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Five Things to Know About Bay and Bow Windows
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Five Things to Know About Bay and Bow Windows

If you’re thinking about replacing some of the windows in your home with a bay or bow window, you may have questions about how these two styles are different. Because bay and bow windows are so similar, it’s not uncommon to have difficulty understanding the key differences and advantages.

When it comes to comparing bay window versus bow window, having a team of experts behind you helps. In this blog post from Budget Exteriors in Bloomington, we’ll share everything you need to know about bay and bow windows. Check out this guide and then give us a call to install your Twin Cities bow or bay windows.

Bay and Bow Windows: A Brief Primer

Unlike traditional windows, the purpose of a bay window or bow window is to create a unique feature both inside and outside the home. Both bay windows and bow windows extend beyond the natural wall of a room using window panels that project outward. This brightens up the room while creating a stunning focal point.

Here are a few things to know about bay and bow windows:

Both Use Several Window Panels

Both bay and bow windows are made of several panels angled outward. Both styles consist of at least three panels but as many as five. A bay window is called a bay window because it creates a bay, whereas a bow window forms more of an arch or bow shape.

They’re Perfect for Window Nooks

Adding a bench seat underneath your bow window creates a perfect window nook. Imagine sitting under the wide open view of a bow window or bay window with your favorite novel on a bluebird morning with a cup of coffee. Or picture yourself with a cup of hot cocoa and great company on a snowy winter eve, your favorite music playing on the stereo. Just add a few comfy pillows and it’s a perfect hangout.

They Work With a Wide Range of Architectural Styles

Bay windows date back to medieval times and have been used in almost every imaginable style of architecture since. Bow windows, also known as compass windows, came into use more recently in the 19th century. But both styles of windows can look just as natural in a modern home as they do in an older one.

The Main Difference Is the Shape

Functionally, these windows are practically identical. They both use several glass panels to create a “bump,” so to speak, on the outside of the structure, and a convex nook on the inside.

The shape of that “bump,” though, is the primary difference between these two window types. Bow windows create a rounded shape, while bay windows are more angular in form. This might not seem like a huge distinction—after all, they have so many similarities—but when you’re speaking with an exterior contractor, it’s critical that you mind your terminologies. If you say you want a bay window when you really want a bow, you’ll be quite confused when your contractor brings up plans for a straight-edged space!

You’ll Essentially Be Taking on Three New Windows

Though “bay window” and “bow window” are generally referred to as singular units, each one of them contains three glass panels. While this means that they’re awesome at brightening up a room and adding architectural pizzazz to your exterior, they can be maintenance-heavy, simply because they have so many glass panels to take care of!

It’s nothing that can’t be managed, of course; you’ll just need to mind them for air leaks and keep them clean and tidy so they can let as much light in as possible.

One other thing to keep in mind: adopting this many new windows into your home’s exterior can have serious repercussions for your energy efficiency—good or bad, depending on the situation! Three shoddy new windows open your home up to air leaks, which can make your heating and cooling bills skyrocket, while airtight windows installed by competent exterior home contractors can save you major cash. Energy bills aren’t tiny. According to the National Fenestration Rating Council, “Each year, the average American household spends $1,500–2,500 on energy bills. 45% of that cost is for heating and cooling.”

As a bonus, three windows can capitalize on an already significant project ROI. Check out our blog to learn more.

Your Source for Minneapolis Bay Window Installation

Are you looking for ways to brighten up your living space? If you’ve been thinking about adding a bay or bow window in your home, connect with our bay and bow window installers at Budget Exteriors to discuss options at 952.887.1613. You can also contact us online to get your free bay window project estimate today.

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