Wooden Window Sills Repair Question, Please

Hello,
Not too sharp with this "stuff" anymore due to age, so would like to ask the following, please. Thought it would be a good idea to try and learn something about this prior to call in a Contractor.
Live in a 35 yr old typical colonial. Horiz. wood clapboards; the usual Colonial type of construction one sees in New England. Original wooden windows.
Many of the wooden horizonal window sills (the horiz. piece at the very bottom) have rotted badly, and needs replacement, or...
How is this usually handled:
e.g., is the old sill just cut back the few inches of its width, and a new piece screwed or nailed in ? If so, is this a good approach ?
Or, should the whole window be replaced ?
If replaced with a "storm window," like the ones Andersen sells, do these have a built in sill, or would the sill still have to be replaced ?
Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated.
Thanks, Bob
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| Many of the wooden horizonal window sills (the horiz. piece at the very | bottom) have rotted badly, and needs replacement, or... | | How is this usually handled: | | e.g., is the old sill just cut back the few inches of its width, and a | new piece screwed or nailed in ? If so, is this a good approach ? | | Or, should the whole window be replaced ? |
Most of the older sills are made of very hardy wood. I'd guess fir. Those rarely rot and when they do can usually be patched. Unfortunately, most newer windows (35 years is new in this case) are made of plain pine, often with glued-up sills that begin to break up after years of water exposure. Making matters worse, most paint used in the past few years has been water-base, which simply doesn't hold up on horizontal surfaces.
Typically, to replace a sill, you need to take off the trim in and out, then deal with the window itself. If you have something like a 1980 Anderson window it might be tricky to replace the sill, but it can be done. I'd use fir if it were me, so you don't end up doing the same job again in 10 years.
The replacement is a lot of work, so I try to use a stopgap measure when it's feasible. There are 3 basic options:
1) Gouge out the rot and fill it with bondo. Prime with good oil primer and paint.
2) If it's bad and you don't care much about looks, you can repair as much as possible and seal the wood, then cover it with aluminum or vinyl.
3) If it's really shot but the damage doesn't go in too far, you can trim it off and glue on a new piece. (Again, I'd use fir and use Bondo if necessary to fill the joint before priming with oil paint.)
| If replaced with a "storm window," like the ones Andersen sells, do | these have a built in sill, or would the sill still have | to be replaced ? |
You can replace the whole window. I don't know what you mean by storm window. To me that means an aluminum frame with two panes and a screen that gets screwed to the exterior casing. But if you mean to use a new window it will have its own sill. The trouble there is that you'll need to remove and redo both the inside and outside trim.
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On Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 5:25:43 PM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:

From IDK when up until the ~60s, storm windows were the outter windows. You had double hung wood windows, and outside wood storm windows that were put up in fall. Come spring, the windows were taken down, wood framed screens put up that fit the same opening.
After the 60s the trend was to aluminum windows that had window and screens combined, they stayed there permanently, you could slide them up/down and choose either a window or a screen for the lower half. You slid the window up, the screen down, or vice-versa.
To me that means

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On Sun, 15 Mar 2015 17:27:06 -0400, "Mayayana"

If it WAS pine, it might be OK. But it's "mixed softwood"

GOOD latex paint stands up just fine. The problem is most paint used in the past few years is CHEAP or substandard paint.

Or good cedar if you can find it.

When I replaced the windows in my house I used new construction windows, and was able to salvage and re-use ALL of the interior trim. The new windows came with vinyl brick-mold that fit perfectly.
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On 03/15/2015 4:27 PM, Mayayana wrote: ...

...
Clear white pine was (and still is) _the_ material of choice; fir and some others is used some.
In general with regular maintenance should last almost indefinitely unless there's an issue in installation or somesuch.
I'd prefer a link to some "pitchures" of OP's problem before venturing much...
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