Houston Residential Glass Vs. Commercial Glass

If you are planning to replace the windows in your commercial building or residence, you should realize that the requirements for the two types of buildings differ. Understanding the distinction between commercial and residential windows will help you select the correct replacements for your building from a Houston glass company.

The two window types are not interchangeable. Using Houston residential glass on a commercial building could cause structural problems. Commercial windows are custom-tailored to fit, and glaziers require frames and tools to hang them correctly.

Glass comes in various performance grades as rated by the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS), including R (residential), LC (light commercial), CW (commercial window) and AW (architectural window). LC, CW and AW have reinforced glazing and thicker frames.

Here are some more differences.

  • Commercial windows must be able to withstand the force of higher winds. Residences are rarely more than 3 stories high, and they are usually surrounded by other buildings. Their windows are smaller and do not have to be as durable. Taller buildings, especially skyscrapers, have large windows that do not enjoy the protection of nearby buildings. They can be battered by very high winds, rain and hail. Therefore, the glass has to be stronger on a commercial building. The windows must also provide more structural support for the building than the windows in a residence.
  • Residential windows do not have to deflect the sun’s energy. Commercial buildings have computers, lights and many workers and customers generating heat. Their large windows must deflect the sunlight to some degree to avoid running the cooling system constantly. Various coatings are available depending on the building’s needs.
  • Commercial window frames are heavier and more expensive to build. They are made from extruded aluminum. The glass costs more, and the installation process can be intricate and time consuming. Residential window frames are made from vinyl, fiberglass, wood or wood with aluminum cladding. In some cases, specialized equipment and cranes are required to hang commercial windows. This makes them too costly for most residential applications.
  • There are only about six residential glass options, but there are hundreds of commercial glazing choices. A designer has a wider range of possibilities when working with commercial glass.

Contact Northwest Glass and Mirror at 281-463-7801 if you are planning to replace the windows in a residential home or commercial building. We specialize in any glass product you might need, such as doors, shower enclosures, tabletops, shelving and Houston residential mirrors. We are also available for emergency calls.