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Reglazing Windows vs Replacing: Pros & Cons

Reglazing Windows vs Replacing Windows

If your windows are showing signs of wear, you will most likely need to choose one of two repair options: reglazing or replacing. Both repair processes have their own time and place in window repair. It’s important to know whether your window should be reglazed or replaced.

Below, we are going to explain both reglazing and replacing windows. For each repairment method, we will describe the pros and cons so that you can decide which method is best for your windows. Let’s get started.

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Overview of Reglazing Windows:

reglazing old window
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Most modern windows have a glaze. The purpose of this glaze is to create a waterproof seal that can keep out both air and moisture. This glazing insulates your home so that it is more energy efficient and keeps your energy costs down.

Often, new windows or new homes don’t need entirely new windows if there are small cracks and crumbling dry sections. Instead, reglazing the windows will mainly fix the issue and help you save some money in the process. At the same time, reglazing windows helps to retain the original window, which may be necessary if you have an old or historical house.

Signs You Should Reglaze Your Windows

The number one sign that you should reglaze your window is if you notice cracks in the glazing. Some other signs that reglazing needs to happen is if some of the dry putty is crumbling and breaking off, thus separating the frame from the glass pane.

Cost to Reglaze Windows

One benefit of reglazing windows is that it is more affordable than replacing the window outright. The average cost for reglazing a window is about $330, though the glass pane, frame material, number of windows affected, and extent of the damage will impact the exact cost.

window repair
Image Credit: Try_my_best, Shutterstock

What to Do If You Need to Reglaze a Window

If you have a bit of handiwork under your belt, you can reglaze a window yourself. However, it’s always best to hire a professional to reglaze the window for you, especially if there is extensive damage or you live in a historical home. A professional glazer will be able to properly glaze the window so that it is protected and sturdy.

  • More affordable
  • Repairs the cracks and panes
  • Retains the original window
  • Improves energy efficiency
  • Can be done yourself
  • Often requires a professional
  • Not suitable for extensive window damage
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Overview of Replacing Windows:

man removing old window
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Even though reglazing a window is a great option in many scenarios, it isn’t right for all. Instead, there are instances when you might need to replace the window out right. Even though replacing a window might not be your first choice, it sometimes is your only choice.

Most often, windows are completely replaced whenever the damage is irreparable. For example, irreparable damage often impacts the window, the glass, the panes, and the frame. In these cases, reglazing the window will not fix the entirety of the problem, which is why you need to replace the window.

Signs You Should Replace Your Windows

If you see any signs of serious or irreparable damage, that means you will need to replace your windows. Especially if the damage is done to the window frame, replacing your window might be the only option. If you aren’t sure whether your window is beyond repair, you can always contact a professional. As a rule of thumb, if there is any rot in the frame, the entire thing must be replaced.

Cost to Replace Windows

Replacing windows is much more expensive than reglazing them. The average price of replacing a single window is $600. Given that this is the average price, you can easily see how the price could be more expensive. Not to mention, this is just the price of a single window replacement. If you must replace multiple windows, you can easily expect to pay thousands of dollars.

man installing window
Image Credit: ronstik, Shutterstock

What to Do If You Need to Replace a Window

If you need to replace a window, the best thing to do is to hire a professional. The professional will ensure that the window fits in properly and that all damage is thoroughly removed. Although you can technically replace a window yourself, we don’t recommend it.

  • Ensures the entire window is in its best condition
  • Only way to resolve frame rot
  • Expensive
  • Requires a professional

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Should I Reglaze or Replace My Windows?

Whether you should reglaze or replace your windows depends on the extent of the damage. If the damage is fixable, you will want to reglaze the window. In contrast, you should replace the windows if the damage cannot be fixed with glaze.

Reglaze the Window

You should reglaze your window if you only notice damage to the actual window itself. For example, reglazing will be able to fix issues directly on the glass and on the panes. It will be the more affordable option, and you can do it yourself.

Replace the Window

If the damage goes beyond the windowpanes and reaches the frame, you will need to replace the window. If you see any rot or extensive damage to the frame and surrounding wall, contact a professional to get the window replaced entirely. It will be more expensive, but it’s the only way to get the issue resolved.

Can’t Decide?

If you aren’t sure if the damage is repairable, contact a window professional. A specialist will be able to explain to you if you can fix the problem by reglazing the window, or if you need to replace it.

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To keep your windows in tip-top shape, make sure to check on them occasionally. If you notice any peeling or cracking, it’s probably time to reglaze your windows. It’s the best way to fix the windows without spending a fortune. You should replace the windows if the panes and frame are broken and damaged.

Since windows are such an important part of the home, don’t hesitate to contact a professional if you have any hesitations. A window professional will be able to evaluate the extent of the damage to determine if it needs to be reglazed or replaced.

Featured Image Credit: Left: Regralazing Window: Try_my_best, Shutterstock | Right: Replacing Window: ronstik, Shutterstock


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