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For a variety of reasons, homeowners may need to replace the existing glass of their windows. Whether this is a small window in the bathroom or a large picture window in the dining room, it can be a big project that requires professional assistance. Although the cost will vary from job to job, having a guide can help with the estimates.
Reasons to Replace Window Glass
The most common reasons to replace window glass are because the pane is cracked, because the pane is no longer transparent or because the homeowner wants to upgrade to a more efficient type of glass. Most window glass replacements are done because a window has been damaged in some way, which could be due to a storm and high winds, a falling branch or even a stray baseball during a neighborhood game. In some cases, the glass won't get clean. Although this only tends to happen with double or triple-paned windows, it may still be a problem. No matter how much the glass is cleaned, it can still have streaks, condensation or other marks that detract from the home's overall curb appeal and can potentially ruin the view from the interior of the house. Even if a window isn't damaged in any way, the glass may be replaced because it is not energy efficient enough for the homeowner.
Benefits of Glass Replacement
Some of the advantages of replacing the glass in a window include an immediate solution to a broken pane, the affordability and the opportunity to upgrade the home. Replacing the entire window, which includes the frame as well as the sash, will be a much lengthier process than simply replacing the pane. Plus, a simple glass replacement is often much less money than replacing the entire window. Even if the actual window is a specialty design, an older frame or anything else that may be pricey to replace, the glass should not be expensive unless it is a customized shape.
Glass replacement can be an easy way to upgrade the panes to something better. Over time, older windows may let in air from the outside and start to transfer temperatures, which reduces energy efficiency in the home. This is not only a problem for the environmentally conscious but also a problem for anyone seeing an increase in their monthly utility bills. Because there are so many different types of glass windows on the market, it is up to each homeowner to determine which type of glass is the best for their home. One of the advantages of glass replacement is that homeowners can upgrade to any of the following options:
Low-E glass to minimize solar warming in the home
Argon glass to increase energy efficiency
Tempered glass to prevent future damage to the pane
Designer glass for an attractive look
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Steps in Window Glass Replacement
Replacing the glass in a window doesn't always require professional assistance, but it may be best if there are several windows to do, if homeowners don't have the right tools or if the window is unusually shaped in any way. The first step in the process will be to remove the broken or old glass. This has to be done safely with gloves and a small hammer as well as a rag to pick up the pieces of glass that fall in the process. Then, the frame can be cleaned and any old putty removed from the edges. If there is any old caulk stuck to the frame, this has to be scraped off to ensure a tight fit for the new piece of glass to be installed. The trim of the frame may have to be removed in order to facilitate this step. Then, the replacement glass can be fitted into the existing frame. It must fit perfectly, or it will need to be cut with a glass cutter to be the right size.
Once in place, glazier's point, or small triangular metal pieces, can be used to hold the glass in the right spot. Then, a thin layer of putty can be applied to the edge of the frame where it meets the glass. The putty should be scraped so that it is completely flat and even. Finally, the putty can either be painted or covered back up with the existing layer of trim to match the rest of the windows in the home. If homeowners have difficulty with any of these steps, a professional can be hired to replace the glass.
Factors Affecting Cost of Replacement
The exact cost of window glass replacement can vary based on dozens of different factors. Replacing a standard single pane of glass can be as cheap as buying the pane of glass. However, replacing all the window glass in the entire home and upgrading to a more energy-efficient version as well as hiring professionals to handle the job will be a lot more expensive. The size of the glass being replaced will obviously play a role in the total price with the larger panes being more expensive. Custom glass will also be substantially more expensive. Type of glass is also important; designer windows, low-E glass windows or any other upgrades may raise the final cost of replacement. Finally, it is important to note that a damaged frame that needs to be repaired or replaced will bring additional costs.