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How A Homeowner Can Replace Rotting Window Trim Caused By Improperly Installed Shutters

Improperly installed window shutters can cause the wood trim around the window to rot away. The problem lies in the screws used to secure the shutters to the trim. If the screw holes aren't sealed from the moisture from rain and snow, it can soak the wood on the trim and cause it to deteriorate. In many cases, if the damage is limited to the piece of trim, you can replace it without having to replace the entire window. If you are a homeowner who has basic carpentry skills who wants to replace the piece of trim, here is how you can do it. 

You Will Need:

  • Piece of Trim
  • Screwdriver
  • Claw Bar
  • Miter Saw
  • Painter's Tape
  • Oscillating Tool
  • Flat Blade
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush

Remove Shutter

You should use painter's tape to mark where you need to place the bottom hinge for the shutter on the new piece of trim. Place a piece of painter's tape on the side of the house at the same height as the bottom of the bottom hinge used to connect the shutter to the window trim.  

Remove Trim

You'll need to remove the caulking along the side of the window trim where it meets the house first. The best thing to use is an oscillating tool fitted with a flathead blade. Run the blade along to caulking to cut through it.

Use the oscillating tool to cut out the bottom 4 or 5 inches of the piece of trim. Remove the small piece of wood you just cut with a claw bar. Next, start at the bottom of the trim and pry it off with the claw bar. Place the pry bar in the space where the small piece of trim was and pry upward. Do not press the pry bar against the siding or window side of the trim or you could damage them.

Install New Piece

Cut a new piece of trim to fit into the space of the old trim with a miter saw. Use only solid wood trim and not vinyl or composite trim. Vinyl and composite will break under the weight of the shutter being attached to it. Make sure you cut the bottom of the trim so it matches the angle of the window sill.

Set the trim in the opening and nail it in place. Sink the nails into the wood so they are just under the surface of the trim. Caulk along the side of the trim where it meets the house, the seams at the top and bottom of the trim, and the nail holes. Paint the trim to match the color of your house if it's needed.  

Re-Install Shutter 

You need to replace the shutter before you can finish the job. Place the bottom of the bottom hinge at the same level as the top of the painter's tape on the side of the house and screw the hinge into the new trim. Set the shutter into the hinge and mark where the other hinge goes. Screw the other hinge into the trim and connect the shutter to it.  

About Me

why professional window installation is important

When I bought my parent's house off of them, the first thing that I wanted to do was remove all of the original windows form the 1950's and replace them with new, energy efficient windows. I started looking into what it was going to take to install the new windows to determine if that was the kind of project that I wanted to take on myself, or if I wanted to hire a professional window installation crew to do it for me. I found out all sorts of things that made me decide that the professional installation of replacement windows was going to be the best way to go.

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