Removal of large picture window

dsengAugust 6, 2012

We have a challenging window removal ahead and I'm looking for advice from anyone who has experience with this sort of thing. We have a sealed glass window unit (no external frame around it - it's just the sealed glass sandwiched between the interior and exterior jambs) that is 96" x 72". I need to remove this in order to replace it with a new window. Estimated weight is approximately 200 lbs. Given the sheer size of the glass pieces, not to mention the weight, I'm uncomfortable about the idea of using suction cups and removing it whole - the consequences of a break while wrestling it out of the hole could be bad. One idea I've toyed with is completely taping the surface of both pieces of glass and then breaking it out - has anyone ever tried this or have any other ideas?

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Glass suction cups will work fine as long as they are good and not compromised and large enough, glass is removed this way all the time.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 8:53AM
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The tape is for safety in case it does break (no falling heavy shards of glass).

Look around carefully and see if it is tempered glass.

Tempered is stronger and safer if it does break, but even the smallest scratch can result in the pane turning to 'crumbs' instantly and completely.

None tempered should move fine, but put some tape on anyway.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:42AM
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Fori is not pleased

I think I'd hire that one out.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:03PM
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Our son did it for us when he was 16 with a football. Wow was my DH surprised when he came home and found him sweeping up glass in the living room. To this day the smart aleck still says I should thank him for it, since I got a new/better picture window.

We are now facing a similar problem in the house we are remodeling. There is a 8' wide mirror in the living room to come down which makes me a little nervous.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:12AM
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I think we're going to take the prudent route on this one and get the pro's to take this out - although they haven't shown much interest in responding to either my phone call or in-person visit, must be a busy time of year for them. That's a problem with one glass company in town and the next closest several hundred air or boat miles away. If worst comes to worst we'll do the tape and break. If I go with that I'll report back with details and lessons learned. This particular window is not tempered glass. Large shard breakage is a big concern for me. Having to call my fellow firefighter/EMT's because of an accident is NOT something I want to have to do - for multiple reasons!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 12:00PM
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Done! The glass company called me two minutes after I posted the previous post and said, "We can do your job right now if you can meet us at your house." They got it done quick and easy. Truth be told, I was more concerned about the difficulty of pulling it out and moving it than I needed to be. But it's done and now all I have to do it reframe the rough opening and put in the new Andersen triple casement.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:22PM
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