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Commercial Window Costs

Commercial windows usually cost more than residential windows and are more expensive to install. The average replacement cost for a regular storefront window is between $650 to $1,500. A good rule of thumb to work to use is $20-$25 per square foot but this is only the unit price, it does not include labor charges.

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Labor costs for installation

Metal clad windows are about $32 per square foot to install whereas commercial aluminum windows are approximately $48 per square foot. Work on an average of $45 per square foot.

What factors influence the size of commercial windows?

Many of these factors are common to residential windows as well but not all.

  • Size of window
  • The type of glass, privacy, reinforced or self-cleaning
  • The material for the frame
  • The color of the frame
  • Thermal efficiency
  • Durability
  • The brand or manufacturer
  • Security features in terms of both glazing and window furniture
  • Additional features like anti-glare technology, soundproofing or highly reflective glazing
  • Fire resistant properties
  • Any health and safety requirements for employees and the public
  • Accessibility and the difficulty of installation, say working at height on an office block
  • The type of business – an office block will have totally different glazing requirements compared to a retail unit or shop
  • Location – zip code will affect unit prices to some degree and labor costs

Checkout this video which explains some of the different types of commercial window systems:

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How do commercial windows differ from residential windows?

Commercial windows are often bulkier and larger than those for residential properties, they are built using more material, they are more durable and are likely to employ advanced window technologies depending on the style of the business.

Commercial windows also need to be able to withstand the specific demands of the building and the business, from glazing in factories which contain manufacturing processes with chemicals to windows in high end retail outlets.

The right choice of glazing for a commercial business

The range of glazing chosen by domestic householders is not nearly as varied as the commercial glazing requirements of different businesses. Much of what is needed will be dictated by the business itself and the type of building it occupies.

Imagine a high-end jeweler’s shop. The premises are ground floor, so security is really important even though the display trays are removed when the business is not open. This business may require:-

  • High quality glazing that is easy to clean or self-clean, so the windows are totally transparent all the time and there are no smudges or marks
  • Anti-glare or highly reflective glass so the jewellery items are not compromised by the spotlighting when people view through the window
  • Security features to protect valuable stock which might include double or triple glazing, window locks, alarms and steel shutters at night

Compare this to the completely different requirements of a business located in an office block or which is not customer facing and doesn’t display a product.

What type of windows are used in commercial buildings?

The most suitable types of window and the most commonly used are:-

  • Fiberglass windows
  • Vinyl windows
  • Aluminum windows
  • Aluminum-clad windows
  • Composite wood windows

How to reduce the costs of commercial windows?

These rules can also apply to residential properties.

  • Install cheaper glass
  • Fit smaller windows if they are not essential for display purposes for the business
  • Reduce the scope of the project so fit fewer windows or plan the work in stages
  • If windows are not necessary in a particular location, then consider getting rid of them – this can improve security and also the thermal efficiency of the building but there may be aesthetic restrictions and also planning requirements to consider

What are the advantages of installing new windows in a commercial building?

Outdated windows can hugely impact the appearance of a commercial building; if you are a retail outlet then this could negatively affect footfall but building owners may even find this puts off businesses looking to rent units for office purposes.

Old windows are also less energy efficient so a business looking to purchase or take on a lease may be concerned about their energy costs.

Here are some of the advantages to installing new windows in a commercial building:-

  • The design aesthetic is improved, this is really important for public facing businesses but will also enhance the environment for current employees making it a nicer place to work
  • Thermal regulation can be significantly improved especially if the existing windows are old and ill-fitting. This can help save heating and cooling costs and make a big difference to the company bank balance
  • New technologies mean there are loads of features to take advantage of depending on the requirements of the individual business. These include added security, self-cleaning glass, tinted glass for privacy, anti-glare coatings and reflective glass. Glazing can be used to improve both the staff and any customer experience and in retail, it is literally your shop window

 Frequently Asked Questions

Why are commercial windows more expensive than residential units?

Commercial windows are usually larger which is one reason why they cost more. Also, they are more likely to have different colored frames or tints to the glass and special features including extra security compared to units on a residential property.

Can I put residential windows into a commercial unit to save money?

Commercial windows are usually stronger for maximum security and also bigger, so they have to be structurally capable of carrying a greater load i.e. the glass. Residential windows are not designed with these capacities in mind and so are usually not suitable for installation in commercial buildings.

What is the average cost of commercial window cleaning?

On average across the States, it costs between $5.50 - $14.46 per window for commercial window cleaning. Self-cleaning glass can help reduce the burden on businesses, but this depends to some degree on whether the windows are an important element of the business and how large they are.