you'd benefit from some in-person guidance, which I unfortunately can't give you. Google can help you understand terms like jamb and casing, but it can be really hard to see window trim (or really any manufactured object) as an agglomeration of simple parts until you've taken one apart yourself, or been walked through the process of building. Carpentry is mostly a matter of cutting things to shape and nailing them together: cut, position, nail, cut, position, nail -- on and on. Ask your handiest friend if he or she would like to work through this with you. Failing that, I'd look for short online videos.
posted by jon1270 at 9:44 AM on October 18, 2011

Thank you. A neighbor suggested I take a baseboard and invert it, placing it up against the gap between the window and the framing. I can then place a simple 1 x 4 along the base. It will be austere but functional and not too hideous. Fully trimming the windows is more than I need to do at this point. I have been looking at youtube videos as well.
posted by mecran01 at 9:04 AM on November 15, 2011

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