Fourtitude.com - Double vs. single pane windows (in the Chicago-land area, where weather is a factor)
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    1. 11-09-2016 06:17 PM #1
      The wife and I are looking to buy a home. We found a nice property, and everything is just as we wanted, with exception to the windows. From what I can tell, the windows appear single pane (which is somewhat unusual given that the home was built in 1993), and they have the exposed spring channel balance along both sides of the window (for sliding them up/down). Given that we live in the Chicago area, I would prefer double pane windows, as they would better insulate air inside the home during summer and winter. Not only would the temperature be more stable inside, but we would save money on energy cost, and have less noise from the outside.

      Is there anything I may be missing in determining if the windows are single vs. double pane? I look at the edge, and there is no second glass piece on any of the windows (our current windows are more modern, so I know how the double pane windows should look). Given that this home is close to the most we wish to spend on a purchase, I don't want to assume the ordeal and cost of replacing windows in a two-story home. If they are single pane windows, should I consider this a deal breaker?

      One option, which I have not yet pursued as we have not yet made a formal bid, was to try and negotiate down the price of the home, and use the difference to replace windows (if they are single pane). I don't know how much the previous owner is willing to negotiate, as they are selling it for almost what they had purchased it earlier this year, and allegedly done some upgrades to the inside. It is, however, one option worth considering, if necessary.

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    3. Member bubuski's Avatar
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      11-11-2016 11:10 AM #2
      Is it the first property ownership for you or your wife? I wish you both the best of luck.

      Your are right. Looking at the glass panes at the edge(called sash) is the way to determine the number of panes. Multiple glass panes have air gap between them. There are windows without the airspace(laminated glass) but they are for sound reduction.



      1993 is not too old of a home(Mine is 1996) so I'm surprised your potential home has spring channel balance on the windows. They were phased out much earlier in the Toronto area along with single pane windows. Double pane windows is definitely a worth while upgrade both for energy efficiency and occupancy comfort. Ask the seller if they can provide copies of the utilities for the past year...you'll can see consumption to calculate if the property is an energy hog from lack of double pane windows.

      Asking for price reduction can be a deal breaker if the property is priced right and Chicago is a seller real estate market. In the Toronto metro area, we have a seller's market so it will be a non-issue for the buyer.

      I'll also get a home inspection if I was considering the property. Selling for about thesame price within a year does raise some questions so I'll be curious if there are hidden issues with the property. You'll also be approaching the useful service life of a few things ... roof shingles, water heater, a/c, furnace etc.
      Last edited by bubuski; 11-11-2016 at 11:12 AM.

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      11-19-2016 03:54 PM #3
      I'm in Chicago and had a place in WI with single pane windows. I would certainly either make sure the asking prices accounts for it or ask for a sizeable reduction in price. Single pane is terrible in this climate. Your heating and AC bills will be high and it may be difficult to keep rooms with large amounts of glazing comfortable. I would also check the window frames themselves for rot (if they're wood) as my windows would get ice on the inside every winter. This would then thaw and damage the wood sills.
      "If you buy a tiger, you have to feed it."

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    6. 11-23-2016 05:33 AM #4
      Provided that they are in descent shape and you have storms it is deff. not a deal breaker and in a competitive market i would not count on any real discount on the house.

      Most heat escape trough the roof and in most climates the financial savings by changing windows is simply not there.

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