How much does it cost to repair stained glass?
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Stained Glass Repair Cost Guide
Updated: August 18, 2022
Stained glass is a beautiful feature that creates a lasting impression in several spaces. If there are any stained or leaded glass windows in your home, you’re going to want to preserve them and keep them in their best condition. Fortunately, the centuries-old stained glass found in churches and other buildings around the world proves that longevity is worth the investment, so long as you leave the work to qualified professionals. If your glass cracks, fades, or chips, you don’t necessarily need to replace it. Its repair is a lot easier and more common than you think, and it will restore your glass to its stunning beauty.
The national average cost of stained glass repair is around $300 to $700, with most people spending about $500 to clean, repair small cracks, replace cement, and tighten cames on a 12 x 24-inch window. At the lower end of the spectrum, people can expect to spend about $100 on small crack repairs or foil replacement that takes less than an hour to restore. At the high end, you might pay as much as $10,000 for full restoration of a three-panel window with each panel measuring over 3 x 4 feet in size with intricate details and moderate damage in several areas.
Stained Glass Window Repair
|Stained Glass Repair Cost|
|National average cost||$500|
Stained Glass Repair Cost by Solution
The average cost of stained glass repair is $500 but will vary depending on the type of solution needed to fix the problem. Several potential issues could arise, including cracks, fading, and more. There may be missing foil, lead, or cement that needs replacing, water leakage, damage to the paint, or any number of other issues. Finding the right solution impacts the total project cost. In the table and subsections below, we’ll look at all potential solutions, their costs, and what they entail.
|Solution||Problem||Average Cost (Materials and Labor)|
|Crack Repair||Chipped or cracked glass||$100-$300|
|Paint||Damaged glass paint and faded glass||$100-$300|
|Copper Foil Repair||Splits, cracks, or damage to the foil||$100-$300|
|Regrouting Windows||Water leaks||$200-$500|
|Replace Cement||Cement is damaged or missing||$200-$500|
|Window Frame Repair||Damaged frames||$200-$500|
|Sealing||Sealant is damaged or missing||$200-$500|
|Cleaning||Yellowing of protective glass||$300-$600|
|Repairing Lead Came||Damaged cames or sagging glass||$400-$3,000|
|Solder||Broken solder joint||$500-$1,500|
|Replace Reinforcement Bars||Detached reinforcement bars||$700-$3,000|
Stained Glass Crack Repair
The average cost of stained glass crack repair runs from $100 to $300, with people spending more on larger repairs or major damage. The exact repair process depends on the damage, but it usually involves filling the cracks and resealing the glass. Your restoration technician can tell you what the process entails and how much your exact project will cost. Crack repairs can be done on their own or as part of larger restoration projects.
Paint Stained Glass
If you need to paint stained glass because it has become worn or damaged with age, you will spend an average of $100 to $300. Paint can wear with age, or it can become cracked over time. It may need to be redone as a part of another repair or restoration project, or it can be done as an individual job. If you are repainting an entire panel or having a design redone, it could become more costly than simple paint repairs. Minor paint repairs and repainting jobs will be on the lower end of the price range.
Copper Foil Stained Glass
Some stained glass includes copper foil for decoration. Copper foil costs an average of $100 to $300 to replace or repair, depending on how much foil is damaged and what is missing. In some cases of larger restoration projects, the costs may become higher with additional repairs and work. Copper foil is used within the glass to create designs along with the paint and create opaque spots and other unique features. You can ask the professional about replacing the copper foil and how the process is completed, as well as what it will cost to add to your project. It’s usually done as part of a larger repair or restoration job.
Regrouting windows costs around $200 to $500, depending on the amount of grout that needs replacing and the type of windows you have. Stained glass and leaded windows have special considerations that make them more difficult to work with than traditional windows. If you need small patches of grout replaced, it may be cheaper. However, if the damage is severe, it could become more cost-effective to replace the entire grout rather than filling in the cracks.
Stained Glass Cement
It costs around $200 to $500 to replace or repair stained glass cement damage or cement that is missing. Cement or glazier’s putty is used to secure the window panes and lead cames and create the seal between the glass and its frame. Over time or due to impact, the cement in these windows can come loose or get damaged. To keep the window in its best condition, this cement should be kept in good shape. Often, cement replacement will be part of a larger repair project, while it can be done on its own in some cases. This work is best done by professionals.
Stained Glass Window Frame Repair
The average cost of stained glass window frame repair is around $200 to $500, depending on the type of frame and the damage that has been done. If the entire frame needs replacing, it may be on the higher end of this price range. However, most issues can be repaired with minor work by a trained professional. Because of the fragile and delicate nature of this type of glass, the frame is critical to keeping it stable and in good condition. This can be done on its own or as part of a larger repair or restoration project.
Seal Stained Glass
You will spend about $200 to $500 on the sealing of stained glass windows. This is often done when the sealant on the window has become damaged or is missing. Loose or leaking glass can be resealed using a mixture of white cement and glazier’s putty. The cement sealant is designed to keep the windows secure and hold the lead in place. Age is the most common cause of leakage or a need for resealing, but other incidents can happen, as well.
Cleaning Stained Glass Windows
Cleaning stained glass windows costs $300 to $600, on average, and can be done as part of a repair or restoration job or just as routine maintenance. It is more expensive to clean these windows because there are special considerations involved, and a professional should clean them at all times. If you are going to clean them yourself, you need to use safe materials and cleaning solutions, but it’s best to hire someone who knows what they’re doing.
Repairing Lead Came On Stained Glass Windows
The average cost to repair lead came on stained glass windows is between $400 and $3,000. The cost depends on how much caming is needed and what kind of damage is present. Cames are located in the glass panes, often as frames or decorative pieces, or to separate panes of glass or sections of a design. When you have missing or damaged cames, it can be difficult to restore a stained glass window or make other repairs until they are replaced. This part of the repair will incur an additional cost to glass repairs or other necessary parts replacements.
Solder Stained Glass
If there is an issue with the stained glass leading, soldering will cost an average of $500 to $1,500, depending on how much repair is needed. Soldering is used to fix the leaded cames that frame many stained glass windows and panels. This caming can become damaged, or the seams can simply break over time, requiring them to be re-soldered as part of a repair or restoration project.
Replace Reinforcement Bars
The average cost to replace reinforcement bars on your stained glass windows is around $700 to $3,000, depending on the size of the window and the bars and how many need replacing. Also known as saddle bars, these are specifically designed supports secured to the window frame or jamb to prevent sagging or bulging. The reinforcement bars may break down and become damaged over time. They could also just need to be replaced to provide a new structure and support for the window that is being restored. Your restoration technician will advise on the process and what you can expect to pay for your specific needs.
Stained Glass Repair Cost by Location
The cost of stained glass repair by location will average $400 to $1,000, depending on what type of item is damaged and where in your home it is located. For example, a window with intricate details that is part of your home structure may cost far more to repair than a small crack on a lamp shade. Because of the nature of this glass, repair professionals will work with all of it, whether in construction, decor, or elsewhere. In the table and subsections below, we will look at the process and cost involved in various stained glass repairs based on their location.
|Location||Cost to Repair (Materials and Labor)|
|Lamp Shade||$200 - $400|
|Window||$400 - $700|
|Door||$700 - $1,000|
Stained Glass Lamp Shade Repair
If you need to repair a stained glass lamp shade, you can expect to spend between $200 and $400, depending on what type of cracks or damage are present. Lamp shades usually see minor cracks, broken or missing lead or grout, or other simple issues. However, major repairs or restorations on pieces with serious damage and wear could prove to be more costly. A lamp is generally going to need to be repaired by a specialist. Be sure that you aren’t voiding any warranties by having the work done by an experienced professional.
Stained Glass Window Repair
The average stained glass window repair cost is about $400 to $700, depending on the size of the window and the type of repair(s) needed. Windows are one of the most common locations for this type of glass. Several different types of damage can happen, from chips and cracks to faded or damaged paint and foil. Each one has its own repair solution. If panes need to be replaced or if there is more serious damage, you can expect it to be on the higher end of the price range.
Stained Glass Door Repair
Stained glass door repair will be a bit more expensive, costing around $700 to $1,000 since there is generally a larger glass area that needs attention. As with any repair, it will depend on the exact type of issues that are present. Cracks in doors or missing lead will generally take more material to replace, and the repairs may also take more time. It may require a full panel replacement if the repairs cannot be done or become too expensive. Your restoration professional will advise on the best course of action.
Cost to Repair Stained Glass
Of the average $500 to repair stained glass, approximately 70% is labor, which runs about $50 to $100 per hour. The remaining 30% makes up the cost of materials. Many variables are involved in the repair, so it may be difficult to find anyone willing to give a quick estimate. Most glass restorers will take the time to photograph the window and examine it before determining a final project cost. The issue may require less labor but more expensive material so that it could change the costs. Stained glass restoration companies may have different labor rates or factor in the cost of labor with their overall estimate.
Take the time to find a reputable stained glass professional who will perform a thorough inspection and give you an accurate estimate of the cost and work involved in repairs. Sometimes, you may also have to pay for the cleaning and reassembly of the window in addition to repairs. This is especially common for larger or more complex glass. The materials used will also determine the costs. Even glass colors could have different prices, and lead cames will have a different price than zinc or other materials. The shape and location of glass pieces, patterns, and even the method of painting or staining can all influence the cost. It’s just too much guesswork. It requires a professional assessment.
Leaded Glass Repair Cost
The cost of leaded glass repair averages $400 to $700, similar to stained glass repair. However, there are obvious differences between the two. Lead refers to the often dark metal beading that goes through windows. It may be seen in stained glass, but it isn’t always present. Leaded glass and stained glass are often considered the same, but glass can be leaded and not stained. Leaded glass (without color) is also typically found more in residential properties, while stained glass is more commonly found in churches and other buildings.
Stained Glass Restoration Cost
The average cost of stained glass restoration is $1,500 per panel for window restoration. Smaller pieces may have a lower cost, while larger windows or multiple panels could incur a higher cost. While repairs focus on fixing damage and issues, restoration focuses on restoring the glass to its original beauty. The restoration process involves cleaning the window and removing any damage, debris, and loose cement, tightening the lead cames, and replacing the cement. Then, the glass is repaired and repainted or otherwise restored. This costs more than a basic repair or replacement in many cases because of the level of work involved.
Stained Glass Replacement Cost
If it cannot be repaired, you can expect to spend about $700 to $1,200 on stained glass replacement. The replacing has several considerations involved. A more intricate or detailed piece may cost much more than a simple or small piece that needs replacing. If only part of a larger window or panel needs replacing, you may be able to spend less and still get the damage resolved. The type of glass that is being replaced isn’t the only factor to consider. Labor costs will also be impacted by where the glass is located and how easy it is to replace.
Replace Stained Glass in Door
The cost to replace stained glass in door panels is between $700 and $1,000, depending on the type of stained glass, the size of the panel(s), and the complexity of the design. If it is a simple, single-paned stained glass window, it may be fairly cheap to replace. If, however, you have a full stained glass door with only a small aluminum or wooden frame surrounding the glass, you could easily spend more on replacing the glass. If the designs and details are intricate or the materials used are more expensive, this will drive up the cost. Again, this is where having a professional assessment ensures that you get an accurate idea of how much it will cost to replace stained glass in your doors.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Repainting Stained Glass
The cost of repainting stained glass is usually charged at an hourly rate of around $35 to $50 per hour, with the cost of materials included. In some cases, you may decide that you need the window or glass repainted after repairs have been done to restore the original look. Painted glass can be more costly to repair because of this additional step. However, the original beauty of the piece will be restored. Be sure to talk to a restoration professional to determine whether repainting is necessary for your glass.
Stain Glass Window Treatments
Stain glass window treatments are available for around $50 to $75. These creative window treatments offer a unique option for people who like the look of stained glass but don’t have the money to replace windows or doors in their homes. These window treatments are available in all kinds of colors and designs. They are typically applied as a cling-on or adhesive film that creates the stained glass look without the expense. It also allows you to try the look of stained glass or make a small change that’s not permanent if you’re not quite ready to commit to actual stained glass or you’re on a limited budget.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Maintenance. Stained glass windows have special considerations when it comes to upkeep and maintenance. If you can keep the windows in good condition, they will continue to have fewer issues over time. However, even with the best maintenance, cracks and damage can occur. Be sure to consult a stained glass professional regarding the proper maintenance of your windows. Even cleaning them with the wrong products can be damaging, so care is needed.
- Window Removal and Transport. If windows have to be transported for repair, you may be able to do it yourself to save the transport fees. However, you have to be careful not to damage the windows because there is a lot of risk involved. Some minor repairs can be done at your home, so be sure to ask your repair company how they can best resolve your issue with the least amount of hassle and risk.
- Take Photos. To ensure the integrity of your stained glass and its installation, especially when it is antique or historical, you need to take pictures to document the exact condition, position, and location of the glass before it is removed for repair. Make drawings, as well, if you can, so that you have plenty of evidence about how the window is supposed to look.
- Deterioration. All stained glass windows deteriorate over the years. Age and time are the two biggest factors that lead to cracking, breaking, sagging, and other issues with leaded and stained glass windows. Even if you take the best care of your windows possible, they may still need maintenance and repairs over time. That’s why proper maintenance is so important--it increases longevity and reduces the need for unnecessary repairs.
- Lead Cames and Safety. Lead is not considered safe for toys or painted surfaces because it is a loose liquid that can be ingested and becomes dangerous when absorbed by the body. Lead cames, which are the pieces of lead used for stained glass and leaded windows, will not shed or produce any dust or residue. Provided that the cames are not ingested or licked, there is no safety risk with this type of window.
- How much does it cost to repair a stained glass window?
The average cost to repair a stained glass window is around $500, including cleaning, fixing and filling any cracks with silicone, releading or tightening cames, and any other necessary repairs on a 12 x 24-inch window.
- Can you repair broken stained glass?
Broken stained glass can be repaired in some instances. It depends on the severity of the damage and the type of break that has occurred. If repair is not an option, a restoration tech will suggest a replacement.
- Is stained glass worth anything?
From an artistic and historical standpoint, some pieces of stained glass may be seen as collectibles or art pieces that have value. Most residential ones have not of significant value, however.
- How do you restore stained glass?
A restoration professional starts the process by inspecting the glass to determine what repairs need to be made to get the glass back in its original condition. Then, they will perform all necessary repairs before beginning the restoration or repainting process. If extensive restoration is required, the work may be done offsite.
- How much does it cost to replace a stained glass window?
The average cost to replace a stained glass window ranges from $700 to $1,200, depending on the style of window, materials, complexity, and size.
- How do you repair stained glass?
The repair depends on the damage. Cracked or chipped glass can be filled with silicone or replaced, and the cames can be tightened or releaded.
- Is lead still used in stained glass?
Yes, lead is still used in stained glass windows, except for the prairie style on windows.
- How do you clean old leaded glass windows?
The glass should be cleaned with a soft cloth using only plain soft or distilled water unless it has been tested to see what else it tolerates.