I was wondering if any non pro's out there had any experience
replacing large panes of glass during the harsh winters we have in the
North East in Canada and the US. We have a double glazed(?) large
frosted glass panel right beside the front door, the front door and
panel being somewhat covered by a porch roof, but with the rest of the
porch open, with no side protection from the elements.
The inside panel (inside the house) was replaced by a couple of diy
relatives a few years ago after it was broken. Now, the outside panel
has broken (large metal handle of snow scoop fell against it and
barely missed taking out the inside panel too) and we are wondering if
because of the extreme temps and snow now here, if the same effort
taken to repair the indoor panel will be worth the repair of the
This is a very large panel, roughly 7 feet high x 4 feet wide, at
around 1/8 inch thick. The 2 frosted panels are separated all around
the frame by ~ 2"s of inner wood frame/space and there is no special
gas or airlock between the panels. The outer wooden frame of the panel
has various sizes due to its proximity to the front door, ie, the
vertical frame closest to the front door is slimmer, and the other
vertical frame closest to the rest of the front porch is wider.
Has any d-i-y'er out there successfully replaced one of these big
panels in the frigid temps? I was also wondering about the putty to be
used, if it would freeze. Are there any other special steps to take? I
do vaguely remember helping out with the repair of the first panel,
but it's a distant memory, and I can't remember what the start to
finish procedure was. The price to buy the new glass panel is $150 and
another $200 (cheapest estimate!) to place it in if you want the pro
I can't imagine why you wouldn't replace it in the winter. And I can't
imagine why you would think of using normal glass for the job if the
window is that prone to breakage it should be either custom-made
tempered glass (read that as $$$$$$$$) or a plastic glazing like
polycarbonate or acrylic for the sake of safety and probably for code
compliance also. The plastic is available pre-patterned for privacy and
is easy to work with. Having no low-humidity inert gas sealed between
the panes will make the window less efficient that a proper
double-glazed installation but having the second pane in place will
still give you the effect of a traditional storm window which is better
Glaziers worked all winter in Anchorage, Alaska so I imagine that the
same would be true in the populated areas of Canada too (if you are in a
cabin north of Great Slave Lake you may want to consider something else).
If you are determined to do it yourself, glazier's putty is oil based
and will not freeze but it will become stiff and unworkable in low
temperatures. Water-based materials like acrylic caulk may well freeze.
If the temperature is super-frigid it may be best to simply install the
panel with foam weather strip for the winter and then seal it
permanently come spring.
Given the size and weight of the glass, I'd be prone to let the pro take the
risk. The installed price is $350. The DIY price if you slip and drop it is
$300 and a lot of work. I'd also consider a thicker glass to guard against
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