Clera Windows + Doors Blog

Window Replacement vs. Window Glass Replacement

Every window will face a certain amount of wear and tear that will prompt a homeowner to get replacement windows. Everyday wear and tear can result in damages as extensive as broken glass from accidental physical impact, or something as simple as a foggier appearance that is obstructing the view outside. Depending on your situation, you may be unsure about what kind of window repair you need, be it window glass replacement or total window replacement.

At the end of the day, choosing between replacement windows in Toronto or window glass replacement boils down to two factors: your preference and your budget. If you want to make the best decision for your property and you’re curious about how to replace the glass in a window or how to replace a window completely, you’re in the right place! 

In this article, we’ll cover the following:

Let’s get started!

Close-up of a finger on cracked window glass

Window Glass Replacement vs. Replacement Windows: When Are They Needed?

Window Glass Replacement

Window glass replacement is hands-down the simpler fix between the two options. 

If you find that your window glass has been on the receiving end of a stray baseball or a rock causing the glass to crack then it makes sense to simply replace the glass in the window. Typically, doing so will come with the advantage of a quick installation time as well as a lower cost. 

Replacement Windows

While replacing a window’s glass is the easier option, a complete window replacement in Toronto is generally thought to be a better long-term solution that addresses any deeper damage on your windows. Some of the signs that you need replacement windows include:

  • The windows get jammed often.
  • There is marked and frequent condensation on your windows.
  • There is noticeable water damage on the window hardware itself and/or the surrounding areas.
  • The windows are leaky or drafty.
  • You are bothered by outside noise leaking through windows even when they are shut.

Window Glass Replacement vs. Replacement Windows: Comparing Costs

Window Glass Replacement

A variety of factors influence how much it costs to replace window glass. This includes the type of glass you want to use, the size of the pane, as well as the style of the window you are fixing. 

The typical monetary range is anywhere between $165 to $374, with the average amount spent by homeowners being around $269. The following is the average cost by glass type:

  • Single-glazed: $3 to $6 PSF
  • Double-glazed: $10 to $14 PSF
  • Tempered/impact-resistant: $12 to $14 PSF
  • Laminated: $10 to $20 PSF

*Installation is quoted at an additional cost

Replacement Windows

Replacement windows are more costly than simply replacing the glass. On average, replacement windows can cost homeowners between $175 to $700 per window, with high-end windows reaching up to between $800 to $1,200.

These prices depend on a variety of factors, including the condition of the frames, the style of window, as well as any additional construction that might need to take place in order to fit the new replacement window.

Replacing your entire window might end up costing you up to 50% more than if you just replaced the glass, however, if you want to resolve the deeper damages that are present in your existing windows or you’re trying to boost the aesthetic appeal of your property, the added cost may be worth it!

Window installation specialist removing an old window

How to Replace a Window & Replace Glass in a Window

Window Glass Replacement

The steps on how to replace window glass may vary slightly depending on what the window frame is made of. Among all types, vinyl windows are the easiest to work with, needing just the following steps:

  1. While wearing gloves, remove any loose shards of glass. If there are no loose glass pieces, you can put duct tape over the entire glass pane in order to remove it all in one piece later on. 
  2. Remove the affected sash from the window frame to work on it while it’s on a table.
  3. Remove the vinyl glazing stops using a flat-head screwdriver.
  4. Remove the caulk and pull out the existing glass (or what is left of it).
  5. Clean the frame using a wire brush or a damp rag. 
  6. Measure the affected pane to get the needed height and width for ordering new window glass. It’s best to measure the height and width in at least two places of the opening. 
  7. Fix in the replacement glass with double-sided tape
  8. Fix the stops over the glass and into the window frame.
  9. Return the window sash to the window frame. 

DIY precautions: Extra steps may be involved if you or your hired window contractor are working with a wooden or aluminum window frame. Though window glass replacement is generally considered as something that can be done through DIY methods, it’s not considered an easy task. Working with glass components can pose some risks if you haven’t done a project like this before. 

Additionally, if you are considering upgrading from single-pane to multi-pane glass for your window replacement, it’s best to first speak to a window repair specialist to see if this option is possible for your window frame.

Replacement Windows

Similar to window glass replacement, the steps on how to replace entire windows may vary slightly depending on what the windows are made of. Vinyl windows are known for having the most seamless and affordable installation process; completed with just the following steps:

  1. Remove the inside moulding and trim from the window to be replaced, using a pry bar. Set the pieces aside as they will be needed once the new window is set in place. 
  2. Take out the parting stops at the top and sides of the old window. 
  3. Carefully remove the window sashes.
  4. If your old window has sash liners, you would need to remove the springs and cord-pulley system. If your old window has sash pockets, you would need to remove the weights. 
  5. After having completely removed the old window and its pieces, scrape away any paint, foam, caulking, and other debris on the jamb. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to pick up any dust. 
  6. Test the new window to see if it fits in the jamb without any large gaps.
  7. Next, apply caulk to the opening. 
  8. Insert the window into place and make sure it is level. If the window isn’t level, you can make use of shims. 
  9. Secure the window into place with screws. 
  10. Fill any gaps with low-pressure expanding foam.
  11. Lastly, reattach the interior moulding and trim.

DIY precautions: Though the steps may look simple, it takes skill and experience to properly install a window. We do not recommend DIY window replacement, especially if you haven’t done this before. 

An improperly installed window can be a security risk or can leave you with a drafty window if not sealed properly. Mistakes may happen and these can lead to injuries or broken new window parts. Having an expert install your window replacement is the most hassle-free and effective option for most homeowners.   

Window Glass Replacement vs. Replacement Windows: Essential  Tips!

  • Schedule window glass replacement or total window replacement in good weather.  
  • Look for energy-efficient options to help give you long-term savings. Energy-efficient options should be ENERGY STAR Certified and may feature technologies like insulated glass units (IGUs), low-emissivity coating, and so on.
  • If blocking outside noise is one of your goals, you must opt for insulated glass units (multi-pane glass on windows).  
  • If you want to add more value to your property and you currently have outdated window frames, replacing window glass may not be enough. Windows are one of the major elements that can help boost curb appeal. Moreover, older windows are typically not designed for energy efficiency which can potentially lower the value of your property. 

Durable, Energy-Efficient Windows For Your Property

In this article, we’ve shown you everything you need to know about how to replace glass in a window and how to replace a window completely. We’ve also covered how you can choose the best option based on your needs and budget. 

If you’re in need of window replacements, Clera Windows + Doors has 41+ years of experience and are well-attuned with the needs of modern homeowners. We’ve designed our windows to be durable and maintenance-free, and are ENERGY STAR certified in order to combat the ups and downs of the harsh Canadian climate. Because we manufacture every window we sell, we can offer custom orders for the best possible price. 

To find out more about our replacement windows or if you really need window replacement in the first place, please feel free to contact us today for a FREE consultation with our experts.

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