When to Repair and When to Replace
First of all, it’s important to know when to opt for simple repairs, and when to choose replacement glass for your windows. It’s generally a good idea to simply repair your glass if you’ve got tiny cracks, nicks, or chips. These are common occurrences if you have kids, pets, or live in a region with stormy weather. If your window has major damage, however (such as large, gaping holes or completely shattered glass), then replacement glass is generally your best bet.
Additionally, if your windows are older and you suspect that a lot of your home's heat might be escaping through these windows, consider replacement window glass. If your windows are single pane, you should almost certainly replace them with insulated double or triple pane windows in order to keep your home energy efficient.
Replacement glass such as low-e coatings is a smart investment. | @ fotolia.com / Steve Mann
Types of Replacement Glass
There are many different types of replacement glass materials, and several of them can reduce heat gain and transfer, thus cutting energy bill costs. When it comes to cutting energy costs, glass with low-e coatings are often the most effective replacement glass materials. Though they’ll cost more initially than the average glass replacement, a low-e window can reduce your energy bills by up to 50%. Those numbers translate into big savings down the road, making low-e coatings a great choice for your windows.
For those living in the South, or other sunny, hot climates, consider spectrally selective glazing for your replacement glass. This glazing will keep your home cool while still allowing in plenty of beautiful sunlight.
Additionally, if you’re worried about security, safety glass is an option. Manufactured to be hardier than the average window pane, safety glass will withstand intense forces without breaking. Additionally, if safety glass does break, there is generally an extra film of plastic built into each window to prevent it from shattering completely. Safety glass is often the best choice for skylights, which need to be sturdy enough to weather falling debris.
Costs for Replacement Glass
Costs for replacement glass are highly variable, depending on your window's size and shape, your manufacturer, and the type of glass that you've chosen. You can usually expect to pay by the square foot. Replacement glass often costs $3 to $15 per square foot. Hiring an expert to install your replacement glass will add at least $100 to your costs, but potentially as much as $300. This extra service is worth it, however, as hiring a contractor or expert will ensure that your replacement glass is installed quickly and efficiently. So, on average, you can expect to spend about $250, although this figure is subject to change.