How to Make the Most of Bay and Bow Windows

How to Make the Most of Bay and Bow Windows
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    Widely known for their unique design, bay and bow windows can help boost a home's curb appeal, expand and maximize views and even increase floor space.


Widely known for their unique design, bay and bow windows can help boost a home’s curb appeal, expand and maximize views and even increase floor space.  

The Difference Between Bay and Bow Windows

Bay and bow windows are similar that they project outward from exterior walls. Because of this, both add elegance and grandeur to the space.

bay window message

However, they also differ in several ways. A bay window is made of three individual windows that form a polygonal shape. In the center is a fixed window, which is flanked by two operable units installed at 30°, 45°, 60°, or 90° angles.

Bow windows, on the other hand are typically composed of four to six windows, that when installed together form a graceful arch. They are usually larger than bay windows and thus have bigger glass areas.

Reasons to Choose a Bay or Bow Window

Bay and bow windows are typically associated with dramatic Victorian architecture. If your home has traditional architectural design, a bay or bow window will fit right in. That being said, bay and bow windows can also work well in  modern-style homes with the right hardware and design choices.

With bay and bow windows, you can enjoy:

  • Enhanced natural light and views.

    The design of bay and bow windows allows more light to enter your living space thanks to the fact that the windows are angled. It also allows for wider views outdoors.

bay windows

MORE WINDOWS, MORE LIGHT: Bay and bow windows let in light from multiple directions.

  • Additional storage or seating space.

    The angled or arched space that bay and bow windows create can make room for a bookcase or window seat — or even both. Talk about maximizing every inch of floor space!

  • Improved curb appeal.

    Any window replacement helps improve your home’s curb appeal. This is especially true if you are replacing broken, damaged or generally worn-out windows. However, bay and bow windows make for a distinct appeal that can speak volumes about your personal style and high regard for aesthetics.

  • Better energy efficiency.

    Most of today’s windows are equipped with energy-efficient features. Renewal by Andersen® replacement window frames are built from Fibrex®, a composite material that provides excellent insulation. When combined with our low-emissivity glass, the result is unparalleled energy efficiency for your new window.

  • Increased home value.

    By helping enhance your home’s curb appeal, increase usable space and boost your energy efficiency bay and bow windows are a great addition to your home that will increase its overall value.

bay and bow windows

ROYAL BEAUTY: Bay and bow windows are known for their distinct, grandiose appeal.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Bay or Bow Window for Your Home

To make the most out of bay and bow windows, take the following factor into consideration before making a purchase:

  • Available window opening.

    Some window replacement companies will not make structural modifications to the wall opening. Take note that these types of windows require large openings, and consult with your window contractor about what is possible.

  • Window brand.

    Make sure you get windows from a trusted manufacturer that not only provides top-notch products but comprehensive warranties as well.

  • Window installer.

    If not designed and installed correctly, bay and bow windows can potentially compromise indoor comfort and energy efficiency. The windows need to be properly installed and adequately insulated. You can only ensure this if you work with a certified window replacement company.

  • The other contractor.

    It’s up to you how to use the extra space that bay and bow windows will provide. Keep in mind that additional seating or storage solutions may have to be designed and constructed by a separate contractor.

Bay and Bow Window Design Ideas

bow windows

EXPANDED SILL: This can be used as a window seat or table without additional construction.

Bay and bow windows are naturally beautiful, but you can boost their appearance further. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

  • Play with grille patterns.

    Window grilles spell the difference between traditional- and contemporary-style windows. Consult your window company about the grille patterns they offer and recommend. Better yet, see if you can have the grillee customized according to your home’s style and theme.

  • Dress it up.

    Window treatments can spruce up the look of any window and they also work great for bay and bow windows.

  • Keep them functional.

    If the bay or bow window is in the bedroom, consider installing window seats or a reading corner. If it’s in the kitchen, you can turn the space into a breakfast nook

If you are looking to make the most of your window replacement investment, you can’t go wrong with bay or bow windows. With all the benefits they offer, they are highly cost-effective choices. If you are still unsure whether a bay or bow window is right for your home, don’t hesitate to consult a trusted window replacement professional in your area.

Author Bio:
Eric Minkiewicz is the president of Renewal by Andersen of Eastern New York. Passionate about his work, Eric still makes it a point to work in the field.  When not busy overseeing projects, he shares home improvement tips and other industry knowledge he knows through the company blog. Check it out for updates from Eric!

Image Credit: Pixabay

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