DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Windows and Doors (
-   -   Who buys wavy glass? (

KatyE 08-17-2010 02:39 PM

Who buys wavy glass?
Does anyone know where I should go or who I should contact to sell the wavy glass from my windows?
I know, I know. I'm crazy for getting rid of it. But the sad fact is that we can not afford the heating bills that result largely from the drafts from the windows. We just had an energy test done today, and although I have no idea what this means, he said that our house was at 1000, whereas most new houses are at 100. Okay, so I was not surprised to find out that our house is extremely drafty. Also, the wood sashes are loaded with lead (the most lead in our house that the inspector had even seen), although they didn't give us too much trouble because they are all painted shut, so lead dust hasn't been much of an issue. However, that also means that we run the air half the year (also expensive), because there is no way to get fresh air into the house.
So....they must be replaced, and we can not afford to replace with custom wood, using the old glass. Fortunately, there is a "get the lead out" program in our city that offers 0% loans to complete lead abatement. So vinyl it is.

I would hate for all of that history to go to the landfill, and frankly, I would really love to use that glass to fund one of the other 856 projects that need to be completed in our house. But I have no idea where to look. I can't sell the whole windows, as the lead program specifies that the wood must be disposed of. But I asked if I could cut the glass out before abatement begins, and they couldn't see why not. Ah, the wood was in questionable shape anyway. But I will have about 30 panels of wavy glass from 1890, the largest of which is 56"x40". I know that there is a market for the stuff, but how do I tap into it? Anyone know? Also, does anyone know what would be a reasonable price for this glass?

oldognewtrick 08-17-2010 06:29 PM

KatyE, try listing on EBAY or Craigslist. You can try material recyclers but I don't know how much value you really have in the glass panels. Try Google also.

gatorfan 08-17-2010 07:37 PM

Wavy or not, that glass isn't letting any air through. Replacing it is probably the LAST place you should be spending money.

The first thing you need to do is check your attic and makes sure you have proper insulation for your zone. While you're up there, make sure your vents are sealed to the ceiling. Hopefully the inspector also ran a duct test to tell you if they were leaking. If so, fix them.

Next, you need to locate and seal anywhere air is infiltrating your house-- gaps around windows/doors and sills, sills and framing, and anywhere a pipe or wire passes through a wall or floor are the first places to look. You can retrofit your old windows with seals.

Putting money into new windows is one of the last places to put your dollar. I think you'll find that the money you lose through the window is far less than what you'd spend to replace it-- plus you'll lose the character.

(owner of a 1910 house full of wavy glass)

mudmixer 08-17-2010 07:48 PM

A window is just a hole in a wall that transmits a lot of energy, no matter what the composition is (1 or two layers), with or without fancy gas in between. - It is in the same general category.

To find a home for the old, wavy glass, contact an architectural recycling dealer. The glass older than 1910 could be more valuable to a serious buyer. The glass may not be the right size, but IF it is large enough it can be trimmed for other applications and have value.. If small, just toss it.


frankc 04-22-2013 02:30 PM

Depending on your location you can contact local demolition salvage businesses to sell your windows. You can call Architectural Arts in Memphis, TN for more information and a quote on your windows.

oldognewtrick 04-22-2013 03:14 PM

Frank, this post is about 2 and a half years old, I think the OP has moved on already.

KatyE 04-22-2013 04:52 PM

Actually, the glass is still in a crate in my basement, and I appreciate the suggestion, Frank.

deedee 06-02-2013 08:29 PM

Thank you for keeping the glass Katy. You're right, the glass (and the windows, in my opinion) are priceless pieces of architectural heritage. I kept my old glass around for years - glass from windows that were broken for one reason or another - and just in the past year found a wonderful home for everything except the smallest pieces. A National Historic Landmark built by Greene & Greene in 1904 is being fully restored in my city and wavy glass was needed for the windows. Now pieces of glass from my humble home are part of a landmark that may last for several more centuries. I would encourage you to contact glass shops located in areas dense with antique homes and home owners who are interested in preserving their architectural heritage, e.g. a glass shop located adjacent to a Historic District. Ask the glass shop owner if they ever get requests for wavy glass. I sell my glass as the entire sheet, even if the customer needs something smaller - I look for the smallest piece that will meet the customer's needs, but then they have to buy the entire sheet. I plan carefully to get the maximum number of panes from a single sheet. Don't discard the pieces you have unless they are smaller than the smallest pane you've ever seen on a divided lights window. Prices range from $17 - $26 per square feet. Because my sheets were "rounded up" to the original pane size, even if a sizable corner had been broken off, I charged only $10/sq ft. To remove the panes without destroying the wood window, chip out the really loose stuff, use a utility knife to try to wedge out the stuff that is badly cracked, scrape deep scratches into paint over the hardened putty that didn't flake out. WD-40 will soften the putty (but you have to get it through the paint). Be careful to remove all of the "points" prior to removing the glass, or your lovely sheet may end up as shards....Look hard for the points - they may be 95% buried. Be absolutely sure they have been removed prior to attempting to get the glass out. For chunks or areas of putty that are still intact after you used all of the above method, find an asbestos tile & hold it tight up against the putty protecting the glass, then use a heat gun to soften the remaining putty and scrape it out while it is still warm. OK - I think I've shared all of my secrets....OH One more. Be Very, Very careful not to scratch the glass when cleaning it. Sometimes it is better not to clean it at all unless you really know what you are doing. Once scratched by improper cleaning, the glass is destroyed. I gently puddle warm soapy water on each pane and without any pressure gently wipe the glass with a fully saturated soft cotton cloth (no scratchy stuff like old dried paint on the rags you use!) After the pass with soap, I flood the glass with water to wash away any additional grit. I clean the glazing area separately and attempt to remove every bit of grime from the glazing. Finally, I use normal glass cleaning methods after all of the dirt has been removed. Please do not delegate this task to someone who doesn't know exactly what they are doing. Long reply, but I hope it helps someone and helps to keep more of the glorious wavy antique glass out of the landfill. Maybe for another century or two.

Mickey1 10-07-2013 07:23 PM

I am looking for 3-4 wavy glass panes to restore a 1910 home. I would be interested to know where to purchase panes.

nealtw 10-07-2013 07:50 PM
Welcome, I hope this is helpful.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:26 PM.