A damaged or broken window lowers the overall energy efficiency of your home, poses a security risk, and drags down the value of your property. So, it's important that you fix windows that are damaged as soon as possible.
There are three different ways you can fix broken or damaged windows in your home:
Replace just the glass pane
Install a pocket window replacement
Install a full-frame window replacement
The right option to choose depends on several factors, so here's a bit of information about each one:
Option #1: Replace Just the Broken Glass Pane
If the damaged window has a frame and sash that are in great shape and the only issue is the glass pane is cracked or broken, then replacing only the glass pane is the best plan. In fact, this is a project you can do yourself with basic tools and less than an hours time.
You can purchase replacement glass panes from a local glass shop, a home improvement center, or online. Before you shop, you need to very carefully measure the glass down to the quarter-inch to ensure the new pane will fit into the existing frame.
Option #2: Install a Pocket Window Replacement
If your home has vinyl or metal window frames that are still in good condition and square, then you can opt for a pocket window replacement. With this option, a glass contractor will remove your existing window leaving the outer frame in place. Into the frame, they will install a new window glass pane wrapped in either vinyl or wood to match the existing frame.
Option #3: Install a Full-Frame Window Replacement
Installing full-frame window replacements in your home requires the old window frames be cut out from the structure of the house. This causes some collateral damage to the window sash and exterior of the home. However, this damage can easily be insulated, sealed, and then covered up with trim to repair it. When windows are replaced by a professional window installer, this is part of the standard process and should not have any additional costs.
Full-frame window replacements are used in cases when the existing window frames or sashes are damaged from age or a home settling. It is impossible to put pocket window replacements into sashes that are not still perfectly square. This is often the case in older homes or those made with timber framing that has settled. Whether you opt for Andersen replacement windows or any other type, you can work with a local contractor to get just what you need.