You might think that slapping some decorative/auxiliary/new window sills on some existing new construction windows wouldn't take much time, right? How hard could it be? Cut a board to whatever size is needed, fasten it to the exterior wall, caulk it in...done.
Sometimes, that's the case.
This is not one of those times.
This is the house where the window sills are being installed. I've talked about it before - a lot, because it's a pretty rad house - so I'll just point out a few things:
Those are essentially 6-piece sills; there's the main sill block, 2 corbels underneath, and then 3 pieces of trim that wrap the sill block. 6 pieces times 5 windows...that's 30 pieces to custom fabricate. And really, with the corbels being made of 4 pieces each, it was more like 60 pieces to custom fabricate.
The fabrication was pretty straightforward, but getting measurements to use to replicate the existing stuff...not so much. In addition to the many, many layers of who knows what covering these things, there was the siding to contend with as well as the fact that with these being certainly made by hand, they weren't all the exact same size. For the corbels, I ended up just tracing the shape...after multiple site visits to try and get decent measurements. I was able to get decent enough ballpark measurements for the sill block.
In spite of all the measuring, and in spite of my decent collection of router bits, and in spite of how simple I figured it'd be...fabricating the trim gave me some fits. The existing sill trim had been dinged up, patched, weathered and painted so many times that the best I could do was get a couple measurements and then kind of estimate what the original radii had been on the curved portions, but I figured that with a combination of routers bits, I'd get a decent profile replication.
As it turned out...I had the right router bits, but the profile I cut was just a hair off. If I had a tilting router lift I think those 4 bits would have been dead on, but...I don't have a tilting router lift so I essentially just used the router to things close, and then went old-school to fine tune things.
Here's one of the new construction windows:
Installation wasn't too difficult, just a little time-consuming. I first traced the sill block outline on the wall, then cut away the siding with a multi-tool. Unfortunately, the GC on this job was a complete clown and, as a result, neither the windows nor the siding is level (and I'm not talking like it's out of whack by 1/16 of an inch, I'm talking 1/4 and 1/2 inch increments), and the walls and siding are plenty wavy. Regardless, I did pretty good with the multi-tool; the idea with this type of installation is to cut away enough that there's a little wiggle room for the sill block, but not so much wiggle room that caulk becomes an inappropriate material to button things up.
With the siding cut away, I pre-drilled some holes in the sill block and corbels through which I drove 4" screws, doing anything I could to hit studs. The sill block screws get covered by the trim, but for the corbels I cut wood plugs to fit the pre-drilled holes and glued them in place after the screws were driven. All parts and pieces received a healthy amount of polyurethane construction adhesive, and I made sure to get a couple coats of primer on everything - even the non-visible sides - beforehand.
With the heavy lifting knocked out, the trim was pretty simple: cut the trim pieces to fit, glue 'em up, nail em' down.
Once the glue on everything dried I went back and spackled the nail holes and any little gaps or cracks or dings in the wood, and shaved the wood plugs flush with the corbels.
A little sanding, another round of primer and a little caulk (sort of) completed the job (I still have a little caulking to do). The painter will handle things from here on out.
...3 sills down, 2 to go.
And those 2...involve ladder work. There's a reason they were saved for last...