Your Guide to Bay and Bow Windows 

By: Architectural Visions

There are many different styles of windows that you can choose for your home, but among the most unique and architecturally stunning types are bay and bow windows. These are ideal styles of windows to give your house a custom look and create enjoyable functionality that really makes your home special.  

To help you understand these windows a bit better, here is a guide to bay and bow windows and what you should know before choosing this style of window for your home. 

Key Takeaways

  • Both bay and bow windows have multiple windows joined together, adding natural light and depth to a space
  • Typically, bay windows have three openings, while bow windows have four or five
  • Because of their size and materials, bow windows are usually more expensive than bay windows
  • Bay and bow windows offer many benefits, including extra room space, expansive views, and an area for a window seat
  • Bay windows are typically considered more modern while bow windows are thought to be more traditional

Similarities Between Bay and Bow Windows 

Both bay windows and bow windows open up your interior space and add depth to a room. They consist of multiple windows joined together and great for letting in more natural light and making your home more interesting from an architectural standpoint. Choose one of these window types if you want to feel like you have more living space without actually adding square footage to your home. They provide wonderful places to curl up with a good book, arrange houseplants so that they get plenty of light, or add a pet bed to give your furry friend a fun view to the outside world. 

Various types of materials can be used on both bay and bow windows, including wood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, or a combination of wood and fiberglass. There are also different grid options available for both window types, such as simulated divided lights, authentic divided lites, and grilles between glass.  

Differences Between Bay and Bow Windows  

Bay windows usually have three openings, while bow windows have four, five, or even more openings. Bow windows tend to take up more space than bay windows, which means that you’ll need a larger unobstructed area to install them on your home. Because of their size and additional materials, bow windows tend to be more expensive than bay windows. 

Bay windows are considered to be more modern because of their angular lines and flat planes of glass. Meanwhile, bow windows are more typically seen on traditional and historical architecture, such as Victorian houses. However, you can make either window work on a house if you are aiming for a transitional style that blends the best aspects of old and new design.  

Benefits of Bay and Bow Windows  

In case you can’t tell, we love bay and bow windows here at AVI and think they are excellent options for many homes in our region! Here are the top benefits of bay and bow windows to think about when it’s time to update your house:  

  • Architectural interest 
  • Increased curb appeal 
  • More natural light  
  • Extra room space 
  • A cozy nook with a window seat 
  • Expansive views to the outside 

Installing Bay and Bow Windows  

Unlike simpler styles of windows, such as classic double-hung models, the installation of bay and bow windows usually requires professional attention. This installation process can be quite complex and go beyond the skillset of most DIY enthusiasts. Depending on how your home is built, installation might require major structural work, such as widening the window opening and building supports for the increased weight – all before hoisting the very heavy materials into place. 

At AVI, we offer professional installation services so that you know your bay or bow window is a perfect fit and maximizes energy efficiency. We stand by all of our bay and bow window installation projectand offer our customers a 10-year installation warranty to give you peace of mind that the job was done right. After installing your windows, we continue to provide ongoing support by answering any questions you have about caring for and maintaining the quality of your new bay or bow window.  

Alternatives to Bay and Bow Windows  

If you decide that bay and bow windows aren’t for you, the architectural style of your home, space constraints, or another reason, there are other ways that you can enjoy some of the benefits these windows offer. If your goal is to add architectural interest to your home, you might choose a special shape window to give your home more personality instead, especially if you’re trying to fit a new window into a challenging area. If you want a room to have more natural light, you might opt for a scenic door that offers panoramic views or a skylight instead of installing a bay or bow window.  

Upgrading your home with a bay or bow window is a big decision, and we are here to help. Request your free in-home or online consultation with an AVI expert today to find out whether one of these beautiful window styles is right for you!  

Interested in learning more about other window types AVI has to offer?