Can we replace our windows and retain the marble windowsills?

We have a house that was built in the 50's and has marble windowsills throughout. We would like to replace the old aluminum windows, but we would like to keep the marble sills. We've talked to a couple of contractors and a window dealer, and it's 2:1 against the sills so far.
The problems I can think of are (1) possibly breaking the sills during window removal; and (2) the new window frames will probably be thicker, which might cause the sills to jut out into the room more (assuming they butt up against the frame rather than go under it).
Has anyone done something like this? We'd really like to keep the sills...
Thanks!!
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marble cuts well using a wet tile saw. keep asking others to see if they'll do it.

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You should be able to find someone to do that. Just make sure that they are insured, and that the contract you sign says that if a sill is damaged they will pay for someone to replace it.

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I had the same problem with nonreplacable mouldings, crowns etc. I did not get anyone who would guarentee the mouldings would not break upon removal. These are 100 years old and could not me matched up without a custom job, which I was not prepared to do. Have you considered window inserts? If your frames are solid and you know you have insullation around the frames this might be an alternative. I went this route on single hung inserts. They look fine, 0 loss of window size, 0 draft issues and 0 noise issues. Not only did I save on the mouldings the inserts were less expensive.
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What exactly is a window insert? We have aluminum storm windows that are attached on the outside. It is very inconvenient to open or clean the windows with this arrangement, which is one reason we want to replace them. Another is that even with the storm windows they are not very energy efficient.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Every window is set in a frame. With new window installation you remove the window and frame. With inserts you remove the window only. A track system and some 2x3 pine is set in the exhisting frame and the insert is set in this. This is only a good option if your frame is free from rot and you know that around the frame is insullated as when inserting these neither the inside trim nor the outside trim is removed. The inserts are single hung and with a flick of a clip they can pivot in for easy cleaning. Like you I had alum. storms outside circa 1970's and windows circa 1900's. The windows went in the garbage and the storms were used on a green house.
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The windows in my house were replaced before I bought it and the original window sills are still in place. However, they're wood and putty could have hidden a lot of installation abuse. Marble wouldn't be as forgiving.
-rev
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We had the same situation in our old house....late 60's vintage with crappy aluminum windows and marble sills. We had them replaced with no problem, and not a bit of damage to any of the marble sills. They just removed the glass from the old windows, pried up the bottom of the frame, and cut them out with a sawzall. Didn't disturb the sills at all.

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What type of new windows did you get? We have single-hung aluminum windows, and would like to replace them with double-hung vinyl-clad windows (the kind that tilt in for easier cleaning).
Did the sills have to be cut to fit the new windows? Do they butt up against the bottom of the window frame, or go under?
Thanks!
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