Tuesday, 7 October 2008

DIY Window Replacements

Every once in a while accidents happen and you will have a broken or cracked window to repair. The cost of getting a professional out to fix it is not only very expensive. DIY repairs are just about having the confidence to do it. Replacing windowpanes is not a difficult job, but there is a certain amount of know-how you need. It's not just about inserting a new windowpane held in with little putty.

Instructions are given here for any sized wooden framed window. If it is a large window the complete window frame needs to be put a flat surface before attempting to remove the broken glass.

Removing all the broken glass is the first step. Broken glass can be very dangerous so wear work gloves to avoid accidents to your hands. Pull one broken piece out at a time, the job is quite easy

All the old putty from the window frame needs to be removed by using a wood chisel, a putty knife or another suitable knife. Take your time and do a good job removing every trace of putty. This is quite relaxing work so enjoy it. You will find that if you try to remove too much putty at one time, you may split the wood frame on the window. So the best way is to take it out in little chunks.

There will be small metal triangles driven into the frame underneath the putty that hold the glass in place. These need to be removed with a pair of pliers.

Once the putty is cleared use the point of a chisel or knife to smooth out any rough areas in the frame where the new glass is to be placed.

If it is a very old window, take a paintbrush and put a good coat of linseed oil to all the wooden sections around the frame and allow it to completely soak in. This will make the new putty pliable and last much longer.

Apply a very thin layer of putty completely around the frame where the new glass is to be laid. This will provides a cushion for the new glass to be inserted. This also stops the leakage of air around the glass.

The replacement glass must be exactly the right size. Double-check your measurements to be sure. It should be just a fraction of an inch smaller than the window area it is to fill.

Put new windowpane into the frame carefully, pressing it down firmly. Then the glazier's points can be inserted with only a small amount of pressure 4" apart. Make sure to keep the glazier's points firmly against the glass wherever they are applied.

You need to knead the putty until it is pliable and lump free, then roll it into pencil-size strips.

You can then start applying it in one corner of the window frame laying the strip completely around the new piece of glass. Once all in place, smooth it out with a putty knife or scraper/glazer using long, even strokes.

You may dip it into a can of linseed oil just before using it to spread putty to give a good finish. Scrape completely around the puttied area removing any excess putty in corners or along the edges. Use a little fine sandpaper to get rid of rough spots.

If you keep the putty in an airtight container, it will remain usable for many months later and not be wasted.

Finally you need to use at least two coats of outside paint for a good job. A good tip is to allow the paint to cover not only the putty but also part of the glass and don't worry about straight edges as you can use a razorblade scraper for removing the extra paint from the glass.

How easy is that? What’s more, the money you save will be an added bonus.



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