Replacing rotted wood around windows


Old 07-14-14, 05:43 PM
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Replacing rotted wood around windows

I live in a 74-year old house which still has its original wood windows and wood storm windows (the kind that hook on to tabs). The windows are in fantastic shape, but the storms are falling apart. In preparation to replace them with new storms, I discovered that the exterior jambs around a couple of my windows, and one sill, have rotted from water pouring over the edge of a clogged gutter and onto them.

I had planned to dig out the rotted wood and repair it with an epoxy, but the rotted areas are kind of large. Would it be possible to just tear out the bad wood and replace it, or is there more to it than that? Is it something that I could hire someone to do? Or should I just suck it up, get out the credit card, and pay for some new windows?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Despite having a nice-looking house, I have the ugliest, most dilapidated windows in the neighborhood.
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Old 07-14-14, 05:54 PM
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Welcome to the forums! How energy efficient are the windows? Storms will help keep winter weather at bay, but if they are single paned units, you may reap more of a savings over time to suck it up and replace the windows.

Sills generally are separate from the window frame and are replaceable, believe it or not. You can pry the sill out from the frame, buy a replacement, cut it and nail it in place, caulk and prime/paint. As for the exterior jambs rotting, if they aren't too large you may find epoxy a way to go. If not, then you will be removing the windows anyway, why not replace them?
Old 07-14-14, 07:41 PM
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Thanks so much for the quick reply! The windows are single pane and surely not very energy efficient at all. I would love to have new windows for the increased efficiency, as well as better functionality and looks, but that's something I'd feel much more comfortable with having professionally done. I'm trying to avoid that cost right now, but it may end up happening, depending on how the repairs turn out.

It's great to know that it's that simple to replace the sills. I think I've made a mistake in calling the other rotted part the jamb though, it's more like a casing. There are three windows in a row in one large opening in the brick, and between them are pieces of wood about 4 inches wide which are flush with the existing storm windows. It's one of those which has become rotted. Sorry for the confusion. Is that replaceable perhaps? If not, I'll try the epoxy and new sill, and see how things go.
Old 07-14-14, 08:11 PM
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Yes, the exterior trim is also called the exterior casing. If you don't have a multitool, (like a Multimaster or one of the other knock-offs) this might be a good time to buy one. It would allow you to cut out - say 6" - from one of the pieces of casing without removing the entire piece. You can then just replace a portion of the casing. Of course replacing the entire piece is sometimes less work, provided you have the tools to cut and plane the wood down to 4" x its thickness.... (sometimes 1" or 1 1/8" thick.)

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