Single-hung windows are a common window type in many homes. They feature a fixed upper sash and a movable lower sash, offering ventilation and a classic aesthetic. However, glass breakage or damage can occur in any style of window. It’s essential to determine if the repair is possible and whether DIY or professional window glass replacement is the right approach.

Window Glass Replacement

Factors Affecting the Feasibility of Single-Hung Window Glass Replacement

Here’s a look at what determines if you can replace the glass in your single-hung window:

  • Extent of Damage: Minor cracks or chips might be repairable with specialised epoxies or resins. However, extensive shattering or major cracks usually necessitate full pane replacement.
  • Type of Glass: Standard single-pane glass is simpler and more affordable to replace than double-glazed, laminated, or other specialty glass types.
  • Condition of the Timber Frame: If the timber frame is damaged, rotted, or warped, it may need repair or replacement before addressing the glass itself. Significant frame deterioration could affect the integrity of the window and might require a full window replacement.
  • Age of the Window: Older, antique windows might have unique glazing methods or use glass types that are difficult or expensive to replicate exactly.

Reasons to Replace the Glass in Single-Hung Windows

Here are some of the most common reasons why someone might need to replace the glass in their single-hung window:

  • Cracks or Breaks: Impacts from storms, debris, or accidents can cause the glass to crack or break.
  • Foggy Windows: If the seal between the panes of a double-glazed window fails, condensation builds up between them, leading to a foggy appearance. This reduces visibility and the window’s energy efficiency.
  • Outdated Glass: Consider upgrading older, single-pane windows to double-glazed glass for improved energy efficiency and insulation.
  • Improving Aesthetics: Swapping out an old or unattractive window pane enhances your home’s appearance inside and out.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional for Single-Hung Glass Replacement

Here’s why hiring a professional glazier or window specialist is the wiser choice:

  • Expertise: Professional glaziers have the knowledge and experience to handle single-hung window glass replacement safely and efficiently. They understand the nuances of different window models and installation techniques.
  • The Right Tools and Materials: Experts bring tools and materials for precise fitting and securing the glass in the window frame.
  • Insurance and Workmanship Guarantees: Reputable glaziers or window companies usually offer insurance in case of accidental damage during the work and guarantees on their workmanship. This gives you peace of mind.
  • Time Savings: A professional can do the job much faster than a DIY attempt, leaving you free to focus on other things.
  • Long-Term Cost Savings: Paying a professional upfront saves money long-term through energy efficiency, damage prevention, and avoiding warranty issues.

How to Find a Qualified Professional for Single-Hung Window Glass Replacement

  • Get Recommendations: Ask friends, neighbours, or real estate agents for referrals to glaziers or window companies they’ve had positive experiences with.
  • Check Online Reviews and Ratings: Check reviews on Google or specialised trade sites to gauge a company’s reputation and service quality.
  • Verifying Licensing and Insurance: Ensure the company you are considering is licensed to operate in your area and carries the appropriate insurance.
  • Request Quotes: Make sure you get detailed written quotes from multiple providers so you can compare prices and see what work is included in each one.

Understanding the Risks of DIY Glass Replacement

Here’s why replacing the glass in a single-hung window is something you should leave to a professional:

  • Hidden dangers: Glass is incredibly sharp, and handling broken panes can result in serious cuts. Even intact glass sheets can shatter unexpectedly, potentially causing severe injuries.
  • Weight considerations: Window sashes, particularly large ones, are surprisingly heavy. Without proper lifting and securing techniques, they can pose a crushing risk to yourself or even damage your home.
  • Knowledge is key: Glaziers have the expertise to determine the precise type of glass and thickness needed for your window. They also know how to work with sash mechanisms, so they make sure the window is properly balanced and functional once they install the new glass.
  • Tool requirements: Handling, cutting, and installing glass often require specialised tools that the average homeowner is unlikely to possess.
  • Potential for warranty voiding: Many window manufacturers stipulate that only professional installation will keep the warranty valid. A DIY job could leave you financially liable for any future issues.


How much does it cost to replace the glass in a single-hung window? 

Costs will vary depending on factors like the glass size, type, and the provider you choose. Expect a range, with most jobs falling somewhere between $150 to $500 on average.

Can I replace just one pane of glass in a double-glazed single-hung window? 

Technically yes, but it’s often more cost-efficient to replace the entire double-glazed unit for better, lasting energy efficiency.

Should I repair or replace my entire single-hung window? 

If the frame is severely damaged, warped, or showing signs of rot, a whole window replacement might be necessary. A professional can assess the situation and advise accordingly.

Replacing glass professionally might appear pricier at first compared to doing it yourself, but it typically saves more money in the long term. A botched DIY job could lead to further damage, higher energy bills, and ultimately more expensive professional repairs. Hire a skilled glazier for lasting repairs, saving money and future headaches with a job done right the first time.