How to Replace the Glass in a Wood Frame Window.




My home has wooden framed windows that, from time to time, have been broken.  I employed a professional glasier to replace one of my windows, which cost just under $500.  I decided to watch him work so that I could learn how he did this, in order to do the repairs myself next time.  It was surprisingly easy, and increased my confidence in being able to do it myself next time.

When the next window was broken I bought the glass myself for $120 and completed the job.

I decided to create this instructable to assist people to save money in the repair of their own windows and have a feeling of satisfaction that comes with knowing how to do something yourself.  Remember, the first time I did this I was very worried I would screw it up and get seriously injured.  It turned out to be not very difficult and each time I repaired a broken window I gained confidence.  Don't be afraid of this repair job, it is easy to do and could end up saving you a lot of money... it could even be a new career!

If you are interested in this, you may be interested in reading my blog.  It is located at Little Tassie Prepper.

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Step 1:

The tools required.

A reliable Tape measure - You need to take the measurements in order to buy some new glass.
Paint scraper - This is to remove the Sash and any glue
Stanley Knife - To cut the Sash free from the frame.
Hammer - to Hammer the Sash nails back into the frame.
Thick Gloves - to protect your hands from broken glass.
Safety Glasses - to protect your eyes.  Hopefully you will not need them, but better to be safe.

First step is to use the measuring tape to ensure that you purchase the correct size glass to fit the frame.  Take extra care to make sure you measure this properly… you need to take the correct measurement or you will waste money and time.  I find that measuring from inside of the frame to opposite inside part of the frame.  I then remove one millimeter from the measurement to ensure that I can fit the glass into the frame.  Once you have copied down the measurements, contact a glass supplier and purchase the glass required.  You can take a section of the glass with you if you like, so that the glazier can see they type of glass which you used.  At the very least you should explain the use for the glass when you order it so that the merchant can assist you in recommending the thickness you would require.

Once you have the glass purchased, you need to remove the broken glass from the frame.  Use the Stanley knife to cut the paint from the window frame.  Run the knife carefully down the Sash of the window (this is the section which holds the glass into the frame).  Do this to all sections of the Sash.

Step 2:

Once the sash is separate from the frame, you take the paint scraper and insert it into the gap between the Sash and the Frame.  This is to help pry the Sash from the Frame.  I was advised by the Glassier that some houses (such as mine) have the Sash glued onto the Frame, so in these cases you use the paint scraper to unpick the glue from the inside of the crack.  Do this to all sections of the Sash, as well as the corner sections.

Use the scraper to pry the Sash from the window frame.  Try to keep the nails within the Sash if possible as it makes it easier later.  Any nails removed need to be collected and used later.  Once the Sash is removed, make sure that the glass does not hit you or fall out. 

Now remove the glass from the frame.  I try to remove it as one piece, yet I usually have to end up breaking it out.  Make this fun if you like.

Step 3:

Take the Paint Scraper and remove any debris (such as pieces of wood shavings, dirt/dust, or glue) from the window frame, you need the area to be clear of items which will stop the window from making a good seal.  Check the Sashes to make sure that they are in good order, have no additional debris on them, and hammer the point of the nails so that they can be hammered back into place.  This is basically reversing the nails so that the point is just within the wooden Sash.

You may need another person to assist you in the next section.  Have the hammer handy, as well as the removed Sashes and nails.  Carefully place the new window into the frame.  Hold it in place so that it is tight against the frame. 

Now... this is a very delicate part.  Take the top Sash and place it into place, carefully hammer the nails into place.  You need to hammer carefully so that you don't break the window.  I find that having the nails already in the wood makes it much easier to hammer them back in.  Place the Bottom Sash back into place and hammer it in.  Then do the sides.  I have been advised by professional Glaziers that you should not place glue or window putty on the window to keep it in place.  It makes it harder to remove broken glass in future breaks.  I was told that the putty is to be used if there is a bad seal on the window, to prevent any moisture from getting through.

Now step back and admire the great work you have done. 

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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago


    What a lovely post. I really appreciate as these are the very useful and informative tips you have shared above. A window gives life to a home and makes it perfect. It provides exterior view and ventilation.
    Making the selection of windows that suits your home is quite a tedious task which involves several criteria.
    The glass used in windows should have the ability to filter ultra violet radiation and show good performance in holding back the heat.
    You can also review

    Darleen Currey

    3 years ago

    Hello !!

    are several possibilities as to why your skylight is leaking.If the leak
    appears to be coming from the skylight itself, then you should cleaning around
    the skylight to remove any debris. On finding the reason you have to use
    roofing cement to seal any holes in the flashing.

    You can visit


    3 years ago

    A real helpful and informative post. We at Evans Glass offers illustration that most closely matches your window glass requirement.


    3 years ago

    I live next to a golf course, so my windows have been cracked a few times. Each time we have just replaced it with a whole new frame and glass, but I want to try just replacing the glass. I don't own a Stanley knife, is there any other kind of knife I could use? If it's extremely necessary then I can go purchase one.

    1 reply
    Little Tassie PrepperJacieT

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi JacieT.
    I call it a Stanley Knife, yet in your location you would call it a Utility Knife. It is just a sharp razor blade within a handle. They are usually very inexpensive. If you can't get one, then I would think that any edged tool might be able to substitute.


    3 years ago

    Your services is absolutely great.
    Also Handling the replacement alone is a difficult task, but it pays off to seek help from a professional home window glass replacement company. need to hire company for replace the glass.
    here you can check some of blog for <a href="">window glass replacement</a>


    5 years ago on Introduction

    thing happened to me too. I hired windows installation company for replacing
    the window( since it weared out due to hot climate). They charged a hell lot
    for changing the broken glass and for re-installing it. So from then own for
    whatever reasons, i tried to do it my own. I tried doing ti by looking
    into many tutorials. It is not that tough actually. I used to remove the
    glass shards using pliers, and using the heat gun you can warm the old putty.
    After purchasing a glass piece with desirable dimensions, insert the
    glass into the window frame. Preparing the glaze compound will take a while.
    It is super easy.

    1 reply

    Thanks for the feedback. I wear glasses so I have a level of protection which I never considered should be added.

    I agree with your advice and I will make the amendment to the tools required.