One of the most commonly overlooked elements of doing a window replacement project are the available window case, sill, and jamb options. This is really a shame because even just replacing the casing around new windows, for example, (or even old ones if you’re simply doing a small beautification project) is a quick and affordable step that has tremendous impact.
Before we dig a little deeper, let’s clarify the differences between a window case, sill, and jamb. First the case: pretend you are standing in front of a window opening. If you were to walk up to the opening and touch the wall that surrounds the opening, that’s were the casing goes. It’s actually very similar to a picture frame if you imagine the picture as the window itself and the casing as being the picture frame.
The sill is simply the ledge under the window. If you could walk up and place a cup of coffee on top of the wood ledge under your window, well, that’s the sill. To be more specific, stool is actually the correct term because the sill is part of the framing of the opening itself and the stool is the cosmetic cover. There’s actually an apron under the sill/stool that also can be customized and is usually shown along with the many sill options.
Next up is the jamb. This is the surface between the wall and the window. If you were to place your hand on the wall closest to the window and slide it towards the window you would slide your hand across the jamb. Capiche?
These case, sill and jamb options are sometimes referred to as “trim options,” so please don’t be confused. These options come as standard materials available at most home improvement centers. Most installation companies can provide these as off-the-shelf stock options. Be aware though that these options can be rather plain and are a mere sampling of what can be achieved with a little bit of effort. Talk to your local professional about taking a look at the many options beyond the stock choices. The impact these new trim packages can have on the interior look and feel of your home is dramatic and well worth the investment.
One more thing to be aware of is the unwillingness of some contractors to offer case, sill, and jamb replacements. The craftsmanship and attention to detail required to install them is something that scares some contractors away. It’s a serious red flag if your contractor avoids the topic. Find a better contractor if that happens. The good ones welcome the challenge and will show you the huge selection available.
Lastly, we would highly recommend you take a look at the huge trim assortment options available through your window replacement company. If you are a DIYer, then click here for a PDF with helpful case, sill, and jamb information.