Bay or Bow windows and differences between them

ImageAlthough the two types are used interchangeably in common speech, there are a variety of differences between the two, and if you’re thinking about getting one then its important to know what you need. Lots of information is available online or from a local home installation company about the types, but we’ve listed the most important ones here.

Both the window styles undoubtedly provide an enhanced view to the garden areas of the property, which is not possible with a traditional window opening. Both the styles protrude from the wall of the building which creates an arc of 180° for better all-round viewing from a distance. Its for this very reason that a large proportion of home owners choose to place these windows on walls that give the best views of the exterior garden. Also, because the windows create an extra, larger space on the wall with added light, the whole room feels more spacious and you’re immediately drawn to the picturesque views the window gives; the usual bay and bow window extend at least an extra foot or two out from the property.

Bay Windows

A bay window is usually made up of 3 separate window panes in one large frame- the bigger and central window lies horizontal to the property and the 2 on either side extend back to the wall at around 45° for side-viewing and extra light. It’s typically the case that the centre window is fixed and the two side windows are able to open to let air into the home- double-hung is the most popular for these. The huge central window gives a great view from sitting inside the property, and can bring the outside environment in as a part of the home. The centre window is similar to an ordinary window replacement, but can be tailor-made with ventilation options and is usually much larger than a regular house window. The added windows that flank the picture window only help to extend the view of all areas of the outside.

Bow Windows

Bay windows are comprised of 3 windows and bow’s can have up to 6 windows of the same size. As the bow has more windows, it allows for a gentler angling of the frames from the exterior of the property, and lets an enormous amount of light into any room. The best option for the bow is to have all the windows fixed, with some smaller ventilation available. This is because windows that require mechanisms to open the window require a space of a few inches around the edge, which detracts from the view and pane-area. If you intend on installing single or double hung windows, then the amount of fresh air and ventilation you will receive from them outdoes the bay window by a large amount, due to the extra window space. The disadvantage comes with the smaller viewing area from each window that is not a problem with the wide expanse of picture window the bay possesses.
The main points to remember when distinguishing bay from bow are these: bays have a sharper curve than bows and have a greater viewing area; the bow window tends to be longer and wider, which provides excellent ventilation if you decide to add casement or hung windows to the installation.


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