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    Cost-Effective Window Solutions: Upgrading vs. Repairing Broken Sealed Unit

    Oct 3, 2016

    Mar 28, 2024

    6 min read


    Imagine the sudden, sharp sound of glass shattering in your home—a stray baseball, a violent hailstorm, or even an unfortunate encounter with a pebble while mowing the lawn. These incidents are more common than you might think, with statistics showing that many Canadians will face the dilemma of dealing with window damage at least once in their property’s lifetime.

    But when the integrity of your window’s sealed unit is compromised, the decision between repair and replacement becomes a pressing concern. Is it merely a cosmetic issue, or is the efficiency of your entire window compromised?

    The cost of inaction can be high, both in terms of energy efficiency and home security. Yet, many homeowners are unaware that opting for a new window may, in fact, be more economical than repairing the sealed unit—especially when the original manufacturer is involved.

    Why is this the case, and under what circumstances could a brand-new window save you not just money but also future headaches? Could the solution to a broken sealed unit be simpler and more cost-effective than you’ve been led to believe? Let’s find out!

    Sealed Unit Replacement: All You Kneed to Know

    As we mentioned before, a broken glazing is not just an aesthetic issue. Once the glass is broken so is the airtight seal that keeps the vacuum or the gas fill in. That’s why it’s not enough to try and replace just the glass, most times you have to change out the entire sealed unit.

    In this case, your best bet is to try and get a new sealed unit from the same company that manufactured and installed your windows. 

    There are several reasons for this. The main one is the unit’s fit. Although there are companies that specialize in sealed unit replacement, nothing fits as well as the original unit designed for that window. Even if it is measured correctly, the replacement from another company still may not fit precisely, requiring additional caulking, and affecting the overall efficiency of your windows.

    Another big reason you’re better off going with the original company is the substantial difference in price. Even if the broken unit is not covered by your company’s warranty, the price you will pay is generally much lower. Most window replacement companies will charge existing customers up to $300 for a new sealed unit, and up to a couple hundred dollars for the actual replacement.

    Reseal Windows Cost: The Truth

    With companies that specialise in sealed unit replacement, you are generally paying at least $150 for every time someone comes out to your house. Assuming the unit needs to be measured and then installed, that’s at least two appointments you are paying for.

    Furthermore, because they specialise in this type of replacement, these companies charge substantially more for the actual product, with replacement sealed window units prices ranging between $700 and $1200. Depending on the size of the window in question, it may cost the same or less to replace the entire window with a new replacement company.

    Another good reason to use the original company for your service is that there is usually some window warranty you can negotiate. Obviously, the company wouldn’t cover another external damage, but they generally provide warranty for pressure cracks or manufacturing defects. Sealed-unit replacement companies built their whole business on this issue, so they seldom provide any warranties.

    Sealed Window Repair or Full Window Unit Replacement?

    A broken or cracked sealed unit doesn’t always mean the whole window needs to be replaced, especially if it has been installed within the last ten years. However, without careful consideration, you might spend as much as a new installation, only to receive a lesser quality product. 

    All in all, deciding between repairing and replacing a window involves assessing several critical factors to ensure you make a cost-effective choice without compromising quality.

    • Warranty Coverage: Many modern windows come with extensive warranties that can significantly influence the decision to repair or replace. Understanding the details of your warranty can reveal whether the damage is covered and to what extent.
    • Technological Advancements: Today’s sealed units may offer better energy efficiency and UV protection than those available a decade ago. Upgrading can be wise if your current windows are old or the repair costs are comparable to new installations.
    • Quality and Compatibility: Choosing the original manufacturer or an authorized repair dealer ensures that any replacement parts will match your windows’ original specifications, maintaining appearance and performance.
    • Cost vs. Value: Evaluate the long-term benefits of a new window, such as improved energy efficiency and increased property value, against the cost of repairing a damaged unit.

    Deciding to repair or replace a broken sealed unit requires a balanced consideration of warranty specifics, technological improvements, and the overall cost versus value. By carefully weighing these factors, homeowners can avoid unnecessary expenses and ensure that their choice enhances the home’s comfort, efficiency, and market value.

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    Windows Prices for Popular Styles in 2024

    If you’re concerned that the cost of window pane replacement is too high, or if you’re dealing with older windows due for an upgrade, we’ve got you covered.

    Below is a table offering approximate price ranges for various popular energy-efficient window styles in Canada, tailored to different locations within your home.These estimates are relevant for 2024, providing you with the latest information to make an informed decision.

    Remember, these are general guidelines; for a detailed quote matching your needs and preferences, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Ecoline, we are always here to help you find the perfect solution for your home.

    LocationCasementAwningSingle SliderHungFixedPicture
    Basement $810 - $1,877 $126 - $1,194 $123 - $ 2,105 $972 - $1,175 $672 - $891 $145 - $2,749
    Bathroom $420 - $2,671 $442 - $2,349 $336 - $2,510 $470 - $1,885 $734 - $1,037 $274 - $2,420
    Bedroom $289 - $2,115 $818 - $2,014 $183 - $3,136 $440 - $2,435 $402 - $1,552 $339 - $2,805
    Bonus room $658 - $1,501 $873 - $1,373 $473 - $2,186 $495 - $1,359 $446 - $1,262 $434 - $3,030
    Dining room $506 - $2,186 $291 - $2,181 $554 - $2,655 $178 - $2,307 $852 - $2,001 $126 - $3,508
    Family room $506 - $2,051 $486 - $1,752 $374 - $2,441 $335 - $1,899 $342 - $1,324 $271 - $3,596
    Foyer $1,042 - $1,720 $1,135 - $1,336 $875 - $2,201 $656 - $1,397 $904 - $1,754 $407 - $2,709
    Front $981 - $1,535 $327 - $1,390 $231 - $2,150 $901 - $1,998 $ 797 $ 1,317 $238 - $2,923
    Kitchen $119 - $2,124 $404 - $2,406 $494 - $2,719 $391 - $2,467 $ 528 $ 1,722 $107 - $4,948
    Living room $319 - $1,929 $547 - $1,896 $203 - $2,529 $750 - $2,055 $ 507 $ 2,801 $680 - $4,527
    Master bedroom $493 - $1,987 $292 - $2,008 $422 - $2,826 $340 - $2,702 $ 402 $ 1,884 $278 - $3,644
    Nook $521 - $1,540 $981 - $1,736 $888 - $3,034 $502 - $1,610 $ 1,726 $244 - $3,254


    How much does it cost to replace a cracked window?

    The cost to replace a cracked window can vary widely based on factors such as the window’s size, type, and location, as well as the choice between double or triple glazing. Generally, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1200 for a standard-sized window.

    Do windows with broken seals need to be replaced?

    Not necessarily. Windows with broken seals lose their insulating gas, decreasing energy efficiency and condensation between panes. However, the need for replacement depends on the extent of the damage and the window’s age. In some cases, replacing just the sealed unit without replacing the entire window is possible, especially if the frame and surrounding structure are still in good condition.