Should Your Fix That Broken Window Yourself or Hire a Pro?

Professional window repairFor the avid or aspiring do-it-yourselfer, there’s always the initial decision of whether the project you’re considering is something you can handle on your own or whether you should call in a pro.

Fixing a broken window is no different. There are a lot of factors to consider:

  • The nature of the problem
  • The type of window
  • The location of the window
  • Your own experience and comfort level with different types of repairs.

For example, fixing broken glass in a small, single-pane window is usually a simple repair.  However if the window has insulated double or triple pane glass, is difficult to reach or is an odd shape, you may be better off calling a window repair service.

We’ve listed some common window problems below and grouped them into easy to intermediate DIY fixes and problems where you should hire an experienced window professional.


Repairs You Might Be Able to DIY

Replacing window hardwareWindow hardware, like handles, cranks, sash lifts, latches or locking handles, are all fairly easy to replace. Just make sure the hardware you buy is compatible with your windows.

Replacing broken glass – Replacing small-medium sized square or rectangular single panes of glass is a fairly simple repair.  Wear thick work gloves and be extra careful when handling and disposing of broken glass.

Replacing / repairing glass block – You’ll rarely need to replace the glass itself, but you may need to repair the mortar that holds the blocks in place.

Fixing drafty windows – Applying or replacing weather stripping and caulk are easy DIY projects.

Replacing seals on a skylight - Usually a simple repair … IF you’re comfortable working up on a roof! If not, don’t risk injuring yourself – hire someone to do it!

Fixing small areas of rotted wood – A little bit of wood putty will usually be all you need for small repairs. Larger repairs may be do-able if you have some woodworking skills.

Fixing a sticking window – Most windows stick because there’s dirt or debris in the track. If that’s the problem, you will probably be able to clean and unstick it yourself with some household cleaner to remove the grime. If it still sticks after it’s clean, try some spray lubricant in the track.

Related: Learn how to fix a sticking glass sliding door


When to Call a Window Repair Service

Repairing / replacing insulated double-pane or triple-pane window glass – Insulated glass isn’t as straightforward to replace as single-pane glass.

Blown seals in insulated glass – Insulated glass is made of two or three panes of glass with gas in between for insulation and a seal holding everything in place. If the seal is broken, you will get clouding and condensation between the panes.  Contact a window specialist to replace the gas and seals.

Replacing glass in a broken picture window – The sheer size and weight of a single pane of glass in a picture window is what makes this a difficult repair.  Best to call a window repair service.

Repairs to bay or bow windows – Bay and bow windows can be tricky to repair because the panes are not standard sizes. Also, on a bow window, the individual windows may depend on support from the panes on either side of them, making it crucial to be very precise when making repairs.

Garden windows – Garden windows have glass on all sides – like a greenhouse. Best leaving repairs on these to the pros.

Repairing the frame of a sliding window  - Aluminum frames on sliding windows frequently become damaged.  It may be possible to fix it yourself, but we recommend getting expert help on this.

Fixing a casement window mechanism – There are a lot of moving parts inside the frame of a casement window. Unless you understand how they all work, this is a job best left to a window expert.

Repairing an arched or custom-shape window – Possibly a DIY, but these require very specific measurements to get the replacement glass right, so we put it in the “call a pro” group.

Repairing windows on upper floors or in tight spaces that are difficult to reach – Professionals have the experience and training needed to make these kind of repairs safely.

Repairing windows that are under a manufacturer’s warranty – Unauthorized repairs will not only cost you more but can void your warranty.


BTW, just a reminder - the pros can also handle all the jobs in the “DIY” group, if you don’t have the time or the inclination.

Looking for window repair services in Edmonton? Reflect Window and Door has been providing expert window repair, replacement and installation services to homes and businesses in the Edmonton area since 1985.  Call us for a free estimate!