Quick and Easy Repair: Rotted Door Sill and Frame

12 Materials
2 Days

At some point, you're likely to run into some rotted wood outdoors that needs fixing. In our case, it was part of a door into the garage. No problem, let's get started!

Scary, right?! What do you do when you see this? Run? Panic? Cover your eyes and keep walking?

Now you can fix it!

This isn't a complete overhaul redo but rather a minor replace/patch job because sometimes it just isn't in the cards to do a complete overhaul redo.

This is the door that leads into our garage from our yard and as it faces south, it bears the brunt of well, everything weather.

Thankfully I recently picked up a reciprocating saw which I took to this door frame. Technically it's more the door stop than the frame itself but it still needed fixing.

If you don't have this tool, no worries, see if a friend or neighbor does or you can rent them from your local hardware store.

As you can see, there's some unpleasant damage to deal with here. But, it's not the end of the world.

Homeownership does equal a lot of home maintenance, so drop by my blog Flipping the Flip for more tips and tricks on how to fix stuff.

Next was the sill as it was wiggly. More rotted wood and oooh, carpenter ants, fun. Swing by the blog post to find out how to handle those quickly, easily, painlessly, pet-safely and naturally.

The sill was set loosely atop a piece of wood that was wicking water, that water-wicking wood was adhered to the concrete. After yanking that up, some adhesive clean up ensued with mineral spirits, a heat gun, and lots of scraping.

It's not perfect but it's close enough.

My supervisor's footie there in the top left, heh. He's a talented supervisor too.

Since wood rots, I went with PVC replacement pieces everywhere. I filled the base of the sill with leftover bits from my front door project (drop by Flipping the Flip and search for the Front Door Project) plus bought a piece of 1x6 PVC for between the sill and concrete.

Some outdoor construction adhesive on the concrete, then the PVC, then the sill, then weigh it down. Heh, use whatcha got, in my case my husband's grill tanks.

Oh I've got a great grilled flatbread recipe over on the site The Bake Dept too if you're so inclined!

Before rebuilding, I used wood hardener to stem the tide of rotting wood and keep it from further damage. Really cool stuff, it kinda like petrifies the wood and solves lots of problems, even on soft pine.

Using some 1x3 PCV trim, I filled the spaces back in and attached with deck screws.

One year later, after patching and caulking and sanding and patching and caulking everywhere, a little painting, and here's where it's at. Sure, it's a tad messy but it was hot at the time, rain was forecast, I had to hurry.

But! It works, the whole repair works. No rotting wood, water into the garage has lessened by 90% in heavy storms, the sill isn't wiggly...it works!

The patch cracked at the seam so that's an invitation to clean this all back up. Or, just wait long enough and we'll replace the door, no clean up required, haha!

Again, it's not my best work but it works nonetheless and I'm quite proud of this seemingly insignificant repair as it is much more significant than you'd suspect.

Water is insidious and the damage it does is mind-boggling; it's best to get at these types of repairs than let them linger.

Bonus, you can use these tips and products in all sorts of repairs!

Be sure to swing on by Flipping the Flip for more on this project as well as all sorts of other cool stuff to make and do!

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Becky at Flipping the Flip
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Lula Porter Lula Porter on Jul 07, 2021

    Don't you LOVE wood hardener? I discovered it 21 years ago. Had 6 pocket windows upstairs. What were they thinking??? I used wood hardener where I could, caulked and attached plexiglass to the outside of 2 windows and put window units in 2. The wood hardener is still holding!

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