Windows

My house was built in 1988. As far as I know, the windows were bought from Lowe's. Today, my son's dog chewed up a window ledge or sill (inside). It appears that the piece that needs to be replaced was installed as a complete unit. It appears that the entire window has to come out. My guess is that it will be impossible to match the style of the wood.
In trying to understand how the window frame is assembled, I removed the "skirt" beneath an identical window in the bathroom. It had been (poorly) secured when it was nailed with a nail gun. Some of the nails missed the underlying wood frame. When I removed the piece, I noticed that the window seems to be poorly installed. Cold air leaks around the frame. The big question, though, is how do I back the nails out without splintering the face of the molding? When I tapped them out, the face splintered, even after I removed the colored filler putty that was used to fill the nail holes. Should I have pulled them through?
Do you have any suggestions on repairing the window frame? My carpentry skills are not good, nor am I familiar with which window parts are available for purchase at Lowe's or Home Depot. Is there a company that can likely match the molding? Does anyone want a dog?
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My house was built in 1988. As far as I know, the windows were bought from Lowe's. Today, my son's dog chewed up a window ledge or sill (inside). It appears that the piece that needs to be replaced was installed as a complete unit. It appears that the entire window has to come out. My guess is that it will be impossible to match the style of the wood.
In trying to understand how the window frame is assembled, I removed the "skirt" beneath an identical window in the bathroom. It had been (poorly) secured when it was nailed with a nail gun. Some of the nails missed the underlying wood frame. When I removed the piece, I noticed that the window seems to be poorly installed. Cold air leaks around the frame. The big question, though, is how do I back the nails out without splintering the face of the molding? When I tapped them out, the face splintered, even after I removed the colored filler putty that was used to fill the nail holes. Should I have pulled them through?
Do you have any suggestions on repairing the window frame? My carpentry skills are not good, and I don't know what resources are available at Lowe's or Home Depot. Is there a company that can match the molding so that I can put this window back together? Unfortunately I don't know what brand they are.
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mcp6453 wrote:

Sorry for the double post.
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With a skinny nail set, punch the nails completely through the wood. It is not a difficult task to replace a sill. Even without carpentry skills, it can be done with a few hand tools. Sharpen 2-3 chisels before you begin. I'm guessing the wood is stained, and in that case to make everything match, you'll need to refinish the entire window trim which is the most difficult part of the job. Or, why not make it easy and have a (responsible) son fix it?
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mcp6453 wrote:

A contractor bought windows at Lowes? NOT a good sign, sadly. Sounds like they did a slap-dash install, and didn't flash or insulate properly. This is not a good first DIY project. A real window company (not Lowes) would be glad to come and remove and properly reinstall, but that would cost a fortune, especially if you have siding over the window flanges. (I'm assuming these were 'new construction' windows). If the windows operate properly and don't rattle in the wind, all you may need to do is remove the inside casing and the apron under the sill, and fill the space with low-expansion foam in a can, or stuff it full of fiberglass. Caulking the cracks on the outside can also make a world of difference. Note that the inside trim often did not come with the window, and was field-applied to match the style used elsewhere in the house. You do need a good miter box to cut and fit trim, especially if it is stained instead of painted. (Painted, you can fake it with putty or caulk in any gaps.)
I'd ask around and try to find a semi-retired trim carpenter, that would be willing to work with you, one window at a time at a reasonable fee, until you mastered enough skills to finish the work yourself. It isn't that hard, but it is one of those things you almost have to learn in person, not from words or pictures in a DIY book.
As to your specific questions- yes, you pull the nails through the back of the trim with vise-grips or fence pliers. If it is too messed up, 1988 trim styles should not be hard to match pretty closely. And as to the chewed-up windowsill- if it is painted, you can usually fix with epoxy filler, unless the damage is real bad. On old-style windows, the sill was a separate board, and could be replaced by a fabricated piece. If the sill and lower jamb are one piece, it gets a lot harder- you basically have to carve away the old one in place, and make a square empty spot that you can piece in with new material. Lots of tedious plane and chisel work- that is almost Norm Abrams territory. May actually be cheaper to replace the whole window (if you can match it), and save the old one for spare parts to use in other rooms.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Unfortunately, the wood is stained, so my options are extremely limited.
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If you can't pull the nails through as someone else suggested, Brace the face where the head is firmly against a solid braced piece of wood as you tap the heads through. Once they'v penetrated the chunk of wood a bit (1/8"?), then lift it and finish the job.
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You have to pull the wood trim off slowly and carefully using multiple pulling points. I find wide putty knives work fairly well. Then using pliers you have to pull the nails all the way thru the wood exiting on the back side. If the back side splinters, you can reglue using wood glue if it is really bad, otherwise ignore. You can reuse the holes on the front if you nail at an angle so that most of the nail is going thru new wood.
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Bondo.
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I started to offer bondo as a suggestion until I saw a post stating that the sill is stained. I've never tried staining bondo, but even if it took, I doubt it would match the existing wood.
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I want one, how old is it?
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This is one of those times where a picture can save you and us a 1000 useless posts.
If the window had a sill (a projecting part) that can be replaced without much work.
If the window was picture framed and the dog chewed the bottom portion of the window unit, you have a bigger problem.. It can still be repaired but is more difficult.
There are tons of place to host a free image and post a link here.
Colbyt
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