What is the difference between a window sill and a window ledge?

What is a Window Sill?

A window sill is a small piece of glass placed over the top of the door frame to prevent falling debris from hitting your home’s front door. A window sill provides additional protection against flying objects such as broken glass, nails, screws and other sharp items that could cause injury if they hit your house’s front door.

The term “window sill” refers to any piece of glass that sits above the top of the door frame and prevents falling debris from striking the ground floor. These pieces of glass may be made up of a variety of materials including metal, plastic, wood, or even fiberglass. They are usually located at least one foot above the ground level and often extend several feet beyond them.

Why Are Windowsill So Called?

In the old days when doors were not always completely solid, it was common practice to place a piece of glass on top of the door frame so that if something did fall through, it would land near the bottom rather than smashing into your home. However, since these pieces of glass do not provide complete coverage, there is still some risk that someone might get hurt.

Window Sill Types: Metal vs. Plastic

There are two types of window sills available today; metal and plastic. The most common type of window sill is the metal version which consists of a single piece of solid steel or aluminum with a decorative finish. Other materials include concrete, brick, tile, stone and other natural materials.

If you do get a window sill installed on your door, you still need to be careful if an object or person falls in that area and make sure you are not in the immediate vicinity.

While they are still primarily referred to as window sills, many of these pieces of glass are now placed over the front door as opposed to inside the house. As long as it prevents anything from falling in, it really does not matter where the glass is placed.

Most newer homes are constructed with vinyl sills, although some older homes have wooden versions. Vinyl window sills are preferred because they do not rot or decay and they do not require any maintenance. They are also strong enough to support several hundred pounds, so you can lean against them without crushing them.

Plastic window sills are usually only available in specific areas such as in desert climates where wood tends to rot or decay at a faster rate. It is good idea to have a window sill installed by a professional since they can ensure it is done properly and meets all of the necessary safety standards.

what is the difference between a window sill and a window ledge - Image

Installing A Window Sill

If you choose to have a window sill installed on your home, you will need to contact a local company that specializes in this sort of work. They should be able to provide everything that you need as far as materials and labor go, but the cost may be more than you wish to spend. They are more often used in commercial buildings and office complexes rather than residential homes for this reason.

Installing a window sill on your front door does improve its appearance, but it can be costly to have installed. Most companies charge around $150 or more to have one custom cut for your door and then installed. If you want to have it painted to match the color of your home, that will cost even more.

It is important to consider your safety when it comes to window sills. They can be great for keeping toddlers from falling through the doorway, but you have to make sure you are not within range of them if an object or person does fall inside. Make sure the area underneath is cleared out so that no one gets hurt if an accident does occur.

Keep in mind that window sills do experience wear and tear over time due to regular exposure to the elements. Ice and snow can cause the sill to crack or even shatter, so you will need to make sure you inspect it at least once a year for any damage and fill in any cracks with caulk. You will also need to wash it at least twice a year to remove dirt, grime and heavy rainfall.

A window sill is a great option for those that are looking for a decorative touch for their front door or gate. The right one can add a lot of character and charm to your home, but you do need to make sure it is installed correctly and will not pose a safety hazard.

If you are looking for a sturdy, attractive window sill that will not only improve the look of your home but also keep your entryway from becoming a landmine, you can buy a vinyl window well online. These have all of the benefits of other window sills while eliminating many of the costs and concerns.

You can find some of these online at sites like Lowes and Home Depot. The average cost of one of these window sills is anywhere from $50 to $120, which is more than the average window sill but far less than the cost to have one custom installed.

When it comes to choosing a window well, you will have several options in terms of style and color. Most of them come in a standard size that will fit on an entryway door with a 32-inch x 32-inch opening.

These window wells are very easy to install as they come with their own mounting brackets, so you do not need any special tools or skills. All you have to do is find the best spot on your door for the brackets, mark it, drill holes into the jamb, and then screw them in place.

After you have installed these brackets, you can rest assured that your window well will never fall into your entryway and cause serious injuries.

You will still want to keep the area around your brackets clear so that no one can trip or fall into them, but you do not have to worry about any debris getting trapped underneath.

what is the difference between a window sill and a window ledge - Image

You also do not have to worry about falling through the window well and plummeting to your death like in those horror movies, as these window wells are made with plexiglass that is both strong and see-through. So unless your entryway floor is made of cake, you will be just fine.

As you can see, a vinyl window well is an attractive, versatile option for your front door that will add both safety and curb appeal. If you like the idea of having one installed on your home but are looking for more affordable options, there are always temporary fixes that can keep you and your family safe in the short-term while you save up for the more expensive permanent option.

You can always place a few 2 x 4 boards across the window well to prevent any accidents. Just make sure they are secure and won’t easily fall into the opening if knocked or pushed.

You can also place some outdoor carpeting over the opening so that any dirt, mud, or other debris will have something soft to land on if they do happen to fall through.

You will still want to make sure the area around and under your improvised safety measures is as clear as possible so that no one trips or falls on anything that could cause an injury.

Whichever option you decide is best for your family’s needs, just make sure you take the time to install them correctly so that no one gets hurt.

Always be prepared and stay safe with these and other home safety tips.

This article was written by Michael Ball. Michael is a full-time writer and avid reader. He loves learning about health and wellness, science, technology, and anything else that catches his interest.

Most of his time outside of work is spent with his wife and daughter.

Sources & references used in this article: