Should I buy a house with double-pane insulated glass windows that are clouded?
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
If you are buying a house that is between 10 and 25 years old with double-pane insulated windows, the home inspector may call out several—or many—of the windows as clouded and missing their insulating gas. Sometimes even newer homes will have a few clouded windows. By the time the cloudiness is clearly evident the gas has been gone for a while, and careful examination of all the windows may show that many of them are failing.
It is not unusual for ten windows to be tagged and, if the fogging is minor, you might think the inspector is just being picky. These just-beginning-to-fog windows may not present much of a problem visually, but the cloudiness will progress over the next several years until the glass is totally obscure like a bathroom window. The insulation value, although not a lot, is also already gone.
A standard per-window average for replacement windows is $450, so ten windows would be $4,500. The rough estimate does not work, unfortunately, when there are tall, very large, or fan-top windows, or non-standard sizes. This can easily add a couple of thousand dollars to the cost. So it is best to get an actual price quote from a local contractor when there are more than a few insulated windows that have failed.
Because the windows will eventually be totally completely obscure, the problem will gradually become impossible to ignore and will negatively affect the value of the home, so you should decide before buying whether you are willing to accept this defect and deal with the expense later, request repair or a price reduction, or walk away from the home.
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To learn more about doors and windows, see these other blog posts:
How To Look At A House
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