Do Replacement Windows Come with Sills?

Do Replacement Windows Come with Sills?
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Reviewed by Bryan Baeumler

When it comes to replacing the windows in your home, one important consideration for every homeowner is whether or not the replacement windows will come with window sills.

Window sills play a crucial role in both the functionality and aesthetics of any window - which is why understanding their purpose can help you make an informed decision about your home.

Key takeaways

  • In most cases, full-frame replacement windows come with new window sills as part of the complete window unit.
  • For insert replacement windows (pocket windows), the existing window sills are typically left in place, and the new window unit is designed to fit within the existing frame and opening.

What Are Window Sills?

A window sill is the horizontal surface on the bottom of a window frame, typically extending a few inches into the interior of the room. Window sills serve several purposes:

  • Structural support: They provide a solid base for the window frame to rest on, distributing the weight evenly and maintaining the structural integrity of the window and surrounding wall.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Window sills are a decorative element that can enhance the overall appearance of a room. They can be made from various materials, such as wood, stone, or vinyl, allowing homeowners to match them with their interior design.
  • Energy efficiency: Properly installed window sills help create a tight seal between the window frame and the wall, preventing air leaks and improving the energy efficiency of your home.

In addition to their practical functions, window sills can also provide a convenient surface for placing plants, and decorative items, or simply resting your arms while enjoying the view.

What Are Window Sills

Do Replacement Windows Come with Sills?

The answer to this question depends on the type of window replacement you choose, and the condition of your existing window frames and openings.

Full-Frame Replacement Windows

Full-frame replacement windows involve removing the entire existing window frame, including the sills, and installing a brand-new window unit. In this case, the replacement windows will typically come with new window sills as part of the complete assembly.

This option is often recommended when the existing window frames and sills are in poor condition, or if you want to change the window style or size of the opening. Full-frame replacement windows also provide an opportunity to replace the sills with new materials that match your desired aesthetic, or improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Insert Replacement Windows

Insert replacement windows, also known as pocket windows, are installed within the existing window frame. In this scenario, the existing sills are usually left in place, and the new window unit is designed to fit snugly into the opening without disturbing the surrounding frame or trim.

If your existing window sills are in good condition and you're satisfied with their appearance and functionality, insert replacement windows can be a cost-effective option that preserves the original sills.

Considerations for Replacing Window Sills

Even if your replacement windows come with new sills, there are several factors to consider when deciding whether to replace the existing sills or keep them:

  1. Age and condition: If your existing window sills are severely damaged, warped, or rotted, it may be necessary to replace them for structural integrity and energy efficiency.
  2. Material compatibility: When replacing only the sills, it's important to choose materials that are compatible with your existing window frames and surrounding wall materials. For example, installing wooden window sills with vinyl window frames may not be the best choice due to potential moisture issues.
  3. Aesthetic preferences: If you're looking to update the overall appearance of your windows, replacing the sills with a different material or style can greatly enhance the visual appeal of your home.
  4. Building codes and regulations: Depending on your location, there may be specific building codes or regulations that dictate materials and installation methods for window sills.

Do Replacement Windows Come with Sills

Installation Process for Replacement Windows with Sills

If you're installing full-frame replacement windows that include new sills, the installation process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Prepare the window opening: The existing window frame, including the sill, is carefully removed, and the opening is cleaned and prepared for the new unit.
  2. Install the new window frame and sill: The new window frame and sill are carefully positioned and secured in the opening, ensuring a proper fit and level installation.
  3. Seal and insulate the window unit: Gaps between the window frame and the surrounding wall are sealed with appropriate insulation and caulking materials to prevent air leaks and moisture infiltration.
  4. Finishing touches: Window trim, caulking, and other finishing details are applied to create a seamless and aesthetically pleasing installation.

It's important to note that proper installation is crucial for ensuring the longevity and performance of your replacement windows and sills. Hiring a professional window installer with experience in your specific type of window replacement is highly recommended. Why? Because, sometimes you may have problems caused by poor window installation.

Installation Process for Replacement Windows with Sills

Advantages of Replacing Window Sills

Replacing window sills along with your replacement windows can offer several benefits:

  1. Improved energy efficiency: New sills can help create a tighter seal between the window frame and the wall, reducing air leaks and improving the overall energy efficiency of your home.
  2. Enhanced structural integrity: Replacing old, damaged sills with new, sturdy materials can provide better support for the window frame and ensure the long-term stability of the installation.
  3. Aesthetic appeal: New sills can significantly enhance the visual appeal of your windows, and complement the overall interior design of your home.
  4. Increased home value: Well-maintained and attractive windows, including updated sills, can contribute to increased home value and curb appeal.

Advantages of Replacing Window Sills

Considerations for Existing Window Sills

If you decide to keep your existing window sills during an insert replacement or pocket window installation, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Repairing or refinishing: Depending on the condition of your existing sills, you may need to repair or refinish them to ensure they continue to function properly and maintain their aesthetic appeal.
  2. Matching new materials: If you're replacing your window frames but keeping the sills, it's important to choose materials that complement your existing sills in terms of colour, style, and texture.
  3. Cost implications: Keeping existing sills can save you money compared to a full window replacement, but you'll need to factor in necessary repair or refinishing costs.

Conclusion

All in all, when considering replacement windows for your home, the decision between including new window sills and keeping existing sills depends on various factors, such as the type of window replacement, the condition of your current sills, aesthetic preferences, and budgetary constraints.

It's essential to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each option, and to consult with professional window installers to ensure your replacement windows and sills are installed correctly and meet all necessary building codes and regulations.

By understanding the role of window sills and considering their impact on functionality, energy efficiency, and aesthetics, you can make an informed decision that enhances the overall comfort, value, and appeal of your home.

Remember, proper installation by experienced professionals is crucial for ensuring the longevity and performance of your replacement windows and sills. Don't hesitate to seek expert advice and prioritize quality workmanship for a successful window replacement project.

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Julia Gurevich
Julia Gurevich

Julia Gurevich is a versatile content writer with a passion for delivering captivating narratives through a diverse and attentive approach. Her eye for detail helps her craft content that resonates with audiences across varied home improvement industries, capturing the perfect balance between information and entertainment. As a content coordinator, Julia takes pride in delivering content that leaves a lasting impact through her ability to navigate seamless content strategies and collaborative projects between teams. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Toronto’s cultural landscape, visiting local parks, and getting to know members of the community through events and activities.

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