Skip to main content

Bay Windows Vs. Bow Windows

Bay Windows Vs. Bow Windows

In the world of replacement windows there can be quite a few options to consider. Two very popular kinds are the bay and the bow window. While these two windows do have some similarities they also have differences that make each unique. So before deciding which is right for you it is important to understand the details that set bay windows apart from bow windows.

Both of these options are beautiful and offer a level of modern elegance. Plus, the larger sized window means an enlarged view. In fact this is one of the main advantages homeowners have when opting for bow or bay windows over traditional flat styles. You get a larger overall viewing area than would otherwise be possible by option to go with either of these window styles.

The reason for this is that these windows protrude or extend out past the exterior of the home. This arc or angled arc creates space as well. This space inside the home may be used for housing plants, creating a window seat or be left open. Plus, this additional interior space helps to create the feel and illusions that the room is larger than it is.

How are They the Same and Different?

Bay windows are probably the more common and more popular option but bow windows are quickly closing the gap on that lead in recent years. The bay style is made up of three windows of varying sizes with the middle window being larger than the two side windows. These smaller side windows are called flankers and are angled to where they meet the wall at 30-40 degrees.

Usually these are made up of double hung windows in order to get the right amount of ventilation. This is a great option for a large window with unobstructed views that also serves as a good source of ventilation for the room. So what's different about bow windows?

Bow windows are comprised of anywhere from three to six windows that are all the same size. This design element is what gives bow windows the curved look and feel while bay windows are more sharp and angular. This also ensures the homeowner that they will get the ventilation needed. However, to create the bow window with the ventilation you want this may impact the amount of hardware required which will impact the level of unobstructed view you get.

Either way, realtors and builders will tell you that a well installed bay or bow window means an increase in the property value of your home. It tends to become the focal point of the home that catches the eye of a potential buyer. This can literally become the selling point of a home.

Determining Factors

There are of course details that go into the custom design of each kind that make all the difference. For instance the larger the window the better the view. However if you choose to use multiple smaller square framed windows within the design than the view becomes more obstructed again.

A bay window is usually a picture window on the center with smaller windows on the side. So the view may be better. This style also usually protrudes farther from the wall as opposed to bow windows; the end result is slightly more interior space.

On the other hand, bow windows often allow more natural light into the home. More glass panes in the design are what makes the difference. Plus, if you are looking for a unique feature to wrap around the side of your home, a bow window is just the thing.

Obviously the cost of either of these windows is greater than a traditional window but the trade off are all the great benefits you get in return. Some homeowners assume more glass means higher utility bills. The truth of the matter is that it all comes down to the quality of window panes you use.

Optioning for single pane, inferior quality glass may cost less up front but will hurt you on the monthly bills. On the flip side, opting for double hung, quality brand windows will be more of an upfront investment but help ease the cost of heating and cooling bills every month.

Want To Join Our Featured Contractors?

Fill out Our Online Request Form