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New Window Installation

I have a 20+ year old house with windows that seem to always be covered with condensation. my wife and I decided to replace them with new energy efficient windows. Due to the age of our home and the constant moisture the old windows were holding we wanted to go back to stud to inspect for rot. Upon removal of the first window there was rot. it is on the rough sill in the corners. In researching the best way to remove and replace the 2x4 sill I have found posts that say to leave it there. Since the new windows are nail-fin, the sill is a non-structural member. Is this accurate information or lazy construction?? I have always been under the impression that there is no such thing as an acceptable level of rot. 

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Posted 2021-01-11T21:18:58+0000  by gonefishin gonefishin
While the sill plate isn't structural it does support the window, so you want it to be sound.  I would probably chip away some of the rotted area and see just how far it goes.  If it's not extensive, then you can use some Minwax Wood Hardener, which is basically dilute cyanoacrylate glue then either Minwax High Performance Wood Filler or Bondo (they're basically the same thing) to fill the void and give yourself a smooth surface.

The other option, obviously, is to remove the sill plate.  Pull the nails, cut the nails/screws on the sheathing and drywall with an oscillating tool.  Drywall screws are hardened, so buy an extra blade or two.  Put in a new sill plate, reattach the sheathing and drywall.

When you put in the new window, please flash it properly.  Plenty of videos on YouTube on how to do it.  Tommy Silva on This Old House or Gary Katz on This Is Carpentry both do a good job explaining the process.
Posted 2021-01-12T00:56:45+0000  by Adam444
Hi gonefishin,

It always best to replace any rotting wood, the area may have termites and if not, it may be a good way for them to enter and destroy your wall. Structural integrity is also an issue and it is just good construction practice to replace any rotting materials. If you are unsure how to do this, get a local contractor or handyman to do the job.

Posted 2021-01-14T21:00:03+0000  by Mike_HD_OC
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