When the next item on your project to-do list is picking commercial windows for your building, there are many factors to take into consideration, including durability, material, glass type, color, textures and more.

Read on to ensure you’re up-to-date on your commercial window options.

What To Have in Mind When Choosing the Best Window Design and Configuration


The average lifespan of a window depends on a lot of factors. Wear and tear, frame material, geographical region and climate all play a part in a commercial window’s lifespan. Make sure to choose a window type with high resilience to natural damages from weather and moisture to ensure the highest ROI.

Not all windows are made equally so it of course makes sense that a high-quality material will last longer than a cheaper-quality material. So, what are the best materials?


Similar to commercial siding, the window material needs to be suitable for the weather conditions of the area. Traditional wood has the tendency to attract pests, contract and expand in fluctuating temperatures, and can absorb moisture and rot. Aluminum tends to visibly chip or dent and also faces corrosion and fading.

Moisture-resistant materials such as vinyl, wood-resin composite and fiberglass hold up well in wet and cold climates. Choosing windows with high resistance to temperature transference is a must for cooler areas. Look for windows with U-values of 0.30 or lower for the best insulation (the lower the U-Value, the more energy-efficient the window will be).

Fiberglass windows are one of the most durable materials available, but they come with a hefty price point. Vinyl windows are an affordable and functional option as they don’t require any painting, staining or refinishing. And they are great for saving money on energy bills due to their energy efficiency.


When it comes to commercial buildings, energy-efficient windows can make a huge difference when it comes to the heating and cooling costs of a building. In many areas, a specific R-value is required for a window to be installed on a commercial building.

Often neglected, windows are a constant drain to operating costs. If you choose windows with leaky seals and poor emissivity ratings, it’s going to cost your client money. 

There is also no denying that energy-efficient commercial windows increase property value. Studies have shown that efficient and green commercial properties have higher sale prices, rental prices and overall asset valuation. It’s an initial investment that will reap huge rewards. 

Energy-efficient commercial properties also help keep temperatures warm in the winter and cool in the summer, improving the comfortability of all tenets. When tenants are comfortable, they tend to stay put. Happy tenets mean more occupied space and fewer vacancies (and more profit in your client’s pocket).

Window Types and Styles Available

When choosing window types and styles, it’s important to have various styles and configurations available, so find a manufacturer that offers a range or that will create a custom option. Make sure to focus on both the interior and exterior for window customization.

From single-hung to double-hung, casement to sliding, the options should be endless to fit your artistic dream.


Warranty offerings are important because it shows which manufacturers believe in their product. Different manufacturers have widely varying warranties, so pay special attention to whether the warranty offered on your product selections will fit you and your client’s needs. Some warranties are limited to new builds, while others cater to replacement projects. 

Always read the fine print and always double-check on installation warranties.

Glass Quality Options 

The glass quality of window materials is often overlooked. The quality of your glass is especially important for projects located in noisy neighborhoods, projects where there’ll be high foot traffic and luxury buildings.

The STC (sound transmission class) for commercial building windows is a minimum of 40-45. However, as the window’s surface area increases, so should the STC. This should be in conjunction with an exterior wall rating of at least 50 STC. 

You should also think about the level of privacy your commercial space needs. For a retail project, you don’t want tinted glass because you want customers to be able to see into the window displays. But, for a place of employment or for a high-security establishment, you may want to go with darker glass.

The high-quality glass you choose should also be easy to clean and shouldn’t fog up with condensation. 

Local Code Compliance

Before you make any large purchases, always make sure the windows are compliant with all local building codes. Window codes get more strict every year, so you should always double-check that your top window contender meets the correct codes for noise pollution, energy efficiency, size, stability, etc.

Opening Systems

Be sure to pay special attention to the opening systems in windows. Make sure the locking system is secure and easily operational, the sashes tilt at the correct angles, and that all highly elevated windows open in a safe and secure way to keep all tenants and occupants out of harm’s way. 


A multi-story commercial building under construction, featuring a large number of black-framed glass windows, walls and doors from Paradigm.


Getting Custom Solutions

If normal offerings like double-hung, bow & bay or casement windows aren’t blowing you away, make sure to ask whether a particular product can be customized for your commercial project. Custom windows are an excellent way to get the exact style you want at the exact size you need for your project’s specifications. 

From the right manufacturer, customized windows do not have to compromise on quality. They should have the same glass quality, warranty, durability, energy efficiency and maintenance as their regular window offerings and be compliant with all geographical building codes. 

Depending on the project, various sizes and styles can be used on the same project based on the needs and preferences of the client, and custom solutions will let you be as creative as possible. Plus, you’ll be sure the installation goes smoothly because it’ll be custom-made to your building’s exact specifications.


A view from behind a splash pad of the corner of a five-story commercial building with white brick on the bottom floor and vertical wood cladding on the top.


How Paradigm Can Help 

Paradigm Windows is a one-stop-shop for high-quality, custom window solutions. We have a wide range of window configurations and styles that will fit every need and every project, with a plethora of colors, finishes and tiers.

We do not compromise on quality for any type of product, and we stand behind every solution with an industry-leading warranty on all of our products. We triple-glaze our windows and offer our innovative NEAT+ glass solution as an option for our entire 8-series product line-up.

Interested in learning more about Paradigm Windows and where you can purchase? Find a local dealer near you to get started today.