How to Replace Glass in a Home Window

If your home window’s glass has shattered, it can be more than just an eyesore. It’s important to replace window glass quickly with replacement to avoid further damage. In addition, when your home has a broken window the following are compromised:

  1. Safety : A broken window can pose a safety hazard, especially if it is located in a high traffic area or is accessible to children or pets. Broken glass runs the risk of injuring anyone who may accidentally come in contact with it.
  2. Security : With a broken window, burglars will have an easier time gaining entry into your home.
  3. Energy efficiency : A broken window will significantly reduce the energy efficiency of your home. Since air will be able to escape and enter, it will make it more difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This can lead to higher energy bills as well as unnecessary energy waste.
  4. Aesthetics : A broken window can detract from the overall appearance of your home from both inside and outside views.

Sometimes, the need for a replacement won’t be as obvious. Issues can also arise in the form of cracks or chips in your glass, signaling it’s time for replacement.

How to Replace Broken Glass in a Home Window:

To replace broken glass in a home window, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the tools and materials: You will need a screwdriver, gloves, a putty knife, a cutting tool, and replacement glass.
  2. Remove the broken glass: Wear gloves to protect your hands from the broken glass. Use a putty knife to carefully remove any broken glass that is still in the frame.
  3. Remove the old putty: Use a putty knife to carefully remove the old putty from around the frame. If the putty is particularly stubborn, you can soften it with a heat gun.
  4. Cut the new glass: Measure the size of the opening and cut the replacement glass to size. Be sure to add a little extra to the size to allow for proper fit.
  5. Apply the new putty: Apply a thin layer of putty to the frame around the opening, making sure to spread it evenly.
  6. Install the new glass: Place the new glass in the frame and carefully press it into the putty.
  7. Finish the putty: Use a putty knife to apply a final layer of putty over the edges of the glass, smoothing it out and making sure it is even.
  8. Clean up: After the putty has dried, use a knife to trim off any excess. Sand the putty to make it smooth, and then clean the glass with a window cleaner.

Professional Replacement vs DIY

Home window replacement can be a daunting task that requires a certain level of knowledge and experience. Attempting to DIY could leave your home vulnerable, so opting for a professional installation is typically recommended. Not only will this ensure superior results but professional services often come with warranties to protect your investment in case of any breakage beyond a few panes. Investing in quality craftsmanship now could save you money down the road!

Budgeting Factors

Single Pane

Particularly if you own an older home, replacing the single-pane windows could be a smart investment. The expense can range from $150 to $400 and offers increased insulation against temperature fluctuations and noise pollution.

Double Pane

A stylish and practical upgrade for any home is a dual layer of protection through double-pane windows. The cost of replacement glass can range from $150 to $600 depending on size, type, material frame and thickness.

Triple Pane

Triple pane window glass is the front runner when it comes to efficiency and protection from weather elements, but this comes at a price. From $400 to nearly $1000 depending on quality and brand name, this choice is definitely worth the investment for homeowners that live in extreme climates.


Replacing your old windows with low emissivity glass (Low-E) can be a good move for immediate and long term savings. This special type of window comes coated in an oxide layer that blocks 99% of UV rays and helps reduce energy loss significantly.


When it comes to double- or triple-pane windows that are filled with argon gas, glass replacement can cost from $375 to $850.


Labor prices will differ based on the size and scope of your project. For larger panes and ones with multiple designs, additional hands and equipment will be necessary. It’s important to also keep in mind that labor costs increase with specialty windows and energy efficient options.

Window Size

Window thickness can make a big impact on your budget. Not only does the window size itself affect cost, but factors like labor requirements, materials needed must be taken into consideration when pricing out replacement projects.

Type of Window

If you’re looking for something beyond a basic window option, like bow or bay windows, be prepared to pay more. Even more intricate designs such as egress and storm types require specific glass choices and extra labor costs.

Replacement vs Repair

When it comes to deciding if a replacement or repair is best for your window, there are a few factors to consider:

  1. Size of the damage
  2. Age of the window
  3. Type of window
  4. Cost

Repairing a glass window may be a good option if the damage is small, the window is relatively new, the window has historical or unique value, and the cost of repairs is reasonable. However, if the damage is extensive, the window is old or has other issues, or the cost of repairs is too high, then a full replacement might be the way to go.