Replacing Windows

Written by April Reinhardt (last updated March 16, 2022)

Replacing a broken window yourself instead of paying a professional to do it can save you quite a bit of money. However, replacing a broken window is time-consuming, and can be tricky. Before you begin, make sure that you have everything you need. That list might include:

  • Glass, cut to the correct size
  • Masking tape
  • Razorblade scrapers
  • Gloves
  • Putty knife
  • Glazing points
  • Glazing compound
  • Glass cutter
  • Mineral spirits
  • Window putty
  • Needle-nosed pliers

Replacing a window involves removing broken glass, preparing the new window glass, installing the new glass, and then completing the task with last steps. Follow these steps to replace a window:

  • If your window isn't completely shattered, use masking tape to hold the glass together. Wear gloves and remove the glass with the pliers. Place all of the broken glass in a cardboard box, tape it shut, and mark it clearly as broken glass.
  • Use a putty knife to scrape the old glazing compound away from the window. It is important to remove the old glazing compound so that the new compound can adhere to the window. Use mineral spirits if the old compound is stiff.
  • Remove the old glazing points with needle-nosed pliers.
  • Using a putty knife to smooth it into place, apply a thin bead of glazing compound to the sides of the window.
  • Place the new glass into the window, lining it up with the glazing compound, and then press new glazing points in place every few inches, with more at the corners.
  • Seal the new window with more glazing compound, smoothing the bead with a putty knife. Clean away excess compound before it dries.

Allow the compound to cure for a few hours, and then paint it. You can make sure that the window is well sealed by painting the compound and the surrounding glass a fraction of an inch. Use a razor blade to remove any stray paint from the new glass. You can also use putty instead of glazing compound when replacing a new window. When you paint your new window, make sure that you use at least two coats of paint on the pane that faces the outside. If you are replacing a very large window, remove the entire sash from the wall and work with it laying flat. Make sure that you wear heavy work gloves when working with broken glass, and have a box of bandages handy just in case you get cut. If you're working with a large window, have someone work with you to help you maneuver it, to be able to help if you get cut, and to hold a ladder if you are replacing glass in a high window.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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