I started writing this post going into a rousing round of Shania Twain “you’re still the one” lyrics circa 1998 but replacing “still” with “sill” along with a few other choice words, but I didn’t. You’re welcome. So now that you have THAT song permanently stuck in your head, let’s talk about our porch reno progress and our sill repair. The rotting porch window sill was just one of the many 99 problems of our porch but probably the one that spurred us into porch action the most. The windows and sill were rotting away and we needed to save them! Like Batman would! Except replace the cape and hunky man specimen with Colby and a circular saw. Anyway…we removed all the windows and the porch looked like this:
We took advantage of having all the windows removed and painted those hard-to-reach areas like all the way around the porch columns. I love how crackled the paint is here. I try so hard sometimes to achieve that crackled finish with chalk paint and always fail so it’s nice to appreciate authentic, 100+ year old crackled paint.
The columns used to be boxed in on the exterior of the porch…hence why they were hard to paint before. But during the porch demo phase of the project, the old column boxes were tossed due to excessive rot. So we built some new ones out of pine, pre primed/painted them, and reinstalled them around the columns. As much as I would have loved the columns to also be visible street side, the porch windows needed something solid and straight to attach to in those corners. Boxing columns it is.
Now…to the sill repairs. Our next step was beefing up the window sill. One of the problems with the porch was that during rainstorms (and snow storms), moisture would creep underneath the bottoms of the windows and pool there. The sill was flat and occasionally due to frost heaves in the winter, sloped towards the porch. Over the years, all that water did a number on the original wood sill and bottoms of the window sash. Since we had to trim off the bottoms of all the sash to remove excessive rot, we had to build up the sill to make up for the sash trim. And while we were at it, the sill might as well slope away from the windows so we don’t get the same water damage. Enter the new sill.
That’s the end of the new wood sill. So you can see the slope-ie part. It’s just a long piece of pine that Colby ran through the table saw to bevel the edge off at about a 15-degree angle. Each piece was cut to the length needed to fit between the porch posts. Then they were installed by first running a bead of construction adhesive along the old window sill:
And then nailed to the old window sill using some long nails and a nail gun:
Paslode for the win! Here’s a shot from above of the new window sill layered on top of the old window sill:
You can also see there how the sill was notched to fit around the porch column casing. And here’s another shot of the window sill where you can (kind of) see the bevel cut, sloping away from the interior of the porch along with the 45-degree cut where the two sills meet at the corner of the porch column casing:
Here’s a better shot of the sill, all puttied up waiting for paint, where you can see how it slopes away from the porch but still adds the extra height to the old window sill to account for the loss of porch sash height.
And just because pictures make way more sense than words, here’s a shot of one of the porch windows installed on top of the new sill:
Each window had to have about 3/4″ of rot taken off the bottom sash. Meaning the new sill added the 3/4″ difference so the window could be reinstalled as they were before. That way the windows would still be operable, fit in their original location, and be rot-less, and now with the sill slope, water wouldn’t pool underneath them anymore. And here’s the exterior shot after all the windows were trimmed and reinstalled:
Technically the windows were all dry-fitted. They needed to be removed one more time for re-glazing and painting. But more on the window sash repairs on another day. No need to steal the sill’s show. So for now, let’s enjoy that it’s raining and water is no longer seeping into the bottoms of our porch windows!
Have I mentioned that Goose REALLY enjoys the newly open-able porch windows?! Random side note, we threw open the sash (sorry…shameless Night Before Christmas Reference…couldn’t help it), and Goose jumped up on the sill. Like in all his squirrel-watching glory, perched on top of the sash to get a better look at the little vermin. Then he got scared and didn’t know how to get down. Silly
rabbit Goose…Trix are for kids! Batman Colby saved him. Who was that masked man?!
Pssst…Catch up on all our porch shenanigans starting with our porch problems, porch demo, repairing minor rot with plastic wood, and then our most recent state of the porch address. Next up, porch sash repair and window glazing.