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CTnow

Repair a rotten window sill

By Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Media Services

Do It Yourself or Not?

9:30 AM EDT, September 30, 2013

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A window sill on the exterior of a house is not easy to replace because it's an integral part of the window frame and is difficult to remove. Yet even if you're not a master carpenter, you can repair a damaged sill by rebuilding, shaping and sanding it to conform to its original appearance.

The material to use is a two-part wood filler and hardener from Minwax, or a wood filler and stabilizer from Bondo. Both are available at hardware stores and home centers. The filler is designed to fill holes and gouges in the wood, and the hardener or stabilizer is formulated to strengthen and reinforce the decayed or rotting wood. When the repair area is dry, you sand and smooth the surface so it can be finished with a primer and paint to match the existing finish.

A handyman will charge $198 to rebuild a window sill with these materials, but you can buy them for $75 and do it yourself, saving 62 percent. Before you begin the repair, remove any loose paint with a wood scraper, then use a putty knife to apply the filler or a disposable bristle brush for the hardener. To smooth the surface, use a pad sander and sandpaper before finishing the surface with a primer and paint.

To find more DIY project costs, and to post comments and questions, visit http://www.diyornot.com and http://www.m.diyornot.com on smartphones.

Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$198 -- $75 -- 3.0 -- 5.0 -- $123 -- 62 Percent