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How to Replace a Broken Window: A Homeowner’s Guide

Did little Dennis break a window again? Oh, that kid, he’s such a menace!

Hold up, no need to go full-curmudgeon like Mr Wilson. Broken windows happen from time to time since glass, being glass, is fragile. That’s just a normal part of owning a house with glass windows.

image - How to Replace a Broken Window A Homeowner's Guide
How to Replace a Broken Window A Homeowner’s Guide

Thankfully, it’s easy to learn how to replace a broken window. This article will show you how.

Before proceeding with this DIY project, remember that working with broken glass can be dangerous. So make sure to wear thick work gloves and safety glasses to protect your hands and eyes.

Are you ready to fix that unsightly window? Here’s what you should do.

What You Need to Prepare

These are the tools that you’ll need to complete this home improvement project:

  • tape measure
  • putty knife
  • wood sealer or linseed oil
  • dry paintbrush
  • glazing putty
  • glazier points
  • small hammer
  • replacement glass
  • primer and paint
  • cloth and cleaning solution

When you have all the materials ready, simply follow the steps.

1. Measuring the Frame Before Ordering Replacement Glass

With a tape measure, get the dimensions of the window opening and write everything down. Take note that some windows aren’t exactly square, so if you need to, draw a paper template of the area. Subtract 1/16 inches off the measurement to use as the glass size.

Go to the hardware store and have a glass cut to these dimensions.

2. Removing the Glass From the Window

While wearing safety gear, carefully remove the broken glass. Use a small hammer for large pieces of glass left in the window to make them more manageable. Be sure to set the glass pieces aside in a safe container.


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3. Preparing the Window Frame

Remove any old caulking and glazier points with your putty knife. Brush away all the residue with a dry paintbrush. If you have an old wooden frame, seal any bare wood with a wood sealer or linseed oil to help the wood bond with the new glazing compound.

4. Applying the Glazing Putty and Installing the Glass

Knead the new glazing putty until it’s warm and soft. Roll it into long thin strands. Apply it to the window frame where the glass will rest.

Take your replacement glass and gently wiggle it into the frame. Make sure to embed the glass into the glazing.

For the glazing points, you’ll need to install two on each side of the square (eight total per window pane) to secure the glass. Use the tip of the putty knife to push the glazier point into the wood.

Apply a second bead of putty on top of the window that’s against the frame and over the glazing points. Use your putty knife to smooth out the lines.

5. Finishing Touches on How to Replace a Broken Window

Allow the glazing compound to cure for at least one day. Next, you can paint the glazing to match the colour of the frame. Once the paint has dried, you can clean the glass with cloth and cleaning solution.

That’s it, you’re done!

If you’re not satisfied with the results, you should consider replacing the whole window. Learn more about the best replacement windows by clicking on the link.

What Is More Generous Than a Window?

Now that you know how to replace a broken window, you can look out that same window to see the wonderful world just outside. How awesome is that?

For more home improvement articles, check out the rest of our site.


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