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Window Glass Repair

On this page:
  • What to do about broken window glass
  • Cost to repair window glass
  • Finding a local window contractor

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Window Glass Repair Costs

Typically, a professional window glass repair or replacement will cost you between $50 to $100 for a 12 square inch pane of glass.

As nice as it is to buy new windows, sometimes it just does not make sense—especially if you are just dealing with a broken pane of glass in a single frame. The average cost of a full double pane window replacement will run around $300 installed.

It is much more cost-effective to replace a broken window glass pane instead of replacing full windows, especially if you are willing to do some of the window repair work yourself.

You should not attempt to fix a window without doing your homework first. You could potentially cut yourself or further damage the window glass and frame if you go about it in the wrong way. Here is what to know when replacing a glass pane window, before you begin. It is always best to find a local window glass replacement contractor instead.

DIY Window Glass Replacement Costs

Different types of windows require various levels of skill to repair. For instance, if you have insulated or double pane windows , your best bet is to take them to a glass repair shop. A glass window repair specialist will know how to properly measure the width and dimensions of the glass pane, and can connect you to the manufacturer if you need to reorder specialty products, like glass within energy efficient windows with Low-E glazing. The final cost for professional services varies, of course, mainly due to the type of windows you have. Typically, a professional window glass replacement will cost you between $50 to $100 for a 12-square-inch panel.

Repairing window glass yourself can save you quite a bit of money—a DIY window glass repair job costs around $3.00 per square foot—but it  is not recommended unless you are working on a single-glazed window with wooden sashes. Double-glazed windows generally require professional glass window replacement knowledge, since they are designed to be airtight and may be filled with gas insulation.

How to Repair a Broken Glass Window: 

  1. Clean out the damaged glass window pane and putty.
  2. Oil the window frame in order to extend caulking life.
  3. Apply new layer of window putty before replacing window glass.
  4. Replace the new glass window and push into place.
  5. Use a chisel to place glazier’s points into the frame.
  6. Add more putty around the window glass pane and the window frame

For a detailed explanation of each step see below.

1. Clean Out Damaged Window Glass

Safety first! Since you will be handling broken glass shards and splinters, you need to protect yourself with goggles and very thick gloves. At this point, you might consider removing the sash from the window, especially if the glass pieces are stuck in the frame. Carefully, with gloved hands, wiggle the broken glass loose from the window putty. You can use a heat gun to soften the glazing compound around the glass if the pieces are very stubborn, then gently tap around the sides of the frame with a hammer.

Once you have pried all the pieces loose, dust around the edges of the frame with a wire brush to get rid of any remaining glass dust.

Next, prepare to clear out the old putty around the window. If you have not already, get out your heat gun to loosen the caulking, making it easier to remove. Then use a painter’s chisel to scrape the putty off of the frame.

Flip the chisel over and use the tip of it to pry loose the glazier’s points—the metal triangles underneath the putty that hold the glass in the frame. Now you’re ready to prepare the frame for the new glass and putty.

2. Oil the Window Frame

Lightly sand the interiors of the frames to get rid of any last putty residue, then wipe them down with a cloth.

Add a thick layer of linseed oil to the frames, and give it some time to soak into the wood. Oiling the frames keeps the putty pliable and flexible, preventing it from drying out too fast. That means you will not have to re-caulk your windows as frequently.

3. Apply Window Putty

Once you have given the linseed oil some time to saturate the wood in the frames, it is time to lay down some new putty to keep the glass in place.

Knead the putty with your hands until it is warm and flexible, then press a thin layer into the inside of the frame.

4. Press the Glass Window Pane in to Place

Gently place the glass pane into the putty between the two frames. Make sure it is the right size—it should not be more than an inch smaller than the area it is meant to fit. Wiggle the pane into place, allowing some of the putty to squeeze out over the edges of the glass.

Use the chisel to place glazier’s points into the frame, against the glass. Put one point on each side of the frame, in the center. Place additional points every four to six inches.

5. Finalize Window Glass Repair with Putty

Employing the same process you used before, use your hands to warm the putty and then place it in a thin strip around the edges where the glass meets the frame. Use a putty knife angled at 45 degrees to smooth the putty into the crease, and scrape the excess putty off the window.

Allow the putty to dry for a few days, then paint it with an oil-based primer and a layer of exterior paint. Do the same for the opposite side, and there you have it: a brand new window pane for a fraction of the price of a replacement!

It is recommended that you go with window glass repair contractor for larger or multiple windows. A reliable contractor can help you reduce costs and professionally align window glass replacement for better insulation.