How Much Does a Window Sill Plate Replacement Cost?

Written by: Staff

The window sill on the exterior of the home can often be hard to fix because it’s an integral part of the window frame, making it hard to remove.  The minute you see rot, it could spell disaster in the future as it tends to spread, compromising the strenght and security of the window.

Ring for attention by Joybot, on Flickr
Ring for attention” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Joybot

How much a window sill replacement cost?

To completely replace a rotted window sill, the job will depend on how it’s attached to the home, the material it’s made of, how much damage is beyond the sill and the contractor you choose.  It can be as simple as slicing through the home, cutting the area in half to provide space, followed by twisting it out of position and replacing it with a new sill.  However, if the window required more tools and effort, the time being spent on the window could be doubled.  For instance, a stubborn sill that needs a hammer and chisel, along with a skill saw, could take a professional a few hours to remove.  In the most difficult situations, where the sill is a part of the window frame, the entire window unit will have to be taken out, fabricating and a new one will need to be installed, taking up to eight hours to perform.  This can also be true for historical windows that are more fragile and need more work.  With the average contractor charging about $65 per hour, the costs to replace could be as little as $150 to more than $450 per window.

Also, when researching, you may find some won’t charge by the hour, but rather, by the window.  From our research, we had found most contractors, when replacing and/or repairing a rotted or damaged sill plate would be about $50 to $200 per window, regardless of the job size.

Since all jobs can be unique, it’s best to get an exact quote by using  For free, you can describe your job and licensed contractors in your area will contact you will ballpark estimates.

The cost to repair a window sill, which is often highly recommended by contractors, will depend on the location, whether it’s the first floor or top floor, the filler being used, the handyman you hire and where you live.  If hiring a handyman, be prepared to spend $250 to $350 per window to have a handyman use a two-part wood filler and hardener.  If additional windows need to be repaired, the costs “per window” can go down if the job were done on the same day.

If you were to do the job on your own, DIY or Not says you can buy most supplies for about $75, saving you close to 70 percent.

On Red Flag Deals, a member said he paid $1,500 to replace eight windows with a brick sill to concrete.

Window sill replacement overview

During a repair, a contractor will eliminate any loose paint around the window frame with a wood scraper.  Once removed, a putty knife will be used to apply a wood filler, which is designed to fill the holes in wood, in the troubled areas, followed by using a bristled brush with the hardener.  Lastly, to smooth the surface, a small sander and sandpaper will be used, followed by a coat of primer and paint.

In some cases, where the wood damage is more extreme, a few boards may need to removed around the windows and replaced.

Tips to know:

A handyman may not be the professional for the job if the rot goes beyond the sill.  If this were the case, you may be better off hiring a carpenter or a window installation company to ensure the window is taken out properly.

Tina Gleisner at Home Tips for Women talked about the different types of window sill repairs, along with how much time it could take to repair the problem.

How can I save money?

As stated above, repairing a sill plate with a wood filler will almost always be cheaper than taking the sill out and replacing it with a new one.

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, consider repairing the sill yourself.  The DIY Network, for example, offers a simple step-by-step guide, along with pictures.

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