Do-it-yourself double-glazed window replacement: detailed instructions and tips

Learn how to replace cracked glass in a plastic window yourself to save on the cost of replacing the entire double-glazed window. This detailed instruction covers the steps to measure the glass, purchase the necessary materials, and safely dismantle it. Get tips and tricks to get your repairs done right and avoid fogging or re-cracking issues. Replace the double-glazed window yourself with the help of this instruction.


  1. Step #1: Measure the width, thickness and height of the glass
  2. Step #2. Buying materials
  3. Step #3. Preparing tools
  4. Step #4. Dismantling the double-glazed window
  5. Step #5. Replacement of glass in the double-glazed unit
  6. Step #6. Installation of a double-glazed window
  7. Frequently asked questions
    1. ❓ How can I tell if the glass in a double-glazed unit is damaged?
    2. ❓ How do I choose the right glass for replacement?
    3. ❓ Can I replace the glass in a double-glazed unit myself?
    4. ❓ What should I do if my double-glazed unit needs to be replaced, but I can't call a specialist right away?

When a crack occurs in a plastic window, it is often necessary to order a new double-glazed unit, as replacing just one pane is very expensive. For example, companies usually charge about 125 Georgian GEL for each square meter, while a complete replacement of a double-glazed unit costs about 110 Georgian GEL.

However, if you want to save money, you can replace the glass yourself. The main thing is that you need to do it carefully, otherwise the window will fog up, let cold in or even crack again. If you are not confident in your abilities, it is better to entrust this work to professionals.

If you are confident that you can carefully replace cracked glass with your own hands, we will tell you in detail what you will need to repair the double-glazed window, how to properly prepare and where to start.

Step #1: Measure the width, thickness and height of the glass

To determine the width and height of the glass, you will need a regular tape measure. This tool will help you accurately measure the distance from one edge of the staple to the opposite edge. Note that it's important to measure exactly from the edge of the glazing bead to get accurate results.

However, there are some additional factors to consider when taking the measurement. You should subtract 1 cm from the result you get. For example, if your glass is 63.9 cm wide, you should write down 62.9 cm in your notebook. The same applies to measuring the height. Instead of the actual height of 95.5 cm, it is recommended to write down 94.5 cm. This gap is necessary to prevent the frame from pressing on the glass pane during temperature changes to avoid damage to the glass.

If you do not know the thickness of the glass or cannot find the relevant information in the contract with the company that performed the window installation, you should not panic. We have several alternative options for you.

  • Try to find a formula with the dimensions of the insulating glass unit. Some manufacturers put this information on the connecting frame, so it is recommended to carefully inspect the insulating glass unit all around the perimeter. You may find the inscription "4-16-4", which indicates that the thickness of the glass is 4 mm and the distance between the panes is 16 mm.
  • If other methods have failed, you can try to remove the insulating glass unit and measure its thickness with an ordinary tape measure. However, you should be careful when dismantling, because the glass with a crack can completely collapse, and you do not yet have a replacement double-glazed unit. In this case, you will have to temporarily cover the opening with a film.

In the event that you are still unable to take measurements, it is acceptable to use the standard 4 mm glass thickness. This is the most common size and is widely used in most cases. There is no need to worry if the glass is slightly different thicknesses, as this will not affect the performance of the windows.

Measuring the width, thickness and height of the glass is an integral part of the window process. Proper measurements allow you to select the appropriate dimensions and install the window structures without any problems. Be careful and follow our recommendations for best results when measuring glass.

Step #2. Purchasing materials

To successfully perform the process of purchasing materials, you will need to take into account several important aspects. First of all, it is worth contacting specialized companies and stores that specialize in the sale of various glass structures. Such places usually offer the service of cutting glass to the dimensions that correspond to the needs of the client.

It is important to note that the purchase of large sheets of glass and the subsequent independent cutting can be disadvantageous. After all, in order to deliver the glass, it will be necessary to call a cargo cab with specialized equipment. In addition, the cutting process will require the use of a professional glass cutter, which usually has a relatively high cost. Using an ordinary tool for home use may not ensure sufficient accuracy and evenness of the cut, and, on the contrary, may lead to its damage.

In addition to the glass itself, the following materials will need to be purchased:

  • Butyl sealant. This material is available as an adhesive tape or liquid mixture. It should be taken into account that butyl sealant is a specialized product and is not always widely represented in construction stores. Often it has to be ordered over the Internet.
  • Silicone sealant. This material can be purchased in any construction or hardware store. Silicone sealant is widely used to fill and seal joints and has different types and colors depending on the required characteristics.
  • Window cleaners and microfiber rags. These materials are essential for the preparatory work and subsequent maintenance of the windows. Detergents will help ensure that the glass surface is clean and shiny, and microfiber rags will help avoid streaks and scratches during cleaning.

However, purchasing and using these materials is only the first step in the process of buying materials for glass work. It is also important to consider the individual requirements and specifics of the project, and to consult with experienced professionals who can provide the necessary expertise and advice on selecting the best materials and methods of working with them.

Step #3. Preparing tools

Before you start preparing your tools for insulated glass unit replacement, you need to make sure you have the following equipment:

  • Chisel or metal trowel: One of the key tools you will need when working with window glass is a chisel or metal trowel. This tool will help you carefully remove the old glass pane from the window frame. If a chisel is not available, you can use a blunt knife with a stiff blade, which will also do the job.
  • Rubber mallet: When working with fragile materials such as glass, it is important to use tools that will not damage the surface. A rubber mallet is ideal for this purpose. It allows you to apply the right amount of force when installing a new pane of glass, minimizing the risk of damage.
  • Construction or utility knife: To remove the sealing tape or gasket around the window frame, you will need a construction or utility knife. It will help to carefully cut and remove outdated gaskets to ensure proper sealing and insulation once the new glass unit is installed.
  • Plastic Trowel: When working with window frames and glazing, it is important to avoid damage or scratches. A plastic trowel will be a useful tool for carefully removing any leftover sealant or tape, as well as cleaning the window surface before installing new insulating glass.
  • A large, flat table: When preparing tools to replace double-glazed windows, it's important to have a large enough workspace on hand. A large, flat table will be a great aid when removing the old insulating glass unit and installing the new one. It will provide convenience of work and prevent possible damage to the glass.

In addition to the basic tools, do not forget about extra hands, which will be useful in the process of replacing the double-glazed window. Ask relatives or friends to provide assistance. Together, you'll be able to tackle the task more efficiently and safely.

Replacing double-glazed windows requires care and proper use of tools. When preparing for the process, make sure you have all the necessary equipment and enough helpers to get the job done.

Step #4. Dismantling the insulating glass unit

Before proceeding with the removal of the insulating glass unit, it is important to take the necessary precautions to avoid possible injury and damage. Follow the instructions below for safe and efficient disassembly:

  1. Preparation: Start by placing a wide cloth or protective material under the window so that if the glass shatters, the shards will not damage the flooring such as linoleum or parquet. Don't forget to wear thick gloves on your hands and a long-sleeved sweatshirt over your body and sturdy boots on your feet to prevent cuts.
  2. First Steps: First, you'll need to remove the staples that hold the glass unit in the frame. Gently insert a putty knife, chisel, or blunt knife between the frame and the staple. Use a small amount of force to bend the glazing bead and gradually pull it out of the groove along the entire length of the window. Be sure to mark the glazing beads with a regular pencil so that you don't forget where and which glazing bead should be inserted after removing the glazing.
  3. Straightening Plates: Between the insulating glass unit and the frame are straightening plates that ensure that the glass is in the correct position. Remember their location, or better yet, take a picture of them so that you can accurately reinstall them when reassembling.
  4. Dismantling the insulating glass unit: If the sash is not blind and can be opened, open it and gently push the insulating glass unit. It is recommended to work with a helper, where one person will push the window out and the other person will hold it down. If the sash is blind, use a chisel or trowel to gently push the insulating glass unit out, or use a special rubber suction cup for convenience.
  5. Moving the insulating glass unit: When you remove the insulating glass unit, carefully place it on a pre-prepared wide table or other flat surface. Take special care not to damage the glass or window frames when moving the insulating glass unit.

In addition to the basic steps of removing a double-glazed unit, there are a few important aspects to mention:

  • Check the condition of the insulating glass unit: Before dismantling, it is advisable to carefully inspect the insulating glass unit to ensure that it is not damaged. If you notice cracks, chips or other defects, be especially careful when removing it to avoid harming yourself or others.
  • Handling heavy glazing: If the glazing is very large or heavy, it is recommended that you enlist additional help for safe removal. Two or more people can handle this task by sharing the effort and ensuring that the glazing does not fall or break during the removal process.
  • Protecting the window frames: During the removal of the insulating glass unit, handle the window frames carefully to avoid damaging them. Use suitable tools and gentle methods to remove the insulating glass unit without damaging the frames. If necessary, protective pads can be used on tools to prevent unwanted scratches or damage.
  • Placing and disposing of the insulating glass unit: After removing the insulating glass unit, it should be properly placed on a table or other suitable surface. If the double-glazed unit is to be temporarily stored, ensure that it is stably placed and securely protected to avoid accidental damage or danger to others. When disposing of the insulating glass unit, follow local laws and regulations regarding the proper handling and disposal of glass.

By following these guidelines and paying attention to safety and care, you will be able to successfully complete the removal of double-glazed glass. However, if you are inexperienced or doubt your skills, it is better to contact professionals to avoid window damage or possible injuries.

Step #5. Replacing the glass in the double-glazed unit

When replacing the glass in an insulated glass unit, it's important to consider a few key steps to ensure quality results. Let's break down the replacement process in more detail and add some interesting new aspects.

  1. Let's start by placing the glass pane with the cracked element facing upwards. This will allow us to work more conveniently and avoid damage to other parts of the structure.
  2. The first step is to remove the glass that has fallen into disrepair. It is usually glued to the connecting frame with silicone sealant. You can use a knife or detergent to remove the sealant. It is important to thoroughly clean the connecting frame of any sealant residue to ensure that the new glass is securely attached.
  3. When starting to install the new glass, it is important to ensure that it is clean. Clean the surface of the new glass from dirt, dust and streaks with detergent and a soft microfiber cloth. This will avoid any unpleasant marks on the glass pane.
  4. Now we are ready to start applying silicone sealant to the connecting frame. It is important to apply it in a thin layer, evenly distributed over the surface. It is necessary to be careful and avoid excess sealant, which can squeeze out at the edges of the insulating glass unit. Incorrect application can damage the appearance of the structure and require additional efforts for cleaning.
  5. This step requires the assistance of a second person. Carefully and carefully place the new glass onto the connecting frame. Be careful to avoid installation errors. When moving the glass, you must avoid smearing the sealant and improper fastening. In case of a mistake, you will have to clean the surface and repeat the procedure again.
  6. After installing the glass, wait 2-3 hours. During this time, the glass should securely attach to the connecting frame and provide a proper seal.
  7. The final step is to fill the space between the panes of the package with butyl sealant. It is important to use the right brand of sealant and follow the application instructions. Typically, the drying time of the sealant is between 2 and 24 hours. Allow sufficient time for complete drying to ensure that the glass pane is durable and effectively protected from adverse effects.

Now that we've covered the important steps of replacing the glass in an insulating glass unit, let's turn to some additional interesting information.

Modern technologies of production of double-glazed windows allow you to achieve high energy efficiency and increase comfort in residential and office premises. They consist of two or more panes of glass separated by special frames and filled with inert gas or dry air. This structural approach provides excellent thermal insulation, noise insulation and protection against moisture intrusion.

When selecting replacement glass in a double-glazed unit, it is recommended to pay attention to such characteristics as thickness, thermal conductivity and sound insulation. Modern glass can have special coatings that increase their efficiency and functional properties. For example, a coating with a low heat transmission coefficient helps to reduce heat loss and save heating energy in cold seasons.

It is also worth paying attention to the level of protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. High-quality double-glazed windows have a special UV coating that helps protect the interior from the harmful effects of UV rays, which can cause fading of furniture and damage to items.

It is important to remember that replacing the glass in a double-glazed window may require professional skills and tools. If you are unsure of your abilities or are faced with special requirements, it is better to contact professionals who will be able to complete the task safely and reliably.

Step #6. Insulating glass unit installation

Insulating glass unit installation is an important step in ensuring the efficiency and comfort of the window structure. Correct execution of this procedure guarantees minimal heat loss, sound insulation and protection from external factors. For successful installation of the double-glazed unit it is necessary to follow a certain sequence of actions, ensuring the reliability and durability of the window unit.

  1. Frame preparation. Before installing the insulating glass unit, ensure that the window frame is properly prepared. Make sure that the surface of the frame is clean and level. If the surface requires leveling, it is recommended to use straightening plates. These plates will help to correct irregularities and ensure that the insulating glass unit is in the correct position.
  2. Insulating Glass Unit Installation. The installation of the insulating glass unit should be done with care and preferably with a helper. This will ensure safety and help to avoid the window shifting or the straightening plates falling out. When installing the double-glazed unit, it is important to make sure that it fits snugly against the frame. If necessary, you can use silicone sealant to fill the space between the frame and the insulating glass unit, providing an additional seal and protection against moisture intrusion.
  3. Attaching the glazing bars. Once the insulating glass unit is installed, you need to properly attach the glazing bars. Start by inserting the element that was removed last during disassembly and follow the reverse sequence. Glazing stacks provide reliable fixation of the double-glazed unit in the frame and prevent it from falling out or shifting.
  4. High-quality installation of the double-glazed window guarantees the efficiency and durability of the window structure, as well as provides comfort inside the room. However, even if all the steps are performed correctly, there may be some problems that require the intervention of a specialist.

If after installation of the double-glazed window you notice that the window began to sweat, freeze or a strong draft enters the room, it may indicate possible mistakes at previous stages. In this case, it is recommended to contact a qualified master, who will conduct a diagnosis and help to eliminate the identified shortcomings.

It is important to remember that installing a double-glazed window is a responsible process that requires precision and professionalism. If there are any doubts or difficulties, it is better to entrust the installation to specialists to ensure optimal results and durability of the window system.

Additionally, it is worth noting that modern technology allows you to create double-glazed windows with different characteristics. For example, you can choose double-glazed windows with increased sound insulation or protection from ultraviolet rays. Such innovative solutions allow you to improve comfort and safety in the room, as well as save on energy costs.

In conclusion, proper installation of insulating glass is an important step in ensuring the comfort and energy efficiency of a window structure. By following the recommendations and contacting qualified specialists when necessary, you can be sure of a quality result and longevity of your window.

Frequently Asked Questions

❓ How can I tell if the glass in a double-glazed unit is damaged?

👉 Damaged glass may have cracks, chips, or fogging inside the insulating glass unit. If you notice these signs, the glass probably needs to be replaced.

❓ How do I choose the right glass for replacement?

👉 It is important to choose glass that matches the dimensions of the damaged insulating glass unit. Contact a professional or window manufacturer to get accurate recommendations and ensure proper replacement.

❓ Can I replace the glass in a double-glazed unit myself?

👉 Replacing the glass in a double-glazed window can be a complicated procedure that requires specialized tools and skills. It is recommended that you contact an experienced craftsman or window service to ensure the safety and quality of the replacement.

❓ What should I do if the insulating glass unit needs to be replaced, but I can't call the experts right away?

👉 If the insulating glass unit is damaged and temporarily cannot be replaced, it is recommended to cover the damaged window with a film or dense fabric to avoid moisture penetration and preserve the thermal insulation until replacement.

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  • А
    Как замечательно, что нашла эту статью! Замена поврежденного стекла в двойном остеклении может показаться сложной задачей, но благодаря этим пошаговым инструкциям я чувствую себя готовой взяться за дело. Необыкновенно удобно, что каждый этап процесса так ясно и подробно объяснен. Теперь у меня есть уверенность, что смогу справиться с этой задачей без лишних хлопот и стресса. Спасибо за такой полезный материал!
  • B
    Да, с заменой стеклопакета сталкивалась и знаю о ней не по наслышке. В статье описаны тонкости проведения всех этапов этого мероприятия. Особенно демонтаж стеклопакета меня заинтересовал. В моей практике был такой случай, когда стекло просто напросто выбили, но оно не рассыпалось, а буквально разошлось на вертикальные полосы - осколки. Очень травматично и проблематично в демонтаже. В статье даны конкретные рекомендации, чтобы справиться с этим максимально безопасно.
  • A
    Мне кажется, если специалисты по ремонту и замене стеклопакетов увидят эту статью, они будут, мягко говоря, не рады. Так всё разложено по полочкам, что даже не возникает каких-либо дополнительных вопросов или уточнений. Но я все-таки, если когда-нибудь столкнусь с такой проблемой, то, наверное, обращусь к профессионалам своего дело, потому что, зная себя, я начну менять одно стекло и обязательно сломается что-нибудь другое)