Learn All About What Makes Bay and Bow Windows Great | Golden Windows

Some windows are meant to add light to a room. Others are meant to add flair to a building or modify its appearance from the outside. And then others still are built strategically to allow breezes to move freely through a home when the weather is good. While they may seem like a straightforward enough aspect of a house, windows are actually very unique in that each one does something special for a room.

Bay and bow windows manage to do a lot for a room when it comes to letting in light and changing the look of a home. These types of windows are unique in that they protrude outward from the wall of your house. From the outside, they might look like a very small expansion with three or more panels of glass. From the inside, a bay or bow window is an area that has its own distinct feel compared to the rest of the main space.

Out of all the unique and beautiful window options available, the bay and bow window are truly excellent for making a statement. People love these windows because they provide a great view and act as a focal piece for a room just on their own — you can build a whole space around what these windows offer.

If you’re thinking of installing a new window or replacing an outdated model, then we have the information you need on how these windows can work for you. In this article, we’ll cover where bay and bow window came from, where they work well in a home, the different ways to style these windows, and we’ll discuss pros and cons. Let’s get started.


You’re Ready to Replace Outdated Windows

Even as good weather approaches, there’s always that tiny thought at the back of one’s head: it’ll be over soon. If you’re used to toughing it out during the cold months of the year, then you probably know how important it is to be prepared for what winter has in store. The cold weather isn’t all that bad, but the nasty climate can cause damage to a home’s exterior and the interior, too.

As a homeowner, you might not even know just how old your windows are. They might look alright but beneath the surface there can be some serious problems. Can you identify any of the following signs of outdated windows in your home?


  • Is the sound from outside your window driving you nuts? We often don’t think of windows as protectors against noise, but they play an important role in creating a peaceful home environment. You might have single pane windows, which offer little insulation and have been outdated for some time now.


  • Do you hear a whistling wind coming through your windows? If you stand near the glass, can you feel cold air coming in around the frame? Drafty windows are easy to spot during the winter months when we’re sensitive to cold air. If you can feel or hear outdoor air sweeping into your home, then it’s time to upgrade.


  • A Shocking Energy Bill. Your heating system will be working overtime to make up for drafty windows, and you’ll be able to see just how hard it works when your energy bill comes along. This effect can also be observed in the warmer months of the year when the air conditioner puts in extra work to cool your home. Improved efficiency and long-term return on investment through lowered energy bills are some of the main reasons why people seek out new windows, and understandably so.


  • Window Operates Badly. If you’re struggling to use the locks or if you break a sweat every time you want to open up your windows, something needs to be done. Not only is it frustrating and inefficient to have a window that doesn’t sit in its frame well and operate smoothly, it also poses a safety risk. Windows that don’t work well or don’t lock can are easy targets for home invaders and could also cause serious issues if you have to escape your home in an emergency.


  • Soft or Rotted Wood. It might require you to get up close and personal with the frames around your home, but it is important to check for wood rot. Broken seals can result in moisture leaking through windows and pooling in areas where there should be no water. Wood that feels soft or visible signs of mildew or mold should be taken seriously. If you can spot those issues, then it’s time to replace your fixtures.


A Brief History of How Bay and Bow Windows Originated

Bay windows add elegance to all modern homes, but have you ever wondered how they came to be? Today we’re used to seeing them, but they haven’t always been a part of popular architecture. We can trace the origin of these windows to The Church and the stone cathedrals of the Gothic era. Communities were heavily built on churches and religion, and their popularity was impossible to ignore. Many people gave their money to the church as a way to support their community and contribute to their social circles.

As churches began to grow in size, architects looked for ways to add special worship spaces for donors. As a way to create more space in the building without completely tearing it down, they began to build small chapels that protruded from the walls of the church. Eventually windows were added to these wall projections for lighting, which is where we now see the origins for the bay window.

                                                        Exterior Bay Window

It wasn’t then until the Renaissance that these windows began to be seen in domestic architecture, but became very popular during the Baroque era. The Baroque style revolved around ornate decorations and dramatic lighting, which are both features of the bay windows. You may be wondering where the name “bay” comes from for these fixtures. The term derives from the Old French word “baee,” which means “hole” or “opening,” a nod to the small nook that these windows create.

Because these windows add more wall surface area (and therefore, window space) than if the wall of the home were just flat, they really do maximize the amount of light that passes into a space. The angled glass keeps the wall looking natural while keeping the glass secure and the windows safe. Even though they have changed over the years and still come in a variety of styles and sizes, bay windows are known today as the answer to many questions about how to make the most of a home.


Not Quite the Same: Bow Windows

There is another kind of wall-protruding window that does all the things of a bay window, but with a different look: the bow window. Instead of three panes, bow windows are made up of four or more window panes. They still protrude from the exterior of the building, but in this case the shape they make is similar to a semi-circle.

                                            Golden Windows Bow Window

One great feature that distinguishes these windows from bay windows is how they can be wrapped around the corner of a building. Bow windows can sit in corners, dramatically increasing the amount of light that a room receives. Tall bow windows can dramatically increase a room’s size and make it feel lofty, airy, and bright. Like bay windows, they create excellent nooks in a home and can be turned into a spectacular seating area.


Bay Window Perks

We’ve already covered some of the major benefits of bow windows and bay windows in a home, but if you’re still on the fence about this window style here are just a few more reasons to make one a part of your household. In bay windows, the central pane of glass serves as a fixed window.

Like picture or architectural windows, the fixed pane of glass means that the fixture cannot be opened or closed. This is usually the case for large expanses of glass since their main function is to frame a beautiful view and bring sunlight into the home. While some people have mixed feelings about this kind of window, they do offer two major benefits.


  • Simple and low cost. Inoperable windows certainly have their pros and cons. What’s great about the bay window arrangement is that it combines the picture window with operable panels that you can use for ventilation and temperature control. Another perk is that there aren’t any mechanical parts to break. This means that you won’t be spending money on replacement parts and that the window itself ends up costing less than one of the same size with moving pieces.


  • Extra heat. If you have a cat then you’ve probably seen how much they love sitting near a sunny window and enjoying the warmth. Good quality windows work as excellent insulators and they also can warm up your home from the sunlight. Just like in a greenhouse, a sunny room will generate heat during the winter months and reduce how much you need to heat your home.


The exact make-up of your bay or bow window panes will be up to you to decide. You might choose to have the whole area made up of inoperable windows or you might choose to combine inoperable and casement, double-hung or single-hung windows. Another aspect of these windows, however, that you have to consider is the material that will be used for construction.


Window Materials

The Golden Windows brand prides itself in giving excellent and reliable service all while delivering a top-quality product. As you shop and compare our products, why not call us to learn more about what we offer? We construct windows using three materials that all correspond with different series of products and would be happy to explain the benefits of each one.

A Golden Windows representative will educate you on the differences between wood, vinyl, and aluminum-clad windows. They will also offer their professional opinion about which material is best suited to your needs. Take into consideration the room of the home, the direction the window faces, and the architecture of your home when selecting your window material.

So far, we’ve covered a lot of important factors that you should consider going into a bay or bow window installation, but what happens after the installation? Here are a few design and décor tips that you can use to really make the most of your windows.


Decorating and Design Ideas for Bay and Bow Windows

You might be used to seeing these windows in living rooms and big, communal spaces. After all, they’re meant to create space and make a room more inviting. Bay and bow windows, however, come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You could have one in a bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen… really anywhere in the home!

You’d have to consider where the window is going when choosing the material, since kitchens and bathrooms generate a lot of moisture that could damage wooden frames. For bathrooms, these windows can be small but mighty. They’ll help cut down on the electricity you need to light the space, and the little nook that they create makes an excellent shelf for plants, decorative ceramics, or more.

Take advantage of the space provided by large bay and bow windows and create the ideal sitting area. In the kitchen, a breakfast nook with a bench below the window can be the ideal place to sit and you’re your morning coffee. You can centre your table around the window and add some delicate treatments like curtains or blinds that can help you control the sunlight without closing the window off.

Similarly, you can use a bench in a living room’s bay window to create seating and a focal point for the room. A couch can be placed with the back to the window, and then you can build the rest of the room’s look around the open and airy feel. A pair of armchairs with a small table in-between them also makes for a lovely seating area around a window.

Try not to crowd the area around these windows, since many of them can really stand on their own. Make sure that the décor you choose will not distract from the window itself. Now that you know the ins and outs of how these windows work and what makes them great, can you really think of any reason to put off a bay window installation any further? Surely not. They’re versatile and adaptable, making them an ideal addition to any home.


Keep Your Windows in Peak Condition with This Handy Guide | Golden Windows

Ensure efficient, effective and stunning windows with these ten simple tips. For window replacement, contact Golden Windows and ask about our triple glazed windows!

11/27/2020 3:08:49 PM

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