I'm Broke and So Is My Neighbor's Window!

Updated on September 12, 2009
M.G. asks from Denver, CO
11 answers

My dog just fell through our neighbor's window well and shattered the glass. We are not in a great financial position right now, so we are looking for a cheap fix. Any suggestions?

On the plus side, the dog is just fine.

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So What Happened?

Unfortunately the neighbors are unwilling to claim it. I'm not sure why. Oh, I KNOW I have to pay! I just need a reputable, AFFORDABLE place to do it.

Wow Tara aren't you the judgmental one!!!! I was not asking for financial advise for my personal home. How do you know how I live? How do you know that we aren't already sacrificing things and eating healthy and not buying JUNK FOOD which has nothing to do with finding a person to repair a window by the way. If you look up here on my what happened section, you will see I was asking for a reputable place to fix the window, so in response to your question, YES I WOULD BE WILLING TO MAKE A CHEAP FIX AS LONG AS IT WAS FIXED!!!! You really have some nerve, DON'T YOU!!!!

My dog was not harming anyone, he often comes with me to visit the neighbor. He was sniffing around the side of the house, the window well HAD a cover on it, however, it was not attached properly. He fell through and I am grateful he didn't get hurt, but I do feel it is our responsibility to fix it, since he is a large dog (boxer) and shouldn't have been snooping around. My neighbor is not being mean, or demanding about it, they are very understanding, and was concerned about the dog. Like I said, I just want to help make things right, and find an affordable way to do it.

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answers from Fort Collins on

M. -- I see you've already had several responses, but I just wanted to throw another idea out there for you. If it is a standard window, you can order a replacement at Home Depot, Lowes, or another home improvement store. Then post on Craigslist for help installing it. In today's economy, you will most likely be able to find someone willing to do it cheep or for labor trade. If you have a lot of friends, you might find one who can do it themselves. It actually isn't that hard if the window is standard. You might find that less expensive than a pro. Good luck.

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answers from Boston on

They probably don't want to claim it as they would have to first pay the deductible in cash themselves- anywhere from $500-$5000 depending on their plan and probably on the higher side if they are trying for an affordable yearly rate. And, you really don't ever want to file a homeowners claim unless you absolutely are in big trouble. Once you file, you can have your policy cancelled and a new one could cost hundreds more dollars a year, every year from then on, IF you can get someone to cover you.

Sadly, you do owe them the money. When they get it fixed, ask them if you can divide the bill into "x" number of weekly payments and don't miss a single one. Maybe they'll agree to that if you religiously meet your end of the deal.



answers from Colorado Springs on

Yikes. These things are always so hard with neighbors. Relationship is so much more important than money. I think I am understanding you to say that your dog fell in their window well, and in his fall, broke the window. Is that right? If so, I would say that the homeowner is negligent by not having window well covers. What if this was your toddler instead of your dog? I think that if the dog had been hurt rather than the window broken, everyone would be looking at this differently. Homeowners are required to keep their home safe for others. Did you offer to pay? Or, did they suggest that you owe them? Have you talked with them about this yet? Perhaps, in the interest of peace, you can agree to share the expense. But, unless your dog was out of control and was being a nuisance, the responsibility is on them.



answers from Denver on

Call around to a couple glass companies in the area. Most will provide a ballpark figure over the phone if you have an approx window size. Since it's a basement, it will be fairly large, my guess $300 or so. And it should just be a matter of getting the panes replaced, not an entire new window unit.




answers from Pocatello on

Would it be fair to do a cheap fix if they or their dog/child broke something of yours? See what you can sell, stop buying, cut out. Tv is not a necessity, cut the phone bill down. There is a way, no more junk food. There are needs and wants, figure out what your needs are and get rid of the wants and you will find the money to repair it. I broke a glass window door at work goofing around with some coworkers when I was younger. I felt so stupid but it was my responsiblity. The manager even tried to get it so the company would cover it but that was wrong as it was my fault.

Go talk to them and find out if you can do a trade or if your married your spouse has some skills to trade for labor.

Sorry you have a stress to deal with but most of the time we do have ways but don't want to sacrifice our wants to do it.

To some who say it's the home owners fault... what happened to taking responsibility for our own actions?



answers from Salt Lake City on

be upfront and honest with them and work out a payment plan. in all honesty though if they don't have a fence up you aren't actually liable for the window. I think it is awesome you are taking responsibility but if they don't have window well covers and no fence around the house protecting they couldn't do much to make you pay anything. if it had been a kid that had fallen they'd be freaking out you would be suing but since its a dog people tend to think differently although its the same concept. again I think it is awesome you are paying, but with that said tell them your financial situation is strapped right now and see if you can work out some kind of arrangement. possibly splitting the cost 50/50?



answers from Colorado Springs on

shoot, who is in a great financial position? lol
Can you offer to work off the cost of them replacing the window? Babysit, clean house, make dinners... My kids get the option to replace with cash or to work off the cost w/sweat equity when they break somebody else's something-more often than not, they choose sweat.
I had to replace a basement window pane-it was single pane & ended up being about $20 I think. The son that broke it had to help me wash windows. Nobody likes to wash windows, perhaps you can wash theirs for them?
If they can't afford the fix either, offer to buy some plywood for a temporary fix & set up a payment plan with them-maybe you cover a portion (what you can afford) & they cover the rest, then you pay back the rest to them. It's great that they were worried about the dog rather than the window & I agree w/the ones who said the homeowners are liable for it. But I'd also feel responsible & I'm assuming these will be your neighbors for a long time, so I'd at least offer to pay for it.



answers from Denver on

Did the neighbor have window well covers and or a fence? Sounds like they are partially responsible for not having these things to protect children and animals. They or you should be able to handle it with your homeowner's insurance and just pay the deductible if that is less than the cost of the window. I might talk to them about spliting the responsibility since your dog was on their property it was part your fault, but if they did not have window well covers or a fence it is also part their fault. I would be careful not making part of the arrangement they need to put up these safety precautions or it could happen again and next time I would hate for it to be a child or your dog injured. You could play hardball and take them to court and prove it was your fault. Sounds like they were negligent for not having the proper protection to keep things out and safe on their property.


answers from Great Falls on

I would look into that a bit further with your homeowner's insurance and theirs. Since they do not have a cover over it that may be something that you don't have to pay for. I would call your insurance and ask.



answers from Denver on

Does your neighbor have homeowners insurance?

I'm wondering if maybe your homeowners insurance would cover it?
If not, I would get three different estimates and take those over to the neighbors and decide together which one would work and if you could possibly make payments???

ps-I am glad the dog is ok :)



answers from Provo on

Perhaps you could help them with help around the house and yard in exchange for the cost of the window.

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