Vinyl windows have a good reputation for being low maintenance and energy efficient. However, they sometimes get a bad rap for longevity–as in they only last so long before they have to be replaced. Wood window aficionados will talk about how their windows can be repaired multiple times and last for decades or even centuries.
When I walked into the dining room one morning a couple of months ago and saw that one of the panes of glass had cracked, I was immediately anxious. All of our windows are vinyl, and the one in the dining room is huge. Replacing it would be expen$$$ive.
After a bit of research, I discovered that there was in fact a way to repair the broken pane, and I didn’t have to replace the whole window.
The dining room window is made up of five panes of thermal glass. The centre is a large fixed pane. At either end we have a double hung window. The upper sash on the right side was the one that cracked.
My online search uncovered multiple window repair companies. I picked four and called them up.
I asked about their process and timelines, gave them the measurements of my window and got a rough quote.
The quotes were all over the map: $450+tax on the high end to $175 all-in on the low end. For reference, our pane was 17 1/2 inches wide by 28 1/2 inches high.
Beyond that, between the different companies everything was pretty much the same. Someone would come to the house to measure the window accurately. They would then order the new pane of glass. It would be a thermal pane, just like the rest of the window. The new window would arrive in 2 to 3 weeks and then a repair person would return to install it. Install would be quick, about an hour.
The company with the cheapest price (The Glass Medic for locals) had a bunch of super positive reviews online, so I decided to go with them.
There was a slight delay as delivery schedules were adjusted for the Easter holiday, but our new glass arrived, along with the our installer, Mark.
The old glass was held in place with plastic strips. Mark popped them off and lifted out the broken pane.
He cleaned the frame carefully and put little spacers in place to allow room for the glass to expand–so it hopefully doesn’t break again.
He put the new thermal pane in place and reinstalled the strips. Then he wiped off the window, and the job was done.
I am super happy with our repaired window. Obviously I’m very relieved we didn’t have to replace the whole thing. I’m also somewhat surprised that I hadn’t heard of these types of repairs before.
Broken panes, broken seals, a variety of issues can all be repaired. This obviously saves money, but also saves waste as a whole window is not going in the garbage (an often cited objection to vinyl windows).
What type of windows do you have at your home? Have you ever broken a window? We’re not sure how ours cracked. Mark said it could have been a long-time fault in the glass that finally came out. Have you ever fixed a window? Or replaced one?