By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Planning your budget to replace a bathroom rotted window sill with a glass block unit? That's a good idea. Over the years the window above a bathtub in an older home succumbs to exposure to moisture and its wooden frame and sill rot away. Replacing the window with a glass block unit designed for the job is a good solution because it allows light in from the outside while providing privacy inside. The replacement unit is an all-in-one pre-constructed glass block window laid up and framed into easy-to-install vinyl jambs and come in dozens of standard sizes. You’ll find them where building materials are sold at lumber yards and home centers.
While this used to be a job for a pro, a handy homeowner with carpentry experience and tools can do the job. It involves removing the old window, sizing the rough opening to the proper dimensions, fastening the block window in place, and reinstalling interior and exterior units. And most of the work is done from the interior side of the wall.
DIY Hassle Alert
This job can be more complicated and difficult if you're installing the window in a second floor of a house because working on a ladder and manhandling the window unit takes more than ordinary skills. You'll also need a helper to muscle the unit in place.
A contractor will charges $612 to install a new 32-inch-by-24-inch glass block window unit. That includes labor and material. If you have carpentry experience you can buy it for $285, install it, and pocket a 53 percent saving. Plan to budget more time and money if the siding and framing around the old window frame is damaged and requires rebuilding.
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Now you know the average cost to install a glass block window, which includes the labor and material, and what’s involved, so you can decide to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Don’t forget to adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019