Cutting your own glass windows

6 Replies

I've got a lot of windows that need replacing as they are broken or missing. This month there are 3 and next month probably another 5.

Is it going to be more economical to go and buy the glass cutting equipment, which isn't actually too expensive and buy sheets of glass or perspex which I cut to size myself?

If you're doing single pane windows, cutting the glass will be the easy part. Messing with the glazing or wood trim, especially on old windows, will be much more challenging if it's your first time. If you've got glazing, a heat gun will save you lots of aggravation. If you've got wood trim, hopefully you can find something similar at the lumberyard as the thin pieces can snap if you're not careful. With the proper equipment (and a handheld glass cutter and a straightedge are not considered "proper equipment"), cutting the glass is a piece of cake. Having said that, you may want to see what a handyman would charge to do them as it may be worth it to save on the aggravation alone, particularly on if you have glazing.

Marc, thanks for your reply. I'm so sorry I didn't clarify that I had no intention of fitting the windows myself and that I have a handyman who will be doing that job. He said he can't cut the glass himself so he needs me or him to get it cut at a glass shop.

If it's going to be hundreds of dollars to get some glass pieces cut then I want to endeavor to do it myself. Its not only for the one off occasion, its about having an additional skill which will save thousands over the course of time. 

i have had glass cut for a window at ACE and they cut it for free and just charge for the glass by the quake foot so for your situation you may end up spending more depending on the cost savings and sheet sizes you get in comparison to your window size... i.e. if you save 30% on the glass price but 35% of the glass is scrap pieced you throw away your better off buying from ACE because they only charge you for what you need... 

Also if they are really old wood frame yea they are a pain to deal with not to mention poorly designed most can be unlocked from the outside with a thin putty scraper so i would never live in a house like that because i like to open and close my windows withough having to remember to put a pipe or wood block back as a secondary window lock

I owned a Co op once in Greenwich Village in New York and there was one old wood window in the studio apartment I owned with a broken window.  I took the window out and brought it to the hardware store where they put a piece of Plexi glass into it.

What was I thinking?  Then I brought it back down to Greenwich Village and my future tenant and I installed it.  That was a long time ago, like 20 years ago when I thought I was suppossed to do everything and no one in bussiness  was allowed to ever make any money.  I also thought time had no value. 

If these are the single pane aluminum awning windows most commonly found in older South Florida homes, you can cut the glass yourself, or have your guy do it.  I have changed several on my own home.  I buy my glass at Home Depot or Lowes, and I used a $2 glass cutter from harbor freight.  The glass cutting is very easy, the window trim is the real pain in the neck part, re fitting the the trim can be tricky, but it is a relatively simple process.   

I go to ace hardware they cut it for free. 

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