home window replacement glass and tools

How to Buy Home Window Replacement Glass & Tools (DIY)

In this article we explain how to purchase home window replacement glass to replace your broken window, as well as essential glass window repair tools if you plan on fixing broken windows yourself.

This article forms Part 2 of our series on how to fix and replace a broken window in your house or apartment. If you missed the first part of the series which explains exactly how to replace a broken window, including steps on how to repair a cracked window, you can view the article at the link below. In this part we delve into more detail on the tools and materials needed to successfully and safely replace window glass at home, and explain how and where to purchase panes of replacement window glass that you can install yourself.

DIY Window Repair and Replace Series:

Essential Glass Window Repair Tools

It’s important to make sure that you have the necessary window repair tools in order to fix and replace a broken window. Fixing broken windows requires tools that are not commonly found at home, and if you plan on replacing windows yourself you cannot get away without buying a few specialty window repair tools.

Whether you plan on simply repairing a cracked pane of glass, or even replacing the entire pane altogether, you are going to need some gloves, eye protection, a putty knife or razor scraper, a rubber mallet as well as many other important tools.

The links below are for products that our expert writer personally recommends based on their many years of knowledge and experience replacing windows. Of course, there are other brands and models available, but if in doubt stick with the recommendations – that way you know you’ll be getting exactly the right tools for the job.

CAUTION! Working with windows means working with glass, and broken glass can be very hazardous. Using the right tools makes the job of replacing or repairing windows safer, as well as easier and neater. If you do not plan to invest in these essential tools, we suggest you call a professional to replace your windows instead.

Work Gloves

Work gloves provide protection to your hands when handling broken glass. While many recommend using heavy-duty leather gloves, it can be difficult to work in them due to their stiffness. An alternative is to use abrasion-resistant, and breathable safety gloves.

Recommended Product: LANON Cut Resistant Work Gloves (Buy on Amazon)

safety gloves for handling home window replacement glass

Eye Protection

You can never be too cautious when it comes to your eyes. Even if you are not using any power tools, you should always wear eye protection whenever you are doing any form of repairs around the house.

Recommended Product: Dewalt Lightweight Protective Safety Glasses (Buy on Amazon)

safety glasses for handling replacement glass window panes

Putty Knife

A putty knife serves dual purposes when it comes to replacing window panes. Not only does it help you to spread glazing into the cracks between the pane and the window frame, but also helps you install the glazing points which hold the window in place.

Recommended Product: Red Devil 1 1/2″ Scraper (Buy on Amazon)

putty knife for house replacement window glass glazing

Glazing Compound

To install a new window pane into the frame, you will need some glazing compound. Also known as glazing putty.

Recommended Product: Sarco Type M Glazing Putty (Buy on Amazon)

glazing putty to install replacement window glass in home

Glazing Points

To hold up the glass window pane, glazing points are required. Several brands and styles are available, but these are one of the most popular due to their strength and quality.

Recommended Product: Red Devil Glazing Points (55pcs approx) (Buy on Amazon)

tools for window replacement glass home diy

Wood Chisel or Razor Scraper

In order to remove larger pieces of glass, you may need to remove old glazing from around the edges of the frame. Although it is possible to cut this glazing using a standard box cutter, the safest solution is to use a razor scraper or a wood chisel.

Recommended Product: WEUPE Razor Blade Scraper Tool (Buy on Amazon)

scraper for replacement home window glass

Paintbrush

Paintbrushes play an important role because after you have removed the old pane of glass and window glazing, you will need to re-glaze the new windowpane, and eventually paint the window itself.

Recommended Product: Pro Grade Paint Brush Set (Buy on Amazon)

paint brush

Tape Measure

Not all windows are created to specific dimensions. Older windows for example generally tend to have different sized panes that are cut on-site during the actual construction of the home. As a result, you may need to measure the size of the frame in order to purchase another windowpane.

Recommended Product: CRAFTSMAN Tape Measure, 25-Foot (Buy on Amazon)

tool to measure replacement glass for window pane

Glass Cutter

A glass cutter is essential if you need to cut glass window panes yourself. These tools are specifically designed to score the face of a pane of glass in such a manner that you can “break” it in order to make a straight cut.

Recommended Product: Camdios Glass Cutter 2mm-20mm (Buy on Amazon)

essential window repair tools

Metal Straightedge

Although many places that sell replacement window glass can also cut the glass, you may be left in a situation where you have no other option but to cut the glass yourself. In order to make a straight cut, you will also need to pick up a metal straightedge as a guide for the cut.

Recommended Product: Boompark Stainless Steel Metal Ruler (Buy on Amazon)

metal ruler

Pencil

Pencils are great for marking, and although you could use a typical number two household pencil, if you truly want to be a DIY handyman, then you’ll need to keep some carpenter’s pencils lying around just in case.

Recommended Product: IRWIN Carpenter Pencil, 6-Piece (Buy on Amazon)

diy tools pencil

Rubber Mallet

If you chose to purchase a wood chisel to help remove glazing, then a rubber mallet will come in handy. Traditional steel-headed hammers are not the right tool for smacking the end of a chisel.

Recommended Product: Coleman Rubber Mallet (Buy on Amazon)

window repair tools rubber mallet

How to Buy Replacement Window Glass for Your House

Believe it or not, the actual process of purchasing replacement window glass is fairly easy. In order to get the correct glass, you will need to know a few things about the glass pane that you are replacing. Not only do you need to know what size the piece will need to be, but you will also need to know how thick the glass is. But, knowing the dimensions of the glass that you need is only half the battle.

Tempered Glass

Traditional panes of glass break along a spider crack, leaving large chunks of sharp edges to get caught on. This can lead to a dangerous situation if you live in an area that regularly sees high winds or dangerous storm patterns. In order to prevent the possibility of shards of glass being strewn throughout the house, many homeowners instead ought to use tempered glass which breaks into small beads when shattered.

Laminated Glass

Depending on local building codes, the tempered glass may not be appropriate. Instead, some areas may require that you make use of laminated glass. This type of replacement glass is specially treated with a film which makes it less likely to break or shatter in the event of an impact. This film also prevents the shards of glass from being strewn all over the home if it is broken.

Insulated Windows

If you are working with insulated, energy-efficient windows that have at least two individual panes of glass, then replacing this glass on your own can be an impossible task. Many of these windows are filled with inert gas, like argon, in between the layers of glass.

Where to Purchase Home Replacement Window Glass

Once you have been able to determine what type of glass your window is, all you need to do is to locate a retailer who provides replacement window glass. Although some large box store retailers can provide most types of glass, for specialty glass such as tempered or laminated windows, you may need to go to a specialist.

Below are a few stores that can supply replacement home window glass in the United States. But, before you go out and purchase replacement glass for your window, check to make sure whether your window is still under warranty or not.

Lowes

Lowe’s hardware is one of the more common big-box stores in the country. Most of these locations not only sell a variety of replacement glass for your DIY project, but they can usually cut the glass for you. All you need to do is to bring a sample, and the dimensions that you need cut.

Home Depot

In the past, Home Depot used to provide glass cutting services at most of their locations, however, in recent years they have stopped offering glass cutting and installation altogether. You will still be able to purchase replacement glass at any Home Depot store, but you will need to cut it yourself.

Menards

Menards sells a variety of replacement glass for just about any purpose. Make sure to bring your sample and the dimensions with you, because many locations do offer a glass cutting service. However, some locations may not, depending on whether or not they have an experienced cutter on site.

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware is the place to go when it comes to not only buying replacement glass but also getting a cut. Although most stores charge a small fee for this cutting service, they are able to cut both replacement glass as well as acrylic or plexiglass sheets.

True Value

Most True Value locations offer glass cutting services in-house. However, since true value is operated as a franchise, not all stores offer the service. It is important to contact your local True Value Hardware to determine whether or not they specifically offer glass cutting services.

Cost of Home Window Glass Replacement

When it comes to a cracked or even broken window, the first thing that any homeowner thinks about is the costs associated with their home glass window replacement. After all, the annual cost of maintaining any home is already more than most homeowners like.

In determining what it would cost to replace a broken window, there are certain things that need to be taken into consideration. The most important of these is what type of window is broken. Energy-efficient windows with multiple panes of glass are more expensive than traditional single pane wooden framed windows. However, the average price of a double-hung window is between $500 and $700. Depending on the manufacturer and materials, this can easily range anywhere from $200-$1200.

But, the cost of the actual window is only part of the equation. Depending on where you live, you may need to pay an installer anywhere between $30 and $50 per hour. Although it will generally take an installer 1 to 2 hours in order to install a replacement window on the ground floor of a home, the upper-level floors can take longer.

Conclusion

Once you have sourced your window repair tools and home window replacement glass, and cleaned up any broken glass, you are ready to move onto replacing the window pane or fixing that crack. In the first article of this series (Part 1) we explained how to fix a broken window, you can find that article at the link below.

PART 1 | Broken Window: How to Fix & Replace Glass Window Panes (DIY)

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