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Broken Window Replacement: How it Works and How Much it Costs

Accidents are among the biggest causes of broken windows. All it takes to break your glass window is a misguided basketball, a confused bird, or a pebble mistakenly thrown by a lawnmower blade.

Broken windows can be quite a nuisance, and the repair process is even more taxing if you’re a beginner. This article will discuss the broken window replacement process and how much it will cost you to replace your window.

image - Broken Window Replacement How it Works and How Much it Costs
Broken Window Replacement How it Works and How Much it Costs

Anatomy of Your Windows

No one wants to handle a broken window, primarily if it uses insulated thermal-pane glass that consists of two glass panes.

To determine if your windows are multiple-paned, shine a light on the window from inside the house during nighttime when it’s dark outside. For windows with multiple panes, you will see a repeated reflection.

If you have a double pane window, contact a window repair company to assist with the replacement. On the other hand, if your single-pane window breaks, you can replace it using the simple steps outlined below:

What You Will Need

Working with glass can be potentially dangerous, especially if you don’t have the right tools at hand. Therefore, ensure that you have these items before starting the work:

  • Leather hand gloves
  • Putty knife
  • Eye protection
  • Tape measure
  • Paintbrush
  • Razor scraper or wood chisel
  • A replacement glass
  • Clear wood sealer
  • Glazing point and compound
  • Exterior-grade paint
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Metal straightedge
  • Glass cutter
  • Pencil

You can buy the above items in a local hardware store. You should also get the replacement glass cut to your window frame’s exact size for easier replacement.

It’s also advisable to use very thick leather gloves and shatter-resistant glasses to protect your eyes.


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  1. Remove Remnant Glass and Clean Your Frame

The first step of any window replacement job is removing any remaining broken glass from the window frame.

Use the putty knife to scrub off the hard coating compound around the glass. Due to the dryness and brittleness of the glazing compound, it will peel off in large pieces.

Remember also to scrape away any remaining glazing compound stuck on the wood frame.

Ensure you wear your protective eyeglasses and hand gloves, then use pliers and a putty knife to scrub off any old and dry glazing points that fasten the glass to the frame.

After this, start removing all the broken glass from around the window frame.

Use a razor scraper or chisel to scrape the frame’s corners to remove any remaining glazing points. Remember to be careful not to damage the wood.

Using the fine-grit sandpaper, smoothen the wood, then seal it with a clear wood sealer. Leave the wood for the sealer to completely dry before continuing with the replacement process.

  1. Measure Your Frame

Measure the height and width of the window opening to the outside edges of the cornered L-channels.

When purchasing the glass, subtract an eighth of an inch from all measurements. Under sizing, the windowpane’s size will allow for an easier installation of the glass and room for contraction and expansion during weather changes.

Go to the store with these measurements or your nearest home center to purchase a glass.

  1. Mount the Glass

Use thin, long ropes of about 1/8-inch diameter to roll out the glazing compound. Gently place the ropes into the L-channels where the glass frame will rest.

Using a putty knife, press down the area around the glass, bedding the glass, and squeezing the coating compound.

Use the putty knife to force two glazing points at the bottom of the glass into the frame. Install all glazing points at a time until all eight points per window pane are installed.

Use the putty knife to pickle off any trickled-out glazing compound on the back of the window.

  1. Glaze the Installed Window

Using your hands, mold the glazing compound into half an inch rolls of ropes. Place these ropes into the L-shaped glazing points where the frame meets the glass.

Gently press the glazing compound into the wood and glass using your fingertips.

Hold the putty knife at an angle of 45 degrees and run it along with the glazing compound. This will help form a flat-angled surface on the joint between the window frame and the glass.

Fill in any gaps with some more glazing compound and flatten it with a putty knife.

  1. Let the Glazing Compound Dry, Then Paint

Most manufacturers advise letting the glazing compound sit for 5 to 7 days to harden and dry completely. After it dries, use exterior-grade paint to paint any exposed wood and the glazing.

Window repair professionals prefer overlapping the paint onto the glass window by a sixth of an inch. This acts as a weather sealant during different seasons. Once everything is fully dry, clean the glass window.

How Much Will a Broken Window Replacement Cost You?

Although some people underestimate the importance of windows, they remain essential in maintaining a cozy and comfortable household. Unfortunately, it may cost an average of $175 to $750 to replace one broken window.

On the other hand, replacing commonly used high-end windows may cost you an average of $800 to $1,200 per window.

However, the cost of replacing your windows depends on numerous other factors. These factors include:

  • Are you replacing the window pane and the frame?
  • What type of windows you have?
  • Are you doing the replacement yourself, or will you hire a professional to do it?
  • What type of glass do your windows have?

Before estimating how much it will cost you to replace your broken window, it’s essential to answer the above questions.

Fortunately, it is still relatively easy to find affordable window replacements, especially if you know what you are looking for.

Are You Ready to Handle Your Own Window Replacements?

The broken window replacement process can be quite messy, and therefore, requires attention to detail. The replacement process can also be very costly, depending on the type of windows you have.

Following the above-outlined steps will help you through the window replacement process.

For more home repair tips, check out other articles on our blog.


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