A full window replacement makes sense, especially if your current windows are old, damaged, or out of style. This home upgrade, however, requires careful planning and consideration, which is easier said than done when you do it on your own. Working with a professional contractor helps ensure the success of this home improvement project. The expertise of the pros proves to be of great importance, as well, since they can guide you in choosing the right type of window for each room for your home.
As you browse through different window selections for your replacement project, you’ll likely encounter bay and bow windows. These are two classic choices that are hard to beat compared to other styles. But what’s the difference between the two and why should you get either one for your home? STL Windows Direct provides an in-depth look.
A bay window consists of at least three windows that are placed in outward projections, which are commonly at around 90-, 135- and 150-degree angles. They’re installed beyond the exterior wall of your home, with their overall structure consisting of a picture window with two other smaller windows on either side. Since they protrude outward from the home, they create an additional room or “bay”.
The earliest references to bay windows date back to medieval times and are found in Arabic dwellings. Around the 15th-17th century, particularly the Renaissance period, they were referred to as “oriel” windows, which are bay windows that extend from a building’s wall but don’t touch the ground. These were typically placed at the end of a great hall in mansions. They were also mostly found in churches during the Gothic period. Today, they’re easily recognized with traditional home architecture, making them one of the most iconic window styles.
These are similar to bay windows in some aspects, but instead of protruding outward and beyond the exterior wall, they curve less and use more windows. They’re often mistaken for bay windows, but they’re more circular in design, which means there usually isn’t much room for a separate sitting area at the sills. This is because bow windows are designed with appearance in mind rather than practicality. When installed, they help make a room look more open and larger.
Bow windows also occupy more wall space, but that also means you have more glass area. You can still have a little storage space or sitting area if your bow windows are custom-designed and installed. They are, in fact, slightly newer versions of bay windows. Bow windows came sometime after the advent of bay windows, with their earliest references dating back to around 18th-century architecture. And like bay windows, they are often associated with Victorian and other similar historic home architecture.
The Differences Between the Two Windows
Both bay and bow windows look similar at a glance. But when you look more closely, you’ll see that the former consists of three individual window openings, while the latter tend to have four or five. Additionally, bow windows occupy more wall space than their bay window counterparts. Their curved configuration is the reason why they’re sometimes referred to as “four-lite bow” or “five-lite bow”. However, since bay windows are much more protruded from the exterior wall, you get more floor space for your room.
Another difference between the two involves the cost of installation. Typically, a bay or bow window will cost you two and a half times more than a conventional flat window because they consist of three or more windows. Bay windows can also look more squarish than bow windows, though some can be designed as triangular bays with two windows.
Do You Need a Bay or Bow Window for Your Home?
If you’re looking to have a window that adds more living space to a room, a bay window is your best choice since it extends out from your exterior wall. But if you only want your new window to harness sunlight and make your room airier and livelier, then a bow window should suffice. Both types of windows offer a bigger view of your garden, deck, patio, or outdoor living area because of their wider glass area while also providing more natural light into your home. This means you won’t have to rely on artificial lighting as much, so you end up saving on your utility bills in the long run.
Which Is Better for Your Home?
As an experienced windows installer, we can confidently say that neither window style is better than the other, as both can be a perfect fit to any home style. It all depends on what your home’s architecture is and your preference between the two window styles. You can also consider other factors such as budget and wall space; bow windows will be slightly more expensive than bay windows, especially if you’re planning to install one that consists of three or more individual windows.
The customization options are also the same for both window styles, which means they’re flexible in which type of window you want to use for your replacement project. For instance, you can choose simple picture windows for your bay or bow window installation, but you can also consider other combinations that suit your needs and preferences, such as double-hung, casement, or even awning windows.
At STL Windows Direct, we take pride in providing high-quality window products and top-notch installation. Our Smart 365 Innovations windows are engineered for the local weather and can be customized to perfectly fit each opening. They also come with a wide range of features such as triple-pane glass, krypton gas fill and vinyl frames with foam insulation that can help make your home comfortable, energy-efficient and appealing. Expect quality, premium performance out of them for up to 40% less than name-brand ones.
When you choose us as your window installer, you’re not just choosing a better window – you’re choosing a more comfortable home, increased energy savings and a lifetime return on investment. To discuss your window replacement needs, start by scheduling a free estimate. Reach us at (314) 698-5800 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!