A window is often installed by your glass company, but some homeowners can do it themselves. For example, if you’re buying new windows and want to save money by installing them yourself.
If you need to replace a shattered or broken window pane, the first thing to know is how much does window installation cost. If you don’t want to make any changes other than replacing glass, most glaziers will charge around $80 per hour plus expenses for replacement services.
Glass replacement costs vary depending on the size of the windowpane that needs repairing, with larger panes costing more than smaller ones. A standard double-hung window has two sashes that slide up and down between inside stops set in the upper and lower jamb of your home’s window opening.
The jamb is the framework around your window. If you have a non-standard size or shape, the cost will be higher because of the extra labor needed to make a new piece of glass fit in an old frame.
You no longer need to learn how to measure a window for replacement if you are hiring a window replacement company to help you.
If you’re going to do the actual replacement yourself, tools and supplies you’ll need to include: a crosscut saw (to cut out the broken glass), replacement glass pane(s) using tempered safety glass with “knock-on” interlocking edges for safety, rubber gloves, and eye protection, putty knife or paint scraper, clean cotton cloths or rags, caulking compounds such as silicone caulk and household cleaners such as trisodium phosphate (TSP).
Replacing a windowpane is not complicated. If you’ve ever installed simple door glass panes, you can easily replace your windowpane.
A reliable window replacement company will know how to install a replacement window effectively and quickly.
This article provides basic step-by-step instructions for window replacement in almost any size or type of home window frame. A few special considerations for older double-hung sashes (which open horizontally) are addressed at the end of this article.
Here’s how to install one new glass pane into an existing wooden frame:
- Measure the height and width of each replacement glass pane. Do this inside the opening on top of the old interior stop molding with the outside molding removed, so that you get accurate measurements all around both sides and the top of your opening. Be sure to measure carefully because once you remove the old glass, you cannot replace it.
- Remove the interior and stop molding around the opening on both sides and at the top of your window opening.
- Carefully pry out any small pieces of remaining putty along with the stops with a stiff putty knife or screwdriver, then scrape off old dried caulk/putty with an old dull blade (such as utility knife) to make room for new silicone caulk later. Use trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner to finish cleaning debris from the window sill area, allowing dry time before the next step.
- Measure each replacement pane carefully, adding 1/8 inch for saw-cut lines on all four sides if necessary. Draw cutting lines onto old glazing with a pencil.
- Place the cross-cut blade from your saw into the groove on the glass corner, then draw a cutting line to follow along the edge of the side stop. Continue making each 1/8 inch cut to finish removing outside corners of all four sides of each pane you intend to replace until the pane is separated from other panes and interior window frame.
Only break one glass pane at a time while replacing window glass if this is a double-hung window to keep the remaining panes in place so you do not lose track of how everything fits back together again later.
- Remove broken or damaged glass by carefully prying out edges with a screwdriver or putty knife from inside holding it in place from outside, then pull out broken glass by hand.
- Wear rubber gloves and eye protection while handling new glass panes to prevent cuts, scratches, injury, or broken glass particles from getting into your eyes or onto your hands.
- Using a putty knife or paint scraper carefully clean away any remaining old silicone caulk between glass panes (and around window frame) on both sides of the opening with household detergent/cleanser like trisodium phosphate (TSP) to provide a clean surface for fresh silicone caulk around all-new glass panes you are installing. Allow cleaning solution dry time before the next step; wipe off remaining residue with cotton cloths after surfaces have dried completely.
- Apply a thin coat of quality silicon caulk around the perimeter of each replacement pane on both sides of the window opening with a putty knife or caulking tool. Do not over-caulk the inside surfaces, only use enough to form a smooth, even bead that can be smoothed into fillets for better appearance and to ensure waterproof seal when finished.
- Place new glass sheets carefully into the window frame, checking fit from both outsides and inside of the jamb before making final adjustments in length or width by lightly tapping the edge of each glass pane with a rubber mallet until nice and snug against the old insulation board between the jambs.
Secure all four corners together tightly at the top by wrapping small bungee cord pieces around corners several times, knotting ends securely while pulling gently towards the center of the panes.
- Allow glass to cure overnight (dry completely before closing window again the next day) then caulk over all sides of panes and around the perimeter of inside stop molding with silicone caulk, smoothing into fillets along with corners for best appearance and waterproof seal.
- Reinstall interior stop molding on both sides and at top of window opening while carefully checking fit and adjusting position as needed so pane openings are covered completely by old moldings to prevent drafts, rain, or insect infiltration after new window installation is finished.
Now you know how to replace a glass window or window panes you will be better prepared with all the knowledge and tools needed to make your next project a success. You can also be aware that window installation and replacement does not have to cost a fortune, you just need to know how much does window installation cost.
If this sounds like an easy enough do-it-yourself project then go for it! So, how much does it cost?
A typical single-pane window costs between $100 – $200 to install depending on the brand of your new replacement glass panes. A double-pane window can cost anywhere from $300-$800 depending again on the brand of window you are installing.
Keep in mind if you are looking for professional help with replacing or repairing windows you should ask for references so you will feel 100% confident in hiring someone local to do the job that you know you can trust. And remember, when in doubt about anything, ask an expert!