Single-pane windows can be effectively and inexpensively repaired by the homeowner or a glazier. However, when a multi-paned glass is broken or cracked, it’s best to look into sash replacement. If you’ve been tolerating window problems for a long time, this might be a good excuse to replace the entire window.

Repairing Single-Pane Windows

Replacing a broken pane in a single-pane window is a relatively straightforward DIY project. Here’s how to do it:

Remove the window from the frame
Cut the glazing around the broken pane using a utility knife
Carefully pry out the old glass
Measure the opening and cut a new piece of glass to size
Apply glazing putty to the frame and place the new glass in position
Secure the glass with glazing points
Apply a second layer of glazing putty and smooth it out2

The process may take some time and patience, but it’s a cost-effective way to restore your window’s functionality and appearance.

Replacing Multi-Pane Windows

When dealing with a broken pane in a multi-pane window, such as a double-hung or casement window, the entire sash (the movable part of the window) may need to be replaced. This is a more complex task that often requires professional assistance.

To replace a sash, you’ll need to measure the opening and order a replacement sash that fits. The old sash is then removed, and the new one is installed in its place. This may involve some additional work, such as adjusting the frame or installing new weatherstripping.

If your windows are outdated or inefficient, it may be worth considering a full window replacement. Modern windows offer improved energy efficiency, security, and aesthetics, which can increase your home’s value and comfort.

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When to Replace Windows

There are several signs that it may be time to replace your windows:

Drafts or air leaks around the windows
Difficulty opening or closing the windows
Visible damage or deterioration to the frames or sashes
Condensation or fogging between panes (in double-glazed windows)
Outdated or unattractive appearance

If you’re unsure whether to repair or replace your windows, it’s best to consult with a professional window contractor. They can assess the condition of your windows and provide recommendations based on your specific needs and budget.

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