Replacing panes of glass without removing sash

sarahandbrayDecember 4, 2012

Can this be done? I get that it's not "optimal"--but can we avoid removing the windows and just take out existing glass, measure, have it cut, install with new points, and glaze in situ? To an un-trained eye and with only a few points and no glaze holding the pane of glass in, it looks like it would be "easy."

Window guy I *may* be using says I have to remove the whole window but I don't want to risk breaking the stops inside. He's also the same guy who wanted me to replace all the windows with new ones and now says I should have back-beaded the glaze before I ran a new line of glaze around these windows. Not-going-to-happen!

For the record, I know it's not ideal, but I have now chipped out and re-glazed 30+ windows on our house over the past two months in situ and spent COUNTLESS hours on this project. Strangely fun/fullfilling, but not interested in removing windows at the moment.

***This would need to be done for 8 panes of glass out of a total 42 windows we have in the house.

And do window cutters ever cut reclaimed, 100+ year old glass or is that an upcharge? I LOVE and have worked my butt off to keep the wavy glass with the little bubbles in it and would hate to have plain old glass in there now.

Sarah from Albany

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I think he's just trying to milk the job. DIY or get somebody else.

I learned to do it in place age 12 - lotsa years ago. You could just get standard glass at any hardware store to fit. Your window *guy* probly wants to lay em down to make it easier. Well it would be but in place ain't all that tough. Pulling the window just adds time, dollars.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:15PM
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I've never seen anyone take the window out unless it's a large piece of glass. Or a third-story window.

Why quadruple your hassle if you don't have to.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:39PM
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Well that's my theory...and after being up-close and intimate with these windows over the past few months with my *super-fun* glazing job, I realized how "easy" it is to install--as long as I can figure out how to get the points in. The new points don't look like my original plain triangle points (which I found out firsthand as I got one of the sharp triangular ones stuck in my HAND as I was glazing...ouch!).

I'm sure I can google how to put points in or check out videos on youtube, but is it pretty self-explanatory?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 2:22PM
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The points I bought a number of years ago had 2 raised parts next to the point. Just press to the glass with a putty knife and slide into the sash. Easy.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 3:54PM
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If you can start the triangles into the old slots you are 1/2 way there. Then find a flat piece of metal about 1/8-1/4 thick and lay that on the glass and slide it against the tringle. Now tap on that with a small hammer such that you don't hit the glass too. Maybe even use the metal as a slidehammer. Shouldn't scratch the glass. Better yet use the new types are much easier in and out than those damned old fashion triangles.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 5:18PM
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When we did all of our windows we removed them because the ropes and pulleys (as well as the sashes) needed attention as well. If yours don't, - you're way ahead of the game. We fabricated all new stops. Trying to save the old ones, and having to strip the paint, would have been more time consuming. The middle stops are just simple straight stock. Easy. The inner stops are decorative and this took some time to reproduce but the results were beautiful.

Bed the new glass in w/ 30 year caulk. Then if you distrust 30 year caulk (I do not), you can use it for the final glaze as well. A better seal, and much easier.

Not sure about your window guy. If he's really good he could get your windows out, glazed, and reinstalled probably faster and easier with less intrusion. The fact that he recommended replacements however leads me to believe he isn't very good w/ old windows.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Just pull the sashes; you need to do that anyway to put in the primary sash weatherstripping since you're planning on installing airtight storms.

I don't know if you have pulleys (which complicate the process).

You only have to take off one side of the interior jamb trim and a parting bead. Be patient and you can get the trim off with very little risk of breakage. Parting beads are a bit trickier because they smaller, but in some ways they are intended as sacrificial elements. I get about 75% out intact. You can see where someone prior to 1880 removed my original sashes and substituted the current two over twos. There are a few broken, but reinstalled, parting beads and little discrete prying marks on every window.

Glazing on the flat, or on a slated easel, is so much easier than trying to do it in situ. You'd be able to get the compound out and replaced with a proper back bedding very easily.



    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 8:35PM
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I really, REALLY don't want to take out the sashes and all of the trim off. I know it will break and I cannot fix it--just not talented enough and it's not plain--it has bevels and shape to it. Plus, I would have to do more painting.


Already glazed over 30 windows successfully--but no, I didn't do "back bedding"--but I don't think anyone else has over the years and for 150-year-old windows, they're doing pretty good. Hopefully, the new storms won't ruin that but if they do, I can always prop them a crack to vent more if the bottom vent doesn't cut it.

No way I'm ruining these windows after the hours I've put into them!


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Many panes have been replaced 'in place.'

It is really a matter of how much you want to hang out the window or work from a ladder.

"The points I bought a number of years ago had 2 raised parts next to the point. Just press to the glass with a putty knife and slide into the sash. Easy."

'Push points' have been around a long time.

The only time they can be a problem is with a small bead of glaze.
The bead needs to be deep enough against the muntin to cover the folded up 'push' sections.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 1:12PM
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I replaced panes for many years before I figured out that it was even possible to remove a sash (slow learner, what can I say--they hadn't invented the interweb yet). Now I'd pull it out of I were doing a full refurbishment, but not otherwise. Unless, of course it was one of those new tilt and remove type sashes. It is certainly easier to work down on the ground with the sash flat on a table than balancing up on a ladder.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 2:32PM
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I can't believe it. Pull a window to putty in the glass? Must be a bunch a amateurs. Ya hold the putty in one hand, knife in tuther, then just walk em along feeding the putty under the knife. Do a 3' X 3' window in about 2-3 minutes. Flick off the XS, maybe touch up the corners an yer done. 5 minutes max.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:02PM
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Went to the Albany Parts Warehouse today and spent a few hours picking out panes of glass. We picked out the crappiest windows with the nicest, waviest panes of glass. We bought 7 windows for $30. Found Dave's Windows in Delmar, NY to cut the glass. $5 per pane. We have some really big ones and are hoping to get some of our 12X24's out of them. One window is spot on to our current broken one.
We actually have 9 panes to replace, but still, this project seems pretty cheap.
$30 + $40 + time = $70. Not too bad!
Plus I got two more windows glazed today--two more on the first floor and the broken panes done and my glazing project is OVER til I tackle the attic! Gulp!!
Liking window projects because I can do it myself and there's not a ton of set-up/clean-up--and it's CHEAP!! :)

Sarah...glazier-extraordinaire...with 46 windows, I'll qualify as an "expert," right????

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 7:27PM
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No you qualify as a Goddess!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 8:05AM
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