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How To Replace A Bay Window in 8 Steps

bay window with mountain view

Bay windows are a gorgeous architectural design choice that adds some much-needed dimension to an otherwise flat home. But when one gets damaged or you just want to replace it, you often run into some interesting problems.

Most bay windows are manufactured as one piece, so you can’t really take them apart. This is especially true for vinyl bay windows, which are sealed shut by their manufacturers. What makes bay windows so tricky to work with is that there are steel supports put into place in the window to help secure it to your home’s internal structure.

Wood bay windows, however, can be repaired yourself when you need to replace a pane. All you need is some new glass and basic tools. We’ll cover how to carry out this type of fix below.

divider 4 Preparation

The first thing you need to do is measure which size windowpane you will need. This can be done by measuring from the top to the bottom of the window, then side to side. Depending on your bay window dimensions, you may wind up with large or small measurements according to the pane size.

Write down your measurement and take off 1/8” to 1/16”. Next, you’ll need to call around local home improvement stores to see who can cut glass to order. Lowe’s usually offers this service, but it’s worth calling to check beforehand.

Ask the store for tempered or laminated glass, which is less prone to breaking and shattering than normal glass.

Now that you’ve got your new windowpane, it’s time to gather the other tools you’ll need to replace the window.

You Will Need:

bay window
Image By: Archi_Viz, Shutterstock

How To Replace A Bay Window (8 Steps)

This is for replacing a wooden bay windowpane. For vinyl bay windows, consult the manufacturer or a window professional directly. We do not recommend doing that job as a DIY project, the complexities are simply too much.

1. Remove any broken glass from the frame with your putty knife.

2. Scrape away any old window glaze or putty. If necessary, you can soften and loosen it with a heat gun or hair dryer.

3. Lightly sand the inside edges where the window was affixed. The goal here is to get the frame as close to new as possible so you can have a secure fit with the new pane.

4. Coat the frame in clear sealant or paint primer and let it dry.

5. Squeeze window glazing compound around the inside edges of the window frame.

6. Lightly press your new glass pane into the frame, making sure the window is firmly seated before you let go.

7. Press new glass points flat against the glass between the pane and the window. If necessary, tap them with the edge of your putty knife to drive them into the wood.

8. Apply more glazing compound around the edge of the window and let it cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

bay window replacement
Image Credit: Diane079F, Shutterstock

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Can You Replace a Bay Window With A Regular Window?

Unfortunately, replacing a bay window with a regular window is a task best left to professional contractors, because it requires altering the physical dimensions of your home.

If you would rather change the appearance of the window within your home, there are ways to do that without doing a total window conversion.

How To Disguise a Bay Window

If you enjoy using the space created by your bay window as storage or perhaps a home office desk, it’s understandable that you would want the ability to hide that on a whim.

Depending on the exact way the window comes into your home, you may be able to put traditional curtains across the opening of the bay. This can help make it seem like a regular window to anyone who doesn’t know better.

Featured Image Credit: Raphael Schaller, Unsplash


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