How to replace double glazing (ish)

replace double glazing

Now if you do actually intend to replace double glazing units, this blog is perhaps not the best place to begin your journey.  Might I suggest that you take the advice of Steven K Sanderson at I did.

I spent the best £9.97 I have ever spent on Steven’s advice. Previously (to this post) the best thing I have ever spent just under £10 on would have probably involved alcohol or pyjamas. Or alcohol and pyjamas.

Drinking alcohol in my pyjamas is my near-natural state. For ‘total-state’ there would need to be alcohol, pyjamas and TOTAL SILENCE. Apart from maybe the sound of the TV or of somebody else doing the washing-up.

How to prepare to replace double glazing

Now I can’t tell you what to do to prepare, but I can tell you what I did to prepare and what worked for me.  After purchasing Steven’s ‘how-to-guide’, I drank half a bottle of red wine and watched the Kings Speech. Now admittedly this was not part of the Steven’s advice, however I like to free-style and he’s not the boss of me yo. I then went to bed.

I suggest that if you too drink half a bottle of red wine, you also go to bed and DO NOT get the ladders out. I’m sure Steven would agree. Perhaps he should have mentioned that in his advice.  Slacker.

How to seethe when preparing to replace double glazing.

I have learnt a new word in UPVC double glazing terminology and thus am now 1/3 a double glazing fitter. The word is ‘beading’. Beading are the strips that effectively hold the window unit in place (with the security tape) and hide the ugly gubbings from view. Much like the curtains in the home of my arse-face neighbours across the street who wander around all day with their arse faces out until night falls, the curtains are drawn, and I have some blessed relief.

Anyhoo, it transpires that there are four types of beading, the names of which I shall not bore you with now, however one of them, is ‘extremely rare’ and requires a special sort of tool which, after hours of searching on the internet, it would appear does not ******** exist.  Guess which type of beading I have?

The only reference I have ever heard made of this special tool and indeed the only time that I have ever seen this special tool, is in the hands of the man who was telling me that I needed to buy this special tool in the video tutorial that I had just paid to watch. Double glazing impasse…..or was it?

If I were to describe this tool, I would say it was a flat piece of galvanised steel, with a cheeky lip that fits between the beading and the window pane, and with a swift flick of the well informed double glaziers wrist, pops the bead out. I would show you a picture of his tool BUT I CAN’T ******* FIND ONE.

(My wife thought it humorous to point out after my hours of fruitless and increasingly bad tempered searching that, I need not worry because in fact, I am a special sort of tool).

How to get creative when preparing to replace double glazing.

Me: Are you sure?

Her: Yes.

Me: Is it not a bit rubbish me buying you a kitchen utensil for Christmas?

Her: Think how many lovely lattes we can have.

Me: Okay if you’re sure?

Her: You will be buying me other things as well.  You know that don’t you?

Me: * a look which obviously indicated that I didn’t *

Her: *********

This was the conversation that lead to one my wife’s Christmas presents three years ago being this….

Replace double glazing with this?

Merry Christmas Darling – 2010


Lovely isn’t it? I like that stand don’t you? Nice sleek metal finish, with a cheeky lip on the bottom to make the coffee frother stand all upright and proud.  Not sure what type of metal the stand is made of…… is it…….steel? No it’s aluminium …looks strong though… steel

As I pulled it down off the shelf to look at it with my glaziers eye, I knew I was on dodgy ground. Bashing your wife’s Christmas present with a hammer and sawing bits off to make an ad hoc representation of a glazing tool that doesn’t actually exist is, I am guessing, the behaviour of a tit.

You must understand two things about me, to understand how I came to this  decision.

1. I am in fact a bit of a tit.

2. I score unusually high on the Autistic Spectrum for a person who isn’t actually autistic.   Roughly translated, this means that I behave like a bit of a tit for no good reason.

And so it came to pass that I, a man actually in his pyjamas, was hammering the intended form out of his wife’s Christmas present at 7.30pm in the back garden, while his wife was trying to put his children to bed, in the bedroom who’s window over looks the back garden. Because I am a tit. But.  BUT, I am a bit of a tit with a bespoke, handmade deglazing tool. A tool required to remove the beads from an ‘external knock in bead system’.

Coffee frother/deglazing tool

Coffee frother/deglazing tool

How not to panic when you replace double glazing

So the beading came off without much of ado. The whole process took around 45 minutes I would calculate. That works out at about 2.5 minutes per bead x 4 beads = 10 minutes. And then 35 minutes to get up and down the ladder with my buttocks so tightly clenched that I nearly started a friction fire in my underpants. But the beading was the easy bit. It got much worse. Much, much worse….

Later whilst clinging to the top a very high wobbly ladder, outside my bedroom window, I remember thinking very clearly that I did not want to be on the 6 O’clock news under the headline:

Local nob-head plummets to his death whilst trying to change his own double glazing.

But there I was, pushing a very heavy double glazed window unit through a hole that I had just made in the side of my house. On the inside, my wife was stood on our bed, holding the other end of the double glazed window unit that I was now pushing, turning purple and gasping for air.

As I shoved and she staggered backwards, wobbling in her stocking feet and trying not to trip over the duvet, I could only imagine how much she loved me and how much she appreciated what I was putting her through to save me some money.

With one final push, we were both relived and exhausted and alive. The old unit was now laying on the bed. But, the new unit was stood in the corner. Waiting.

Now was not the time to panic  Now was the time to remain strong. Once more unto the breach dear wifey, once more….

How to finally replace double glazing units

There is a profound sense of ‘nowness’ to be found hanging half in and half out of a bedroom ‘hole’, trying to plonk a very heavy piece of glass on to a concrete ledge whilst telling your wife not to panic. Whilst panicking.  It sharpens the mind and quickens the digestion.

And as I left my wife balancing one meter square of dead weight on a window ledge, to run downstairs, outside and up a ladder, I had to admire her stoicism. And her upper body strength.

With me now back up the ladder and her still stood on our bed, we stared at each other through our part fitted double glazing, with a look that seemed to last a lifetime. If possible, I think we would both happily have spent the rest of our days right there, without moving another muscle (or piece of glass). Christmas and birthdays may be a little awkward. And the third child debate would be settled once and for all, unless I could learn ladder sex, which I doubt with my knees.

I told my wife I loved her and I counted to three……1……2………3.  In  beautiful synchronism, we lifted upwards and backwards in tandem and the big bloody window sank into it’s base, directly on top of the packers. I took a deep breath, I took the weight, wifey let go and moved out of the way and I SHOVED.

With my wife kneeling by the side of our bed, looking concerned and helpfully instructing me to “PUSH”, I realised right there and then how utterly expendable I was at the the birth of our two children. But I soldiered on regardless. I held my breath, tensed my buttocks and with one almighty push, I birthed a big square piece of glass into a big square hole.

The sense of relief was overwhelming, OVERWHELMING. I looked at my newborn window and was overcome with joy. Joy and pride. I had made that. We had made that.  This, THIS was our third child. This shiny square of renewed glazing was part of me. It literally had me all over it….

It was covered in my blood (home made tools = sharp corners) sweat and tears.  Apart from liking it a little TOO much or formerly peeing all over it in an 18+ opening ceremony, this window could not contain any more of my DNA.

Wifey and I laughed. We laughed the all-out kind of laugh that one laughs after narrowly escaping something nasty. With a racing pulse and a sense of elation, I used my wife’s battered Christmas gift to re-fit the beading, gave my A-rated off-spring a quick clean and descended one final time to safety.

How to decide if you are even going to bother to try and replace double glazing

Whilst this post is not a review, I should mention that all of the advice I gleaned from Steven K Sanderson was sound. And helpful. The Health & Safety nightmare I brought about was completely of my own doing, and I am sure Steven would discourage it . And wince at it.

He doesn’t even know about this post…although I may email him and tell him.

SO, If you too are thinking about replacing your own double glazing, I would say DO IT. You learn a lot about yourself.  You develop new skills. You bond with your partner and generally appreciate life as a result. Much like having a near death experience I suspect. Certainly if you live in a bungalow or have windows the size of a place mat, I would not even hesitate.

However, please note that any window changing you do, you do so AT YOUR OWN RISK.  I, this site, or my wife will not be held responsible or liable for any accident, death, injury, divorce, slipped disc, soiled underwear or wasted afternoon that may result.

In fact, you know what, send me your details, measurements and a sizeable donation and wifey and I will do them for you.

Time wasters/sash window owners need not apply.

©2013 Man in his pyjamas. All rights reserved.


  1. I think you are very brave and impressive to do this. I also particularly enjoyed your description of what it means to score unusually high on the autistic spectrum!

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