Selling a single pane windowed house?

sphinxfaceApril 15, 2008

Could you do it?

I've been hearing a lot about this over remodeling, where you don't really get anything out of the resale by spending tons of money remodeling...

obviously single pane isn't really energy efficient and probably should be replaced, but would we benefit from replacing them before selling the house?

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Your windows add value to the house because of the character of them.
Vinyl replacement windows are crap and you'll be sorry if you think about putting them in.
Do a search on windows here and you'll see lots of conversations regarding the efficiency of wood windows and how to make them more efficient.
You can start by getting good storm windows to help with air insulation.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 1:50PM
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I agree with happy. Don't replace them. If you want them to be really energy efficient, add storm windows as was suggested. I've had three houses with wood windows and storms and will never go back to new "energy efficient" windows. I love my wavy glass windows and my energy savings!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 3:42PM
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Ditto. If they're in excellent repair and have good storm windows, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a house with single-pane windows. They add so much to the appearance and character of an old house. PO installed replacement windows and although they'd be fine on a new house they just look so very wrong on this circa 1900 house - neighboring houses of the same style have their original windows and they just fit the appearance so much better. If windows really must be replaced, they should be replaced with windows of identical appearance, which can get very expensive and almost certainly will not be recouped in the sale price unless you paid a pittance for the property and are in a good selling market.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 5:40PM
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Please do not change out your windows assuming they are the original wood windows. Even if you don't have storms, leave them alone. Vinyl is garbage. I agree with all comments that the character of the house is made by the windows. If you don't have storms, it only costs about $80-90 in my area to have a storm made.

Leave the wood alone.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 8:19PM
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I would never buy an antique house with replacement windows. The flat look ruins the depth of feeling that "real" windows have and once done it is soooooo expensive to replace them.

Also, as someone who has sold a house in this awful market -- don't spend ANY money beyond cleaning, decluttering and freshing up because you will NOT see it back unless you live in one of the few areas not affected.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 12:44AM
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Just as an aside to the above points....if you still are adamant on replacing the windows, make sure that you keep the original windows and store them in the attic.
You're buyer will appreciate it as he curses your name for taking them out in the first place.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 2:11PM
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try the website for a detailed discussion on why you should save your wood windows.

Our old house came with vinyl replacement windows, maybe 10 years old. 10 years later they are falling apart. The original single pane windows and wood storms on the glassed-in porch are in fine shape.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 5:02PM
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I am guessing that you haven't gotten bids to replace the windows in your house. When you do, the astronomical bids will help you answer your own question. In short, you will not come anywhere close to breaking even: no buyer is going to pay the extra 10's of thousands of dollars it will cost you to redo the windows.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 2:31AM
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All of these responses are very interesting to me. Everyone seems to be assuming that the windows at issue are antique wood windows, but I didn't see that in the OP. If the windows are say, from a 1964 house, would your responses change?

We have HUGE 8-foot high, 10-foot wide single pane windows in our living room (and all the other windows in our house are original vintage, too). Might as well be living in a tent for all the weather resistance we get from those windows. Most of the houses in our neighborhood have had their old single panes replaced with double panes, but when you replace windows in our locale, the codes require that the picture windows be replaced with operable windows. I'm not sure I like that idea. Should I replace to improve energy efficiency or chalk it up to living in a time warp?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 6:47PM
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I totaling disagrree. After installing and replacing a Pella wood bay that was only 8 years old I stayed away from the young wood/lumber, it's junk.
When I sell my home I will be showing & selling ($$) my low power bills & my beautiful triple pane vinyls in cherry. The more layers you wear the warmer you our:)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 11:35PM
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