Does your new renovation call for a bay window or a bow window? Though many use these terms interchangeably, they actually refer to two different styles of windows with major differences. Both let an abundance of natural light into your home, and both are beautiful upgrades to a room, but understanding the differences between the two will help you get the window that works best for your space.
Features of a Bay Window
A bay window comprises a fixed center pane of glass, surrounded on both sides by glass flankers. The flankers are smaller in size than the center pane, and they open to allow a cool summer breeze to blow through your space. A bay window is convex to the wall of your home, meaning it protrudes outward. This allows abundant natural light to enter and offers a generous window sill where your child or pet can comfortably nestle.
Bay windows always feature three separate panes, situated in such a way that the center pane is the star. Benefits of this window style include a larger sill for storage or seating, a generous view of nature, the addition of natural light, and ventilation. This window will make your room feel larger while adding style and function to your space.
Features of a Bow Window
A bow window, alternately, is more symmetrical in appearance. It typically features four to six panes of glass, all the same size. Because of the way they’re designed, they offer more of a curved appearance than a bay window.
Bow windows allow more natural light to enter your space because they feature more panes of glass. Window placement is also more versatile. A bow window, for instance, can wrap around the corners of your home, giving your room a truly customized appearance.
Typically, a bow window does not jut out as far as a bay window. This makes it a good option for homes with smaller roof overhangs. And while some bow windows feature ventilation, others do not.
If you’re located close to a sidewalk or if your home features a narrow overhang, a bow window is a good option. It brings the outdoors inside and floods your space with the beauty of natural light.
Window Treatments for Bay Windows and Bow Windows
Window treatments are something you’ll want to consider before investing in a bow or bay window. While beautiful and functional during the day, these windows allow passers-by more than a glimpse into your space at night. Head over to Pinterest or Instagram for design inspiration and photos of window treatments suitable for both styles.
Costs of Bow and Bay Window Installation
In general, it costs more to install a bow window than a bay window, simply because there is more glass involved. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of installation for a bay window runs between $1,000 and $7,000, while installation for a bow window may cost as much as $15,000.
Angi (formerly Angie’s List) can help you find a window professional in your area to help with your new window installation.