By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Save money by replacing a broken window pane yourself and be confident knowing you'll be doing it again in your life as a homeowner. The sound of a shattering window glass can be jarring, and its repair an inconvenience, but the job is not as difficult as it may seem. If you can remove the window sash, you can take it to a glass repair shop or hardware store and have the pane replaced; if the damage is in a fixed window, you can hire a handyman or make the repair yourself.
You’ll pay a handyman about $252 to remove the damaged glass and replace a 24-inch square window pane with double-strength glass. That includes labor and material. You can make the repair for $40, the cost of the materials, and pocket a 84 percent saving. The bonus is you’ll pick up a new life skill you’ll probably use again many times in your years as a homeowner.
For safety’s sake, wear a pair of work gloves and eye protection, and use a screwdriver and pliers to remove the broken glass and old putty. To measure for the new piece of glass use a steel measuring tape to find the length and width of the opening and have the glass cut 1/8-inch smaller. Buy some glazier points and glazing putty with the new glass. Use a scraper to clean the perimeter of the frame and dust it out with an old paintbrush. Then run a bead of putty around the frame, and press the new glass in place with glazier points. Gently tap them into the sash with a hammer. Complete the repair by applying the new glazing putty smoothed around the frame with your finger and a putty knife.
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DIY Hassle Alert
Be careful working with glazier points because they’re very sharp and easily scatter if they’re not contained. If removing the old glazing putty is difficult to remove, apply heat to warm it using a heat gun or hair dryer.
The average price to repair broken window glass noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020