bay and bow windows

Bay Vs. Bow Replacement Window: Ultimate Showdown

If you are looking to take on a home improvement project, you can’t go wrong with window replacement. Old, drafty windows are among the main culprits behind a high energy bill. In addition, new windows will immediately improve the curb appeal of your home. And when it comes to home beautification, bay and bow windows are excellent options.

Both will give you more interior space and provide a gorgeous street view. That said, many homeowners often confuse bay and bow windows. While at first glance, they look and sound similar, and do have some traits in common, they are not the same thing. For starters, both bay and bow windows project outwards, reflecting outside through their angled panes.

This makes them great options if you are looking to make the most out of your outside views as well as increase the flow of natural light in your home. These are the similarities between the two. But to make an informed decision, homeowners also need to understand the differences between bay and bow windows.

What are Bay Windows? 

Typically bay windows consist of three window panels of varying sizes, angled away from the wall at around 25 to 45 degrees. They usually have a larger center window and two slightly smaller ones at either side, also known as flankers. These flankers are, in most cases, double hung for ventilation, with the center window intended to offer an unobstructed view of the outside.

Depending on how far the bay window protrudes from the house, you end up with an equally large window seat on the inside. By design bay windows are particularly well suited for small to medium-sized rooms like bedrooms or kitchens.

What are Bow Windows? 

Somewhat similar to bay windows, bow windows extend away from the house. These windows, however, are comprised of anywhere between four to six equally sized windows, forming an arch-shape, instead of sharply angled sides like bay windows. The curve look will give the impression of one large window and allow more light to shine through. Due to their design, bow windows provide an elegant statement to your living or family room. Also, you can choose between single hung, double hung, or casement windows.

Bay Vs. Bow Replacement Windows

Below is a short rundown of some of the major differences between bay and bow windows:

  • Bay windows have three openings while bow windows typically have four or five.
  • Bay windows usually consist of a picture window in the middle and two, smaller-sized windows on the sides. Bow windows have equal-sized windows, forming an arch and providing a rounded appearance from the outside.
  • Though larger, bow windows may not provide you with more floor space than bay windows. Due to their steeper angling and the fact that they protrude more, bay windows can offer you more floor space under certain circumstances.
  • Bow windows will typically allow more natural light to come into the room as they have more glass panes than bay windows.
  • In terms of style, bay windows are considered to be more appropriate for modern-type homes, while bow windows work better with a Victorian-style architecture. Of course, this ultimately boils down to personal taste and the layout of the house.
  • Though typically between four and five panes of glass, bow windows can extend to far more than that, and they can even be wrapped around the corner of a building.

In the end, both types are perfect options to make your home look more beautiful, increase the floor space of your home, and allow more natural light to shine through, all the while lowering your energy bill. They also come in different colors, materials, and designs to fit your taste. If you’re interested in replacing your windows, 1-800-HANSONS is at your service. Schedule your FREE window replacement estimate today!