How to Replace Sidelight Window Panes

What You'll Need
Tempered Glass
Tape Measure
Safety gloves
Safety glasses

If you have a sidelight window somewhere in your home, then you may need to replace panes of glass in the window. These kinds of windows often have shatter-proof glass installed, but if you have an older sidelight window, then you may not have got this yet, and that could make your replacing the pane more complicated. When you come to replace the panes of glass in your sidelight window, you should look around for a supplier of tempered glass and fit these panes in place of the old window. These panes are designed to be more secure and can help to prevent future breakages.

Step 1 - Remove the Old Glass

Removing the old glass is a priority, as broken glass can be very dangerous. Put on some heavy-duty safety gloves, and wear some safety glasses. You can then start to remove the glass. Larger pieces should be pulled up by using a pair of pliers, and gently pulling the glass away from the caulk. If you have an unbroken pane of glass, use the pliers or the other end of the hammer to pull out the nails holding it in place, and then gently tap it loose using the hammer. Place the broken glass in a safe place, remove caulk from the edge of the window frame, and then thoroughlybrush the area.

Step 2 - Get Tempered Glass

You should then take careful measurements of the sidelight window where the broken pane of glass needs to be, and then take these measurements down to your local glass supplier. Tempered glass needs to be made to the exact specifications of the pane, as it can not be cut down. It is made extra-strong in order to prevent shattering in the future. Your tempered glass should be just large enough to fit into the sidelight window, with less than an inch to spare all around, so that it can be fitted securely.

Step 3 - Fit the Glass

Place your new piece of glass into the window. To support it, add some screwed up newspaper to the base of the window frame. This will not only support the glass, but help to insulate the window. You should then be able to secure the glass in place by taping a few nails into the pane. These should not be attached to the glass, but will simply be positioned so that they secure the glass in place. You can then add a layer of caulk around the edges of your glass. This is designed to dry in place so that it forms a tight bond with the glass and the sides of the sidelight window frame. Add the caulk in large amounts around the window, and then leave to dry overnight. Check that it is completely covering the window before the job is complete.