What is a Window Sill?
A window sill, (also referred to as a window ledge) is the part of the window that can be seen at the bottom of its structure. Usually, it juts out of the structure of the window to the extent that it looks like a shelf. A window sill makes a large contribution to the design of the window itself and also allows its users to make use of the sill in numerous ways.
What Are The Types of Window Sills?
In distinguishing between window sills, the general consensus is that they are of two types: interior and exterior window sills. An interior window sill is a trim at the bottom of the window facing the inside of the construction or the room. The main purpose of the sill is to use it for the storage of items in the form of a shelf or for the display of items. The additional functions are common ones such as protection from weather conditions and structural support to the window.
Exterior window sills are placed on the outside of the window. The main intention behind external window sills are oriented towards protection. They are not installed in a manner that renders them flat, but rather at an angle to guide the water, sludge and moisture away from the interior of the house.
What is The Purpose of a Window Sill?
The usefulness of a window sill tends to fly under the radar of most people. However, the key functions they perform cannot be overlooked.
• Upholding the structure of the window – The sill at the bottom provides a base for the window. The primary purpose of the base is to keep the rest of the window in place. If constructed and placed correctly, the sill forms a rigid base which prevents the rest of the window from shaking in cases of any disturbances. In turn, the window being fixed firmly prevents unnecessary cracks on the wall upon which it is mounted.
• Protection from the seepage of water – Window sills on the inside of the rooms cover prevents water from seeping through and into those rooms when it rains. Even if the water may not enter the room, it can weaken the structural integrity of the wall around them. A window sill can go a far way from preventing that.
• Usage as an accessory – Window sills can be elongated to take the shape of a shelf. This can be used to keep potted plants. Potted plants can be nurtured through the form of an exterior window sill and an interior one. The position of the plants makes it easy for them to bask in the sunlight and even water during rain (only in the case of an external window sill). Moreover, they form a decorative space for people to use accessories such as vases and pictures. The view from the window would complement this usage of the window sill as a shelf. If the shelf is wide enough, the sill can even be used as a workspace or a place for spending time leisurely (painting and reading), etc. You could convert the sill into a reading nook or a small space for relaxing and enjoying the outside view.
Are Window Sills a Must?
Window sills are unsung heroes. Without the sills covering either the interior and the exterior of the windows, the resulting damage to the walls and floor due to water seepage is unparalleled. The main problem is that damage caused due to water is gradual and is not noticed until the worst has already taken place. Window sills are the classic ‘prevention is better than cure’ strategy that we have got accustomed to. It does not constitute exaggeration to state that a window without a sill isn’t really a window at all.
What are Window Sills Made Of?
Window sills are not complicated to manufacture or install. This is especially true when it is compared to other home accessories that take time and effort. Window sills do a lot of good for the effort incurred. Given that they are solid surfaces that are attached to walls, making the choice as to which material must be used to make sills depends on a combination of practicality and looks that appeal to the human eye.
The most common material used to make the sills are Timber and Aluminium. The up and coming materials also include marble and modern uPVC. Timber is used primarily for interior window sills. This is because it provides structural support while also providing a homely feeling to the house and is sleek. External window sills use uPVC on account of them being the best in protection from drainage and rainwater.
Those looking for an upgrade and plan on using the sills not only for practical purposes but also enhance the look of their homes can opt for materials such as marble, natural stone or granite. It incurs a slightly higher installation cost as well a slightly high maintenance price. However, in the eyes of many, is still worth the trade-off.
What Are the Basic Things to Remember in Maintaining Window Sills?
There are few things that must be taken note of when it comes to window sills. This helps in double-checking with the person who installed them and in maintenance later on. For example, it is pertinent to note that wooden window sills must sport a coat of painting or some form of seal in order to be entirely waterproof. The newer types of wooden window sills incorporate some form of water-resistant material and also assist in insulation. It is always better to keep this in mind while inquiring about wooden sills to make the best possible choice.
Stone window sills last long and do not deteriorate very easily. Unlike wooden window sills, they do not need to be sealed or painted over to make them completely weatherproof. Tile window sills are the most sought after owing it to their look and sleekness. The maintenance cost of those sills is slightly higher than the other types though.
How Does One Choose the Perfect Window Sill?
The primary thing to identify is if the window sill must be interior or exterior. This choice is done based on needs such as shelf space, decorative ideas, weather conditions prevailing in the area. Once the type is determined, the second order of business is to determine the material that is best suited for it. This depends on the budget, the maintenance cost and mainly whether the intention is to enhance the overall look of the room or simply offer practical assistance to the occupants. The ideal choice is to find material that is durable as well as cost-efficient.
It is highly recommended that due care and attention be paid when choosing a window sill. Sills tend to be overlooked, despite their integral nature in protecting the drywall and giving structural support. These tips are not only for new home buyers and those constructing homes but also for those people looking to replace their windows. Moreover, a good window sill, by virtue of protecting property increases its resale value. Thus, it need not even be looked at as solely as a long-term investment but rather works as a short-term investment as well. It may not reflect as such directly, but it has an indirect effect upon the value of the property.