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How To Replace Glass in a Window (2024 Guide)

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Author Icon Written by Jessica Wimmer Updated 04/10/2024

Replacing window glass is straightforward if you only have minor scratches or a small chip. If the damage is extensive, you may need to hire a professional window company to fully replace the window.

We’ve detailed when and how you can repair the glass yourself versus hiring a pro, as well as other window repair cost considerations.

Prepare for the Job

Replacing window glass requires removing any broken glass around your window and possibly boarding up the broken window until you have everything ready for replacement. You’ll also need to move fast. Window cracks from physical impact reduce the window’s integrity and quickly spread across the pane if not repaired. Repairing glass on wooden windows requires additional expertise and care. 

Consider hiring a professional if you don’t feel comfortable handling the window, don’t have enough time to complete the repair quickly, or have a window with a complicated design or higher-quality material.

Ensure you’re prepared for the repair with the following equipment, tools, and materials:

  • Caulking gun
  • Chisel
  • Duct tape
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Glazing compound or putty
  • Glazing points
  • Heat gun
  • Eye protection
  • Glass cutter
  • Leather work gloves
  • Linseed oil or wood sealer
  • Paint scraper
  • Paintbrush
  • Putty knife
  • Replacement glass
  • Rubber mallet
  • Tape measure
  • Wire brush
New Windows in Home
Window Replacement

Window replacement typically costs $300–$2,000 per window, depending on the window type.

View looking out a casement window from the inside of a house that has turquoise interior walls
Window Repair

Window repair typically costs $177–$623, but it can vary based on the type of repair.

Picture of a man cleaning a window with a yellow cloth
Window Cleaning Cost

Window cleaning typically costs $80–$430 for an entire home.


DIY vs. Professional Glass Replacement

Replacing window glass as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project may seem like a great way to save money, but we advise against this. If you don’t have experience removing and installing glass, swapping out your own frames may cause additional structural damage, such as water leaks.

We recommend hiring a pro if you have double- or triple-pane windows or a more intricate style, such as a bay window. Hiring a pro also helps bundle additional costs, such as dumping fees, that you’d otherwise have to pay out of pocket.

Many professional window repair companies also include a workmanship and/or glass warranty. Use our tool below to connect with reputable, vetted window installers that service your address.

Get Estimates from Window Experts in Your Area
Compare quotes from local pros

Steps to follow

Here is a step-by-step guide to replace broken window glass. 

Step 1: Measure the Glass

Before replacing broken window glass, measure the pane’s height, width, and opening as well as the thickness of the glass. Write these measurements down. Most home improvement stores will cut glass to order. You can also order a large glass sheet and cut it to the correct size.

Your new glass pane should be at least a sixteenth of an inch shorter than the previous pane in all directions. Always test fit the glass before setting it in place. Along with the glass, buy a new pack of glass points. These are the small metal triangles that secure the glass into the putty. If you have vinyl or aluminum windows, these require double-sided foam tape or silicone.

Insulated Glass Unit (IGU)

Many modern windows use insulated glass units (IGU) instead of single glass panes. IGUs have two panes of tempered glass separated by a spacer. The space between the two panes is filled with gas.

You typically have to order IGUs directly from a glass manufacturer. When ordering, it helps to be familiar with taking proper measurements for an IGU. Follow these steps to ensure you send a manufacturer the proper measurements: 

  • First, measure the height and width of the unit. 
  • Second, measure the thickness of the glass sheet.
  • Third, measure the thickness of the overall unit.
  • Then, determine the spacer color: white, black or metal.
  • Finally, determine the coating of the old glass. This is usually low-e, but it might also have a tint.

You’ll need to note the type of glass, which you can generally tell by how the glass broke. If it broke into large, jagged pieces, it’s most likely annealed glass. If the glass is broken into tiny pieces, it’s most likely safety glass.

Step 2: Remove the Window and Broken Glass

Glass repair is easier if you remove the sash, or the part of the window that holds the glass and the framework around the glass. This will allow you to lay the glass flat to work. We recommend getting someone else to help you if the window is larger than 24-by-48 inches. 

You’ll have to remove the sash differently depending on your window’s style. Here’s a breakdown of common window styles and how to remove their sashes: 

  • Casement windows: These windows have release catches built into the hinges. If your casement window is older, you may have to unscrew it from the hinges at the top and bottom to remove the sash. 
  • Double-hung and single-hung windows: These windows usually have vinyl jamb liners, or the strip of material that goes on the sides of the window frame. Press in on the liners and pull out the sash’s top part, then give it a slight twist to release the latch springs in the bottom.
  • Slider windows: These windows are the easiest to remove, as you can usually just lift up on the sash and pull it out from the bottom.

Before removing broken glass, carefully clean any fallen glass in the surrounding area. Then, put on cut-proof gloves and eye protection to complete the following steps:

  1. Create an “X” shape in the middle of the glass using painters or duct tape. Cover any areas that are already shattered or cracked with the tape. This will help you later, as the tape collects and holds the glass pieces together.
  2. Remove the glazing—the putty that holds the glass in place—to expose the entire glass pane.
  3. If possible, remove the broken pane of glass in one piece. If the glass is stuck, use gloved hands to wiggle it out carefully. Use a heat gun to warm up any old glazing putty. This will help release the glass bits further. 

Step 3: Apply New Glazing and Install the New Glass

Now that you have the new glass and necessary window materials, you can apply new glazing to your existing window frame with these steps: 

  1. Use your caulking gun to squeeze a thin layer of window glazing compound into the window’s grooves. 
  2. Set the new window glass in place. 
  3. Press the new window glass lightly to bed it. 
  4. Press in new glazing points every 10 inches with the tip of your putty knife.
  5. If needed, apply additional glazing by moving the tube tip along the edge of the glass.
  6. Smooth the new glazing with a wet finger or cloth. 

If the compound is applied too thick, you’ll notice swelling around the pane. 

Wood Windows

The steps to remove broken glass and reapply glazing are slightly different for wooden windows. You’ll need to follow these steps: 

  1. Use a wire brush and clean out any dirt and residue on and inside the window frame. 
  2. Soften the old glazing with a heat gun. Be careful not to scorch the wood. 
  3. Scrape away the softened glazing with a putty knife. 
  4. Remove any metal glazing points from the grooves in the frame.
  5. Scrape away any remaining old paint or compound in the grooves. 
  6. Sand the grooves down to bare wood.
  7. Coat the bare wood with a sealer and let it dry.
  8. Once dry, use a small brush to apply a few coats of linseed oil around the frame, and let the oil soak in. This helps extend the life of the glazing.

Step 4: Paint (If Needed)

If you’re working with a wooden window or another window that uses paint, check if the window needs a paint touch-up. If it does, follow these steps: 

  1. First, scrape away or sand any areas with peeling paint.
  2. Place painter’s tape over the glass in areas that need paint within a sixteenth-inch of the glazing. Overlap the paint to improve its weather seal.
  3. Paint the needed areas and let the window dry.

Step 5: Reinstall The Window

Now, you simply have to reinstall the window back into its original opening with the new glass.

Cost Factors for Window Glass Replacement

Total window replacement costs $180–$409 per window, but averages around $300.* The price is impacted by the following factors:

Glass type: Replacing safety or specialty glass will increase your total project cost. This includes laminated, frosted, tinted, or custom glass. In these cases, we recommend contacting the window manufacturer to get the precise details of your replacement glass. We also suggest hiring a professional window installer or window repair company.
Labor fees: Expect to pay more for larger glass replacements and multipaned windows. These windows require additional workers and equipment, so labor costs will be higher. fees. Replacing window glass on higher floors also costs more.
Size: The larger the window, the more glass replacement will cost. Large windows require more labor, materials, and specialized equipment. The glass thickness influences the final replacement cost, as thicker glass will cost more.
Type of window: Unique, complex windows have higher glass replacement costs. For example, bay or bow windows cost more to repair than standard windows, such as double-hung windows. Specialty windows, such as egress and storm windows, also require particular types of glass and additional labor.

*Cost data sourced from Angi and Fixr.

Cost by Glass Type

Glass type has the biggest impact on glass replacement costs. We calculated the average replacement cost for various types of glass in the table below.

Glass TypeAverage Cost

Single-pane glass


Laminated glass


Tempered glass


Double-pane glass


Frosted glass


Triple-pane glass


Low-e glass


Argon-filled glass


Our Conclusion

You need an intermediate knowledge of windows to replace window glass correctly. We generally recommend hiring a professional, though you may be able to handle small fixes yourself. If the damage is too extensive, invest in an entire window replacement instead. 

We recommend comparing at least three window repair or replacement companies to find the best option. Use our tool below to connect with local window pros.

Get Estimates from Window Experts in Your Area
Compare quotes from local pros

FAQ About Window Glass Replacement

What material can I use to replace glass in a window?

Acrylic or plexiglass are popular replacement materials among homeowners to use instead of standard glass.

Can I bring glass to Lowe’s to cut it?

You can bring glass to Lowe’s and many other home improvement stores to get it cut to your specifications. 

How long does it take to fit new glass in a window?

It takes around half an hour to fit new glass in a window. The professional installation team will need to remove the old window glass and then put in the new one.

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