Windows are one of the most important elements of your home. They keep moisture, sound, and pollutants from the street out. They’re also critical for good insulation and staying cool in the summer and toasty in the winter. Also, well-maintained windows are important for the aesthetic and financial value of your property.
In this article we discuss cost estimation for window repairs, reglazing, replacement, and how to choose what best fits your needs between the three.
Reglazing Windows Vs. Replacing
There are a few questions that you should ask yourself when deciding whether you need to reglaze a window or replace it (either just the glass pane or the entire window frame). There is no right or wrong answer – you just need to be clear about your needs.
- Is the window structurally sound?
- If it’s wooden, is there rot or not?
- Are the glass panes fine, or are they cracked?
If the window itself is in good or decent shape, reglazing is probably a better choice than replacing it. Glazing putty or sealant is the main thing that tends to crack, become brittle, and break down over time. It can be removed, though, and replaced without much fuss.
However, if the window frame or the glass panes are damaged, you should consider replacing them – especially if they’re old or rot has set in (on wooden windows).
It’s important to note that older homes can often lose aesthetic (and, potentially, monetary) value if original windows are replaced with modern vinyl ones. Broken or cracked glass calls for replacing the panes, at least.
- Is there a lot of noise coming in from the street? Is a lot of heat escaping or cold air entering through the windows?
Sometimes your windows might be serving their purpose fine, but they might simply be too inefficient at keeping sound out or insulating. This is especially often the case with older wooden windows. You can try reglazing if the sealant has broken down, but replacing it might be a better choice in the long run.
A road that might have seen only a few cars a day when the home was built several decades ago might be teeming with traffic nowadays, and the old windows may simply not be up to the job. The same goes for insulation – windows that worked well several decades ago may have worn down over time to the point that no reglazing can work.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair Broken Windows?
The cost to repair a broken window depends on several important factors – the number of panes that have to be replaced, whether it’s single or double-paned, and whether the glass is standard or custom-sized. The window construction itself might be compromised, in which case you may have to replace the whole window itself. If it’s just the glass, here is a cost estimation for window repairs:
- Replacing a single pane on one window will cost you around $200.
- Replacing a double pane on one window will cost you between $200 to $400.
- Replacing three panes on a bay window can cost you between $600 and $1,200.
- Replacing five or more panes on a bow window can cost you between $1,250 and $3,300 on average.
If you want to repair a window frame because a section is, for example, rotted or cracked, you’ll be looking at an average cost of $150 to $400. It might seem like a lot if you’re only looking to fix a sill, sash, or trim, but it’s cheaper than replacing the full frame and can be done in a way so that you can’t see it’s been worked on at all.
Since replacing a window frame can cost you up to $1,000, it often makes more financial sense to repair windows rather than replace them.
How Much Does It Cost to Reglaze Windows?
Keeping your window glaze, or seal, in good shape is important to your home’s insulation and controlling the temperature (and the costs of temperature control) inside of it. A cracked or old seal will allow heat to escape through the windows when it’s cold outside and to penetrate your cool home in summer.
Reglazing windows is not expensive – a rough cost estimation for window reglazing includes the material cost for glazing putty or sealant at around $15, with labor costs for one window averaging $50. This gives you an average cost of $65 to reglaze one window.
If your window is large or in a hard-to-reach place, it may take more time and cost you more. The same may occur if there are problems with the window frame’s construction and parts that need to be fixed before sealing.
Double Pane Glass Cost Per Square Foot
Double pane glass will cost you between $6 to $12 per square foot and is the most popular choice in modern homes.
Single Pane Glass Cost Per Square Foot
Single pane glass, also known as plate glass, can be purchased for as cheap as $3 per square foot and go up to $7 per square foot.
Single pane glass is:
- Cheap and easy to replace
- Easy to cut into custom shapes and sizes
- Good for utility buildings such as garages, sheds, or other structures that aren’t your main residence
Unfortunately, single pane glass is also prone to condensation, breaks easily, and doesn’t meet modern building code requirements for insulation values.
Full Frame Window Replacement Cost
Full frame window replacement costs on average $400 to $1,000, with most window frame replacements falling into the $600-$700 range.
Full frame window replacement entails stripping the window frame to the studs and replacing it with a new one. The benefit of a full-frame window replacement is that you can change the style and size of the window if you want to, and the contractor can inspect the area for any water damage or other problems. If the structure of a window is heavily compromised, it is often more convenient to replace it completely rather than trying to repair it.
Foggy Window Repair Cost
Foggy windows are caused by a buildup of condensation and moisture between window panes. They’re caused by poor insulation such as failing seals or some other issue that allows warm air from your home to escape and mix with the colder air outside, causing condensation.
Professional window defogging costs roughly half of what it would be to install new windows between $70 and $200.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that the fogginess won’t return – if the windows are compromised, the condensation may reappear sooner or later. Before spending the money on a professional defogging service, you can try a few things. If you run your finger over the condensation and it gets wet (that is, the condensation is on the inside of the window), it’s a sign that that area of the property has high humidity. Try lowering it by eliminating sources of moisture (large amounts of houseplants in one area can also be a source of high humidity).
You can also run a dehumidifier or air the room out for several hours during a warm, dry day. If none of that works, a professional defogging service or window replacement may be the only choice to get rid of foggy windows.