Do I Need Full Window Replacement Or Just Glass Replacement?

November 26, 2021

No matter what type of window you get, it will experience a fair amount of wear throughout its lifespan. As a result, a homeowner will have to get the window replaced. Excessive wear occurs to any product when it’s exposed to the harsh elements of nature. Things like trees, rocks thrown up from the lawnmower, excessive winds, and harsh chemicals can all cause damage to windows over time. If you’re considering window repair in Edmonton, you should be aware of the many things that can affect your windows in a negative way. A lot of people aren’t exactly sure when to get their windows replaced. Many people aren’t even aware that they might just need to replace the glass instead of the entire window.

Window repair in Edmonton is one of those things that you’ll have to do at some point during the lifespan of your home. You might go 20 years of living in your home with no window issues at all and then suddenly run into cold and drafty windows out of the blue.

Full Window Replacement Vs Window Glass Replacement

The easiest and most convenient fix is just replacing the glass in your windows instead of a full window replacement. Sometimes your glass pane will get cracked from an object, resulting in you having to get it replaced. In a case like this, it wouldn’t make much sense to do a full window replacement when only the glass is compromised. Replacing the glass in your window is much cheaper in comparison to fully replacing it.

Full Window Replacement

In the same situation, if an object was thrown into your window, cracked the glass, and your window is already 25 years old and you have been considering getting it replaced anyways, then a full window replacement would most likely be the better option to go with. A full window replacement is a long-term remedy that will ensure that any other underlying issues are resolved. A couple of signs to keep in mind if you think you might require a full window replacement are:

  • The functionality of the windows is compromised
  • You start noticing lots of fog in the windows
  • You keep noticing water damage on the hardware of the window and nearby areas
  • You notice cold and drafty air pouring in through the windows
  • The noise pollution from the outdoors is constantly bugging you


Replacing the glass in your windows is usually the cheaper option, but there are a couple of things you’ll need to consider:

  • The type of glass
  • The size of the glass pane
  • The style of the window

You can typically expect to pay between $160 to $400 for window glass replacement. Many homeowners find themselves paying an average of $270 for replacement. If you’re considering costs by each type of glass:

  • Single-glazed windows – $3 to $6
  • Double-glazed windows – $10 to $15
  • Tempered-glass – $12 – $14
  • Laminated glass – $10 to $20

Installation is a separate cost aside from just the cost of the glass itself.

With full replacement windows, you can expect to pay more in comparison to just glass replacement windows. For full replacement windows, expect to pay anywhere from $175 to over $700 for each window. For bigger and more customized windows, expect to pay up to and over $1,200 per window.

There are a variety of characteristics that play a role in how much you’ll be paying for your replacement windows:

  • The type of frame
  • The condition of the frame
  • The style of window
  • The construction required to get the window fitted and installed

You can expect to be paying up to 50% more for a full replacement window in comparison to a glass replacement window, but you’ll also be addressing many more concerns with the window. The aesthetic appeal of your home will also be boosted, and the additional costs just might be worth getting it done.

Window Glass Replacement

The window glass replacement installation process is different than the full window replacement process. The steps also depend on what type of window frame you have. By far, the easiest types of windows to install are vinyl ones. If you’re a DIY type of person, the instructions are as follows:

  • Get a pair of gloves and make sure that any loose glass is clear and free of the entire area
  • Get rid of the sash from the frame of the window
  • Take off the vinyl glazing stops with a flat-head screwdriver
  • Take off the caulk and start removing any leftover glass
  • Get a wire brush and start to clean the frame of the window
  • Take your height and width measurements to prepare for ordering your glass pane
  • Once the glass pane arrives, situate the glass in place
  • Put the stops in place
  • Put the window sash in the window frame

While these instructions might look more simple than they are on paper, you should always consider consulting with a window contractor if you’re not entirely sure of how to install your windows. No one wants to be investing a lot of money in windows that they don’t know how to install properly, and this can actually result in even further costs in the future if you don’t install them properly.

Installing glass panes can potentially be done as a DIY job on your own, but it always pays to just spend a little more to get the job done if you have any hesitation. NorthTech Windows & Doors is a professional window contractor that is more than happy to help you install your windows.

Full Replacement Windows

The steps for a full window replacement also vary depending on what your windows are manufactured out of. If you’re wanting the easiest installation process, consider going with vinyl windows. The installation process is as follows:

  • Get rid of the moulding and the trim from your window using a pry bar.
  • Put the moulding and trim aside until the replacement window is ready to be installed
  • Remove the parting stops on either end of the previous window
  • Take out the window sashes
  • For windows that contain sash liners, the springs and pulley system need to be taken off
  • For windows that contain sash pockets, you’ll have to take off the weights

Once the window is taken off, get rid of any:

  • Paint
  • Caulking
  • Dirt
  • Debris

Having a vacuum handy will speed up the cleaning process. Once you’re done cleaning:

  • Pop the new window in place and see how it fits
  • Caulk the opening of the window to create a seal
  • Level the window using shims
  • Ensure to secure your window by screwing it in
  • Use low-pressure expanding foam to fill gaps
  • Attach the moulding and trip that you took off earlier back to the window

Again, the instructions on paper look easier than how the actual process is done in person. It always helps to consult with a professional before beginning any window installation projects. Installing your windows wrong can result in:

  • Lowered security of your home
  • Cold and drafty air coming into your home
  • Functionality issues with the window
  • Injury

If you’re wanting to replace your windows, reach out to NorthTech Windows & Doors today.


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