Should You Reglaze A Broken Window Or Simply Replace It?

After you've suffered a broken window from an errant baseball, a storm, or a break-in, you're probably interested in having it fixed as quickly as possible. It can be hard to secure a broken window against outside entry, and unless your window breaks during a temperate, dry season, you may have trouble keeping your interior hot or cold air from escaping (or keeping rain and other precipitation from entering). However, the financial constraints of modern living can make it difficult to come up with several hundred dollars to repair a window at a moment's notice. What is your quickest and most cost-effective option to repair a broken window? Read on to learn more about when you may want to reglaze an existing window and when replacement of a window (or windows) is ideal.

What is reglazing?

Reglazing a window involves the removal of the broken pane and replacement and sealing of a new pane. If you contact an emergency glazier, you may be able to have this process performed within a business day, quickly solving your problem. You'll pay anywhere from $3 to $14 per square foot of glass being replaced, and if you hire someone to perform this process, you'll pay an average of $100 to $300 (including the cost of glass, other materials, and labor). These prices can vary based on cost of living, speed of the process, and special features of your window, so those in lower cost of living areas may be pleasantly surprised to find that this process costs much less than expected.

Reglazing is ideal for multi-paned windows where only a single pane is broken, for cracked windows that aren't missing glass, or when circumstances require an immediate fix and you can't have a new window located and installed in that period of time. Reglazing is also a good option if you're replacing a non-standard sized window, as these sizes can often be difficult to find in stock locally, requiring you to travel to find one or pay for expedited shipping.

When might replacement be a better option? 

Replacing a window is a bit more pricey than reglazing a single pane, with costs ranging from $450 to $600 for a standard double-paned window (or $800 to $1000 for a wooden-framed window). However, if your existing window frame is damaged or drafty, replacing it (and your window) may save you enough in utility bills over time to make up any difference in cost between replacement and repair of the faulty pane. If replacing your home's old windows has been on your to-do list for some time, you may be able to take advantage of a bulk purchase discount and go ahead and replace the remaining windows in your home along with the broken one.

While reglazing a window is something a handy homeowner may be able to do him- or herself with the right tools and other equipment, replacing a window is generally a job best left to the professionals. If you're still not sure how to proceed on the journey to fix a broken window, but need a fix as quickly as possible and aren't able to do it yourself, you may want to contact a local glazier to determine whether this would be a cost-effective option. If so, you should be able to have your window fixed within a business day or two.

You'll want to consult with a window replacement company instead if you're unable to find a glazier locally, if you're dissatisfied with your existing window and wanted to replace it anyway, or if you believe it is a standard size that can be found in stock locally and replaced the same day.