In my home there are many walls with beautiful windows. However, one small room, in the front of the house, has an unusual shape, little light and one small window. After much research and assessing my finances I realized it would be less expensive and totally feasible to install a new, bay window. This opened a line of research unfamiliar to me; bay versus bow windows. I simply did not know what the difference was. I did recognize one easy way to enhance the entire feel of the room though. By installing either a bay or bow window I would add much needed light into the room, increase the room’s dimension and totally transform what was an uninviting space into it’s own delightful and unique area.

A new bay or bow window can utterly transfigure both the interior and exterior of a home. I know it did mine. By adding the new bay window I increased the interior feel of the room and added a focal point to the exterior of my home. Bay or bow windows are not your everyday windows. They consist of a shell projecting outside the home which contains three or more panels of glass. Traditionally they are placed in either family or living rooms but can also be a beautiful addition to a den or bedroom.

I learned the difference between a bay and bow window was slight; they actually can look a great deal alike. Both types of window will introduce into your room more light, additional dimension and a shade of added charm. Some of the main differences between the two types of window include openings. A bay window has three openings with angled projections whereas a bow window has more that three openings; usually four or five. A bay’s structure conforms to a main picture window with two additional windows, sometimes smaller, on either side. A bow window is curved creating a more rounded appearance. Both types of windows can be used for many architectural purposes however, the angular lines of the bay window enhance more contemporary or modern homes while the bow window’s lines lend themselves more to the traditional home.

There are a few other contrasts that differentiate the bay from the bow window. Bay’s protrude farther into exterior space while bow’s are more amenable to curving design additions. For example, bow windows can be wrapped around a building’s or home’s corner forming a unique and captivating turret shape. This also creates an interesting and distinctive interior space. Bow windows allow more light than the bay as they typically have more glass panels. However, if space is an issue the bay may be right for your project as it not as wide as a bow window.

Other considerations when looking to replace or purchase a bay or bow window are the differences in costs both for the widows themselves and for the savings in energy realized after installation. The cost of a bow window can be two to three times more than a similar sized flat window. Due to it’s shape the bow window usually costs a bit more than a bay. Pricing obviously varies depending upon the project. The cost of installation is generally between $1000 to $4000 dollars for both. However, with the new Energy Star window panes available you can realize a huge savings in energy costs. Additionally you will raise the value of your home even as you save money on heating and cooling bills.

Whether to choose a bay window or a bow window is certainly a very personal choice. There are many considerations to contemplate when deciding which to choose and the selection depends entirely upon your individual taste, the architecture of your home and what available space you have to utilize. Either way and whatever choice you select, a new bay or bow window will make a huge difference on the style and eventual value of your home!