DIY single pane glass replacement

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May 6, 2005
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We had a problem before with a crack in a traditional single-pane window. It's been cracked for a while, but we had an incident where the cracked piece fell out. Right now I have it patched with a plastic sheet and duct tape to keep the cold air out, but eventually I'm going to have to replace it.

It's above our garage and it would need to be replaced from outside. Not sure if I have a ladder tall enough. Is this the sort of thing that's DIY? I figure the big issue is getting the size down exactly, and I don't have the cutting equipment. I'm worried about having a piece cut to fit but it's off by 1/4" and doesn't work. The broken piece is about 3' wide and 2' high. How do window glass replacement companies do this? Is it just cut to fit onsite?
 
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My hardware store cuts glass but they don't advertise it. It's super cheap too, like a buck for a 6x9 inch piece.

Pry out the retainer things then the glass comes out. Measure the old one once you get it naked. Put some putty on there and get some tiny nails for replacing the retainers.
 
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I’m assuming this is a wooden window surround and casing.

3X2 is easily handled. Just go slow and methodical.

Tom Silva has a good video here.


 

y_p_w

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It's a traditional wood frame window that moves vertically. I guess it's called a sash window. My biggest problem is the paint. I don't want to pay to get this thing repainted. I'm guessing it's at least 40 years old. I think it was already cracked when we moved in but it seemed pretty minor (it all held in place) that we never got it fixed.

It's held in place with glaze. Maybe I can just get this thing removed and take it to a glass shop to get a piece measured and cut to fit the opening.
 
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Your problem is going to be getting a single pane piece of glass that big up a ladder and into the frame without either hitting the ladder or putting too much side pressure on it trying to lift it into place. Look at Harbor Freight and get 2 of the big suction cups with handles to help lift it and place it. Once its in you put glazing points in to hold it and then glazing compound. If it does not have an outside frame to hold it, make sure you use real glazing compound, the oil based stuff. The cheap water based fast dry stuff will crumble in a few years.

Edit: make sure you measure both diagonal corner to corner to be sure the frame is still square and thats not what caused the crack then measure with a yardstick exactly and get the glass cut 1/4" smaller in both directions.
 

y_p_w

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Joined
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Your problem is going to be getting a single pane piece of glass that big up a ladder and into the frame without either hitting the ladder or putting too much side pressure on it trying to lift it into place. Look at Harbor Freight and get 2 of the big suction cups with handles to help lift it and place it. Once its in you put glazing points in to hold it and then glazing compound. If it does not have an outside frame to hold it, make sure you use real glazing compound, the oil based stuff. The cheap water based fast dry stuff will crumble in a few years.

Edit: make sure you measure both diagonal corner to corner to be sure the frame is still square and thats not what caused the crack then measure with a yardstick exactly and get the glass cut 1/4" smaller in both directions.

I saw some of the videos on it, and they universally take the sash out to do all that.
 
Joined
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I saw some of the videos on it, and they universally take the sash out to do all that.

I would do that as well.

Replacing the glass and glazing a 9" x 12" window that you can stand in front of with your feet on the ground is one thing, What you are describing is quite different.
 
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Don't cut the glass to fit too tight and maybe consider double strength glass.

Removing the sash is a no brainer if that is an option. Also don't underestimate the consequences of a ladder fall.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
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If you can get the sash out that is definitely the best way to go. If you are going to have to buy an extension ladder to do it and you dont really have another use for it then get a pro. In some cases just finding a place to store a long ladder makes hiring someone worth it, on top of that I would not want my first go at replacing a window to be 1 that big and that high off the ground. Have you thought about replacing the glass with lexan or plexi. Normally they dont stay as clear as glass but yours is just letting in light and no one really looks through it and you can get either one at your local home improvement store, they are both lighter and wont break.
 
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