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Commercial vs Residential Windows: What's the Difference?


Whether you're in a tiny one-floor office or a towering block of flats, a window is just a window, right? Well, not exactly.

The windows in your workplace are actually quite different from the ones in your home, more so than you might think. This largely boils down to their design and purpose.

At Alimax, we design, manufacture, and supply trade customers with both commercial and residential windows. Below, we'll dive into the main differences between these two types.

1. Design and Appearance

Residential windows are typically designed with aesthetics first and foremost, with the goal of elevating the overall look of a home. They come in a variety of styles, such as casement or vertical sliding, to complement the home's architectural design and personal tastes of its owners.

Commercial windows, on the other hand, are primarily functional and are designed to meet the specific needs of a building. They may have a more utilitarian appearance, prioritising factors like energy efficiency, security, and durability over aesthetics. This isn't universal, however - in customer-facing businesses like retail stores, large, sweeping windows are often used to showcase products or catch the eyes of passersby.

2. Size and Shape

Residential windows are usually smaller in size compared to commercial windows. They're designed to provide natural light and ventilation to individual rooms in a home. Some may even have non-standard shapes like circles or hexagons, both for aesthetic reasons and to better fit into smaller wall sizes.

Commercial windows need to illuminate larger spaces within buildings, so they're often larger and cover more extensive areas. They may include features like storefront windows or curtain walls that span entire building facades.

3. Energy Efficiency

Residential windows are now increasingly designed with energy efficiency in mind. They incorporate features like double or triple glazing, low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings, and insulated frames to reduce their U-value and, in turn, lower energy consumption in homes. Even in traditional or rustic-style houses, many homeowners are choosing to replace old timber windows with modern 'Heritage'-style alternatives. These maintain the classic appearance while offering vastly improved energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency is a major consideration in commercial buildings as well, but the focus may be on different aspects, such as heat gain or loss control, depending on the building's use. Commercial windows may also incorporate advanced HVAC and lighting systems as part of a holistic energy-efficient design.

4. Security

Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, which is why residential windows are equipped with locks strong enough to deter most intruders. However, they usually lack the more expensive ultra-secure systems found in commercial windows. This is because businesses with valuable inventory or sensitive information require windows that can withstand determined burglars. Commercial window frames are typically constructed from stronger, pry-resistant materials, feature advanced locking mechanisms, and may be connected to alarm systems. This provides better protection against smash-and-grab attempts.

5. Cost

Residential windows tend to be more affordable per square foot compared to commercial windows, as they are typically smaller and have fewer specialised features. Commercial windows, with their larger sizes, extra security features, and specific requirements, can be more expensive on a per-unit basis.

Premium Aluminium Windows for Homes and Businesses

At Alimax, quality craftsmanship is at the heart of everything we do. We manufacture stunning bespoke windows and doors to realise your unique vision, whether for a stylish new home or sleek commercial building.

Our premium metal, combined with our cutting-edge equipment, results in striking yet ultra-durable windows that are built to last. We offer an array of custom options, from contemporary sliders to classic casements, in sizes and configurations to match your exact specifications.

Let our design team turn your dream into reality. Get a quote online or call us on 01425 205465 today!