Many older homes (50+ years) have a type of single pane window glazed (held in place) with wood trim. Of the many types of window glass these are the simplest and most straight forward to fix. One only needs a few basic tools, a local hardware store to purchase the glass cut to size, and only the slightest amount of know-how.
No doubt you are wondering why a glass company would tell you how to fix a window. It's simple - Because we love our customers, that's why! And the fact is it is somewhat expensive to have a Philadelphia glass company come out and fix a small eight inch by ten inch window. You see, all glass companies have a minimum price to send a truck out to fix a window. Factor in travel time plus the time to do the glass work and you can easily tie up a glazier and a truck for two to three hours for even the smallest job. For literally a few bucks and an hour or two of your time, you can save yourself some real money.
First up, identifying the window to make sure that it is indeed a wood trim glazed window. Small wood frame windows are typically one of two types - wood trimmed windows that are easy to fix, and putty set (or "hack out") windows which are significantely more difficult to repair and require a certain touch and amount of know how and are better left to glass company professionals or at the very least, very handy novices.
Take a close look at the window on both sides. Windows are glazed (installed) from one side only. Determine which side this is. Most putty set windows are easy to spot because of the forty-five degree or concave angle at which the putty has been applied. Once you are sure that you are dealing with a wood trim window, double check to make sure you are working from the right side. This can be difficult when there are multiple layers of paint, which will usually be the case. When in doubt, make a slight razor knife cut where the wood trim meets the frame. After you get through the layers of paint the separation should be fairly easy and the blade should slide right in. If you are not able to determine which side the glass is glazed from (sometimes it is even difficult for us) it is better to call a glass company rather than risk permanent damage to the wrong side of the frame.
The tools you will need are as follows:
- Razor knife
- A 5-in-1 painters tool or a quality putty knife
- protective eyewear
What you'll want to do first is call around to a few local hardware shops to to find one that still cuts glass to size. The big guys like Home Depot and Lowe's no longer do so.
Now let's fix that window, shall we?
With your gloves and protective eyewear on, take the razor knife and cut though the paint where the frame meets the trim. Take your time and cut as straight as possible, following the frame as close as you can and pay extra attention to the corners. The better the job you do here will pay off big-time when removing the trim.
Once the paint line is cut you can begin backing out the four pieces of trim which will still be held in place with small headed nails known as brads. A certain amount of finess has to be used to get in backing out the trim without breaking it. It is, in fact, very typical for the first piece to break when being removed. Fear not, though. They fit back together like pieces of a puzzle and are not noticable after some touch-up paint.
After the trim has been backed out you can remove the remaining broken glass and thoroughly clean the opening. You can now measure for the new glass. Don't try to be too perfect with your sizing. Leave a good eighth of an inch of clearance. Consider buying a second piece of glass while at the hardware store. It'll only cost a few bucks more and will save you the aggravation of having to make a second trip back if you somehow break the first piece (it happens to the best of us sometimes).
Atlas Glass Repair Company
2000 Hamilton Street, Philadelphia, Pa 19130
A family owned and operated Philadelphia Glass Company