Replacement Windows vs. Glass-Only Replacement: Which Is Better?

Leaking, draughty or foggy windows can not only significantly impact your comfort but also be the first sign that it’s time to start thinking about replacing them with new, better-insulated and energy-efficient ones. But even high-quality windows that can withstand wear and tear and keep their aesthetic value for many years are not impervious to damage. From a ball kicked straight into your window by a child playing in the garden to branches snapped by strong winds, accidents can happen at the least opportune moment and leave you with a difficult decision to make: should you replace your whole window or opt for replacement glass only?

Replacement windows glass only

Can You Replace the Glass in a Window?

Whether you have single or double-glazed windows, replacing the glass is an available solution if you want to refresh an old, weathered pane or remove the safety risk posed by damaged glass that can easily shatter completely. However, it’s important to keep in mind that ordering the right type of replacement glass, especially when it comes to double glazing, and fitting it properly can be tricky if you’re not an expert, so it may be a good idea to consult a professional glazier before deciding to go with the glass-only option.

When Is Window Glass Replacement a Good Idea?

Compared to buying replacement windows, glass-only replacements can be a more cost-effective option if you want to fix a cracked or broken pane or faulty seals. However, replacing the glass will only be effective when the issue you’re trying to solve stems from the glass itself and the rest of the window is in good shape. If the source of the problem lies, e.g., in the poor condition of the window frame, you may want to consider replacing your entire window.

Window glass replacement is a great solution for new windows with a damaged or broken pane of glass and for windows in historic buildings where it’s important to maintain the traditional appearance of the window frame.

When Should You Consider Replacing Your Whole Window?

Any window-related issues that cannot be linked to the glazing will most likely require a whole window replacement. For example, the average lifespan of windows falls somewhere around 20 years. Of course, this period may be shorter or longer depending on many factors, such as the type of window, its model, manufacturer, quality of materials and installation, among other things, but no window can guarantee the same level of performance forever.

If, at some point, you start noticing that, e.g., there’s water underneath your roof window or your centre pivot roof window doesn’t work as smoothly as before, it may be a sign that your windows are getting on in years. In such cases, window replacement is the best course of action.

There’s no denying that replacing your whole window requires a lot more work than simply removing the glass pane and putting a new one in its place, as the entire frame of your old window has to be taken out. But you can also use this opportunity to change the size or type of your window to let more light in while ensuring energy savings with better thermal efficiency. Nonetheless, the installation process can be a bit messy, so if you’re planning any other house renovation project, scheduling it at the same time as your window replacement can be a great way to avoid cleaning the house twice.

Signs It May Be the Right Time for a Window Replacement

  • When your windows become draughty, it’s not a sign to turn the heating up but to look for their replacement. Remember that they can make it difficult to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature throughout the year, with warm air escaping during the winter and heat getting inside during the summer.
  • If you want nothing more than to enjoy some peace and quiet after a hard day at work, but you often find yourself unable to due to all the noise coming from outside, fitting new windows with double glazing may be just the solution you need!
  • Damaged windows can cause a range of issues, from posing a security risk to leaks and draughts. It’s important to act quickly and look for a window replacement before bad weather or burglars make the situation worse.
  • Condensation on windows is a normal occurrence caused by temperature differences inside and outside your home. However, with a well-insulated window, it should never form inside the window, between the glass panes. If you spot condensation between the double glazing, it’s a clear sign that your window is not airtight any more.
  • Depending on the colour and finish, your window frame can fade or yellow over time, even with regular cleaning. If the frames’ appearance starts to affect your property’s kerb appeal, you can easily update it with many trendy window replacement options.


What Are the Benefits of Replacing the Entire Window?

While replacing your entire window is pricier than replacing window glass, it’s a more long-term solution with many advantages that can range from solving your problems with condensation to preventing potential leaks, draughts and heat losses. Modern windows can also ramp up your home’s security with their sturdy construction and toughened glass.

Modern Windows Have Better Insulation

Even if your windows are still in good condition after many years, you may want to consider replacing them. Why? Window manufacturers are constantly searching for innovative solutions to improve their products. The average window with double glazing available on the market now can most likely easily outperform any window bought 15 or 20 years ago. Switching to windows with double glazing or even triple glazing can bring significant energy savings, improve the thermal efficiency of your home and make it delightfully quiet.

But does all of this mean that if you already have, e.g., a relatively new double-glazed roof window installed, replacing the glass panes will be enough to bring back its full potential after a few years? Well, not necessarily. Remember that the insulating properties of a window don’t come from the glass alone. The frame and roof window flashing are just as important, and a whole window replacement can improve all these elements at once.

Invest in High-Quality Roof Windows!

As you can see, the choice between a glass-only replacement and a whole window replacement depends on the source of your window-related problem and your expectations. Installing a new window is a long-term solution that offers energy savings, increases the comfort and safety of your property and can even enhance its kerb appeal. We offer a wide selection of high-quality roof windows to help you bring more light and comfort into your rooms!