Windows not sitting on the sill anymore


Old 06-04-12, 12:48 PM
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Location: Chicago
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Windows not sitting on the sill anymore


I'm looking to buy my first house. After home inspection, I was told the windows on the top floor in the south side of the building have moved and are no longer sitting on limestone sill. This house is 9 years old. It's a wood frame construction with brick veneer. There are limestone sill on the base of each window opening. To my understanding, the base of the windows are supposed to overlap the limestone sill to prevent water penetration. From what I can see, the base of those windows are no longer overlapping the limestone sill. There is a 3/4" gap between base of the windows and the sill. Those gaps are currently caulked but the caulked is not flushed to the surface of the sill and water can accumulate. I can see trace of water mark in the ceiling of the floor below. There are two sets of windows with this problem. They are all double hung. The first window is about 2 foot wide. The other is a set of 3 windows about 8 feet wide total. They are all in the 3rd floor of the building.

First of all, is this a red flag or it is common issue due to settlement? What is the right way to fix this? Any idea how much would it costs (I'm in Chicago)?



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Old 06-04-12, 01:05 PM
Shadeladie's Avatar
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The pros will step in, but just wanted to say, my house is 60 years old and nothing like that has happened. The most that occurred is a small hairline crack in the upstairs hallway and the outside cement steps settled down about a half inch, so I'd say it's a big red flag.
Old 06-04-12, 01:42 PM
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Have they "moved", or were they installed poorly? Measure the width of the ones on the lower level that have no problem and compare it to the width of the upper ones. Glad you got an inspector that could spot something like that!! Red Flag. Either a wider sill needs to be installed so it extends under the window, or what ever problem caused this needs to be corrected. It may not be a deal breaker, since it can be fixed, but Archimedes would be proud. You have a lever with a long handle to make a contingency.
Old 06-04-12, 03:49 PM
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What chandler said. Nearly always, the sill is part of the window frame and runs completely under the window, and overhangs the framing, brick, etc. It sounds like this was an add on sometime, and not a very good one.
Old 06-04-12, 03:55 PM
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Check the window design, too. It looks as if these are replacement windows, and may not be of the original design. Just taking a stab at things.

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