Call a glass specialist for all repairs and replacements
Window repair teams may receive certification in your brand of window
You can DIY minor window repairs, but proceed with caution
Sometimes replacing a window is more cost-effective than completing many small repairs
Whether you live in a modern or a Victorian home, windows can get stuck, leak cold air, and crack when you least expect it. When window disasters strike, who should you call for help? We'll walk through some of the most common window problems and who to call for quick, affordable, and expert care.
Benefits of Hiring Window Experts for Repair and Replacement
If you have a favorite general contractor, it can be tempting to ring them up anytime you need help with a home repair. After all, maybe they've helped you with similar issues, like installing sliding glass doors, insulation replacement, or even glass repair for cracks or fully broken windows.
However, window repair teams receive extensive training for diagnosing and repairing windows. Here are some reasons to hire a glass specialist:
1. Every Window Is Unique
Whether you have a single or double-hung, bay, sliding, casement, or folding window, each brand and style requires a different approach to repairs and replacement. Additionally, window frames vary by material, style, and age. Some windows are meant for managing extreme weather, such as wind and hail.
In other words, you'll save time and money by finding a glass specialist who specializes in your one-of-a-kind window. Not only will they be able to provide a detailed timeline of the repair—because they have experience completing the specific job—but they will also be able to advise whether a repair or replacement is your best bet in the long run.
A seasoned window repair team has also presumably worked with the hardware on your unique windows, understands the proper insulation tactics, and knows common troubleshooting methods for things like leaks, sticking frames, and cracked panes.
2. They Can Suggest a Plan of Action
Small repairs such as fixing a broken seal, replacing cracked glass, or adding storm windows are typically quick jobs. However, more severe issues like a rotting window frame, old designs that can't handle cold weather, and unfixable or outdated hardware may not be worth the window repair cost.
If you’re unsure whether to repair the window or replace it, a glass specialist can recommend which course of action to take. Some pros will advise you to replace the window to avoid spending more money on a window that’s doomed to keep breaking. If that’s the case, you already have the right team on hand to suggest the ideal type of replacement window.
3. They Are Certified in Your Window Brand
Depending on the age and brand of your window, you may be able to save money by hiring a glass specialist covered by your window's warranty. Your window manufacturer may even be able to recommend a trained contractor with certifications from the American Window and Door Institute or with their company. In comparison, a general contractor may not have prior experience fixing your type or style of window.
Can I DIY Window Repairs?
DIYers can take on small window repairs, but they're not always cost-effective. For example, you can fix small cracks in your windows for between $50 and $200, replace a screen for about $25, or even winterize it for $10.
However, more extensive projects like cracks with extended damage, ill-fitted window frames, and window replacements should be left to the pros. Minor missteps during the repair could lead to cold drafts in the winter, jammed frames, or less protection during the next heavy rainstorm.
Can I Hire a General Contractor for Window Repair?
Work with a specially trained window team for both repairs and replacements. Small fixes by a local general contractor may put a short-term bandage on the problem, but it's best to bring in specialists for larger issues to save money in the long run.
As we mentioned above, there are several reasons to opt for a glass specialist over a contractor. Specialists train in glass installation, receive brand-specific training in window hardware, and have experience in complex window issues like insulation, condensation between panes, or warped and rotting frames. When repairs are done right the first time, you are less likely to have to spend more money on follow-up repairs or total replacement.
How Do Glass Specialists Fix Windows?
Whether you're dealing with a window that you have to wrestle to open or one that has a crack in the glass, glass specialists have the experience to diagnose the issue quickly. Here are some of the most common window issues and repairs:
Cracked glass: Window specialists can often replace the broken glass pane with a custom piece without replacing the whole window. They will also properly seal the glass from drafts and moisture.
Condensation between panes: When double-pane windows become unsealed, moisture and condensation can build up between the glass. Pros will replace or repair the window sash to keep this from happening in the future.
Moisture or air leaks: You may need new weatherproofing where your glass meets the frame. Specialists will choose the strongest caulk or sealant for your window and recommend long-term care. In other cases, you may also need to replace the window flashing to protect your window from water runoff.
Sticky windows: Depending on the age and variety of your window, a window expert may clean its track, replace broken hardware, or—particularly for older windows—rebuild the window frame.
Window frame repair and replacement: Window frames may be ill-fitted because they have rotted or warped over time. The frames can also become cracked or damaged due to weather. Pros can examine the frame to determine whether to make a repair, or fully replace it.
How to Find the Right Window Repair Contractor
Hiring a window contractor doesn’t have to be stressful. Follow these guidelines for finding the right window pro to take on your repair project:
1. Be Specific
Before you make a single call or repair request, start by gathering as much information as you can about the window that needs to be repaired. Newer windows may still have a manufacturer's guide available online—or in your kitchen drawer—while older windows might be more difficult to research. However, you can still collect information on the type of window so you can track down a repair contractor who specializes in that kind of window.
2. Request a Quote
Ask for a price quote from your potential contractor in writing before signing a contract or putting down a deposit. You can also request proof of liability insurance, licensure, and any certifications for your window brand.
3. Check Reviews
Head over to the Better Business Bureau to ensure there are no outstanding complaints about your potential window repair team. You can also request testimonials from past customers, especially if they share your window style.