New Window: Exterior Window Trim

jburr827March 13, 2011

Hey Everyone,

I would like to replace a window and have done several in my house already. Up until now, I have always installed Anderson Woodright 400 replacement windows as, among other things, I did not want to disturb the exterior trim on the house.

The window I am working on now presents a new challenge, because I want to make it smaller. My first thought when I decided to change the size was to go with a new contruction window as opposed to a replacement and live with the fact that I will have to redo some of the wood siding and the exterior wood trim.

My concern however is making the new window look similar to the old ones. Specifically, the old ones are trimmed in blue. My question is, how do people install new construction windows but trim them up on the oustide to look like the old ones? You can see a picture of what the old ones look like here:

If I install a new construction window, how can I make the sill look like the old ones? I guess instead of painting the sill like the old ones, I could install a skinny blue trim board below the white sill that comes on the new window and then install trim boards on the sides and across the top as well. Is that what other people have done in this situation? Alternatively, I suppose I could take apart the current frame, rebuild it smaller, and then re-install that before using another replacement window. This would allow me to leave the current blue sill in place.



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Why don't you just fix your current window and avoid all these headaches?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 12:31AM
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How is he supposed to "fix" his window when his goal is to reduce the size? Did you even read his post before responding?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 1:11AM
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Windows on Washington


Xold was just on a good streak of recommending the repair of windows and it spilled into some additional threads.

Collateral damage.

You can pull that window trim and install a buck inside the current opening to shrink it down to what you need in terms of finished dimensions.

Once you are done with that, just rip down some trim wood to the dimensions you need on the exterior, put that new wood up, and paint it to match.

This can be done with either a new construction window or the insert.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 10:25AM
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Hey Everyone,

Thank you for the responses. I never thought of installing a buck - that's probably what I am going to do.

I actually appreciate the response of fixing the current window and evaluate each of my windows as I address them with this in mind. I like the old glass and understand the advantages of my older wood windows. That being said, some of my windows are simply not salvageable beyond building new sashes and starting over - the cost of which in terms of money and time would, at least according to my analysis, exceed the cost of a reasonably high-quality replacement. Some of my windows are also very difficult to access (I have a few 3 stories high in dormers) making the swap of the storm and screen difficult at best. The owner before me installed aluminum storm windows on some of these, but as far as I can tell they are garbage for the most part. All they did was succeed in causing a lot of damage - those are the only windows in the house (out of more than 40) that have rotted sills and jambs.

Anyway, thanks again everyone. I am really thankful to have this forum and others like it. I have been working to renovate my house for the last 5 years and simply could not have done it without your help.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 2:03PM
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When I replaced my windows I did sort of the opposite. I replaced a smaller window with two larger ones. Since I wanted everything to match inside and out I used the same "insert" windows and had the contractor build a new frame and sill and trim the outside the same as the other windows. On the inside they trimmed using the old trim from another window that I removed. I had to find some recycled boards for the inside stool and apron - which was expensive - but matched the old trim boards well. But if you're going smaller you should be able to just cut down any existing trim that you want to keep.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 1:42PM
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