How Much Does It Cost To Repair Old Window Pane Glazing A Double-Pane Window With A Single Pane Of Glass

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Glazing A Double-Pane Window With A Single Pane Of Glass

At the glass repair company I work for in Philadelphia, PA, we get a call at least once a week from a business or homeowner with a broken double-pane window asking if we can replace it with a single-pane.

Why, you ask, would anyone want to replace a double-paned window with a single one? There are two reasons for this. One is the time factor. Double-glazed windows (also called thermal or insulated windows) must be custom-ordered and typically take five to ten working days to manufacture, while installing a single pane of glass in the opening is something that a lot can be done. same day The other reason is cost. As you might imagine, a double-glazed window is more expensive. After all, a single glass is just that. On the contrary, a thermal window, in addition to having, obviously, two panes, also has a lot of technology incorporated. And the technology is not cheap. Replacing large double-glazed windows can be a significant expense.

When it comes to the actual work, converting a double-pane commercial window to a single-pane is a relatively simple matter. For modern storefront glazing (known as “flush glaze”), manufacturers sell a simple converter system that drops into the existing frame and reconfigures it to a single-pane width. Converting a residential window, however, is a different story. Residential frames and frames are designed to hold a double-glazed window (known as a “unit”) of a very specific thickness, and due to the proprietary nature of residential windows and, no doubt, a general lack of demand , there is no converter system. for this task. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. And well done, at that.

On a fairly regular basis I run into a homeowner or, more commonly, an apartment dweller who, for one reason or another, is absolutely adamant that they need their double-glazed window repaired that same day. It is for these customers that I have developed the following method of making this repair, the result of which is semi-permanent (easily reversible) and has an airtight, watertight seal.

After removing and disassembling the sash, you then unglaze from the old thermal unit, a single piece of plate glass that is 3/16 or 1/4 inch thick (as opposed to the two pieces of 5/32 inch typically found in residential thermal windows) is cut to a size that fits snugly in the sash and laid flat on a continuous bead of silicone inside the outer side of the frame. 1/16 inch thick neoprene mounting blocks are attached to the edge of the glass, two per side. These act as a very effective buffer between the glass and the sash and prevent the glass from moving in any direction.

A second silicone bead is then placed around the edge of the inner side of the glass. Finally, a series of small carefully sized wooden blocks (usually two or three for each side) are wedged between the inner side of the sash and the glass, forcing the glass snug against the outer side of the sash. At this point, the window is then reinstalled. After the silicone cures in 72 hours, the customer removes the wooden blocks and that’s it.

I have been doing this type of window repair for almost 15 years and have never had a call back or a complaint. There are, however, two caveats that must be explained to the client before they agree to do the work. The first is obvious: they lose the thermal properties of having a double-paned window. The second is that although the window will look the same from the outside, there will actually be a 1/2 to 3/4 inch gap inside the sash. After all, if you put a 1/4 piece of glass into an opening that measures 7/8 inch, you still have a difference of 5/8 inch. As it is, the inside of the sash is the same color as the outside, so the visual difference is negligible.

And there you have it.

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