Replace window or just the glass

Should I replace broken window glass or the entire window?

Although it is usually faster to only replace the glass for a broken window, there are circumstances where it is not worth saving a window and replacing the entire window is the best option.

Replacing the glass only


This is always a good option when the frame of your window is in good condition but there are issues with the glass. Usually, homeowners opt for a glass-only replacement whenever the glass inside the sash is broken or they have problems frequently with condensation in between the panes of glass.

We usually consider window glass replacement to be a short term solution for window problems unless:

  • You have fairly new window frames (no older than 15 years) and there is broken glass inside the sash
  • You have historic wooden single-pane glass windows

If you have fairly new window frames, you can hire a glass repair specialist called a glazier to install new glass in your windows. If you know who the manufacturer is of the windows you can contact them to see if the glass has any warranties.

Whole Window Replacement

This is usually the best solution when you are searching for a long-time fix. Along with installing energy saving glass, one of the biggest benefits of whole window replacement is it adds energy saving framing as well. A majority of individuals are not aware of this, but a lot of a quality window’s efficiency comes from the framing along with the glass. Low quality framing material may result in excessive cold or heat transfer along with contraction and expansion which ultimately results in leaks. That is what causes foggy ugly window panes. If you just replace the glass, the problem might recur, since you have not fixed the root cause.

There are usually higher costs involved with whole window replacement compared to glass-only replacement. However, it is a good option if you want a longer-term option and over time greater energy savings. Make sure there is warranty which comes with the replacement windows in case there is any damage in the future.

When Is It Not Worth Saving A Window?


● If your window’s seal has failed, replacing the window is the best thing to do. There are defogging services that are available. However, they are just a quick fix for an issue that will arise again until you replace the window. A clear sign that the window has a broken seal is when there is condensation in between the glass panes, which makes the glass look foggy.

● If the mullions or muntins (a window’s dividers) are also broken, then it is better to replace the whole window instead of only the glass.

● If you have wood windows, then you should choose window replacement if the wooden frame has started to rot. Although a patch can be used to repair some rot, the window’s integrity will be compromised by severe rot.

● If your current windows are almost at the end of their lifespan (windows usually last 15-20 years with good maintenance) then over the long run, it can save you money to replace them when glass breaks.

● If you have low quality windows that do not appear to be able to do anything about cold winter nights or hot summer days, then you may want to replace your inefficient windows with ones that are energy efficient to meet your needs.

Ramy Jbeili

Ramy Jbeili

Ramy is the head glazier and owner of Quik Window Glass Replacement with many years experience as a window glass replacement specialists

Related Posts