6 safe and easy steps to replace a broken window

July 28, 2015

A broken window can cause all sorts of problems. Repairing it is easy and doing it yourself will save you money.

6 safe and easy steps to replace a broken window

Measure properly

Measure the window opening to the inside of the rebates (the recesses in which the pane sits). You will need to subtract three millimetres (1/8 inch) from the smallest height and width for an easy fit. Measure twice; a wrongly sized pane is useless.

What you will need

  • New pane of glass
  • Safety glasses
  • Thick work gloves
  • Hammer
  • Old chisel or hacking knife
  • Pliers
  • Putty
  • Glazing sprigs (or glazier's points)

Safe steps to a repaired window

  1. Wearing safety glasses and gloves, remove the broken pane, using a hammer if necessary, and dispose carefully of the glass. Use an old chisel or hacking knife to dig out fragments of glass and putty from the rebates. Pull out any remaining glazing sprigs with pliers.
  2. Knead some putty until it's soft, then smooth a thin layer all around the frame. Place the new pane in the frame, and press the edges firmly into the bed of putty.
  3. Using the back of your hacking knife, tap in new glazing sprigs about 25 centimetres (10 inches) apart to hold the new pane in place. The heads of the sprigs should protrude about five millimetres (3/16 inch).
  4. Apply more putty to the front of the glass to fill the rebate. Use your putty knife to compact the putty and to leave a level surface at 45 degrees to the glass.
  5. Draw the knife along the edge of the putty to smooth the putty into a neat bevel. It should cover the heads of the sprigs, and line up with the window frame on the inside edge.
  6. Make neat mitres at each corner and clean away excess putty from inside of the window.

Following these steps will let you safely replace a broken window and save you money going through a contractor.

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