Apr 03 , 2023

What’s To Know About Bay and Bow Windows


Bay and bow windows are window designs that help improve the appearance of your home. The windows add a stylish finish and give your exterior a distinctive look. Not only do the windows give your home more natural lighting, but they also give you a scenic view of the outdoors. Unlike other windows, the windows are arrangements of several window units that form one window. Bay and bow windows have been used for a long time in architecture as they give a stylish look to your home's interior and exterior. When properly installed, the window units are worth your money. Let's look at both window units in detail.

Bay Windows

Bay windows consist of three windows: two small windows and one large one. The large window is fixed and flanked by the two ones, usually at a thirty or forty degrees angle.

Bay windows Characteristics

Bay windows come in different shapes and sizes, but they form a curved angle design giving you a scenic view. The curved design allows them trap air from all angles; this increases a room's ventilation by providing an adequate air supply.

Additionally, you can install bay windows in any room to increase the room's space and light supply. Glaziers make bay windows from materials like wood, vinyl, or aluminum. Also, you can customize the windows to a design you like. When properly designed, bay windows can match any room's design, decor and overall style.

Bay Window Styles

Bay windows come in different styles, shapes, and designs. Some common bay window styles include the following:

Canted Bay Window

A canted bay window usually consists of a flat front. Two small windows from the wall flank the large window to give the room more space. The flankers can be thirty degrees depending on the room's structure. Ultimately, canted bay windows are a beautiful addition to your room. Not all window treatments are ideal for a canted bay window. Ditch the traditional drapes and go for either blinds or shades to give your canted windows a stylish finish.

Box Bay Window

Box windows are almost similar to canted bay windows in structure. The only difference is the flanking windows intersect with the middle window at an angle of ninety degrees. However, they require more maintenance due to their protruding nature.

Circle Bay Windows

A circle bay window protrudes from a wall's exterior in a curved or circular form. Circle bay windows consist of several glass panels or other transparent materials. Usually, circle bay windows come with a built-in sitting area for people to enjoy the scenic view. This window type is rare in today's architecture mainly because it is expensive to install and maintain.

Common Bay Window Roof Styles

Bay windows roofs come in different roof styles. The ideal type depends on several factors the home's architectural design and the area's climate. Some standard bay window roof designs include the following:

Flat Roof: A flat roof is suitable for a bay window as it gives the window a contemporary look. In addition, it’s easy to install and maintain. Popular materials for a flat roof include PVC membrane, metal, and EPDM membrane.

Gable Roof: Not only is a gable roof classy, but it also adds to the dimension and height of your window. The best roofing materials for a gable roof include shingles, tiles and metals.

Hipped Roof: The sloping sides of a hipped roof intersect at the ridge giving a unique and elegant design to your bay window. Concrete tiles, zinc and green roof are among the commonly used materials for a hipped roof.

Shed Roof: A shed roof is an ideal choice for your bay windows if you want to attain a minimalist look. It comprises a single shed that is easy to install and maintain. Common materials for a shed roof include shingles and tiles.

Bay Window Pros

● Increased natural lighting for your home.

● They give the room a spacious feel.

● You enjoy a scenic view.

● Easy installations

● They give our home an aesthetic appeal.

● They improve ventilation and indoor air quality.


● Limited placement- the placement of bay windows can be limited by the architecture, design and layout of the room.

● They have a more complex design making them hard to install.

● They require regular maintenance due to their configuration.

● They are less energy efficient due to their large size.

Bow Windows

Bow windows comprise four or more windows that project to a building's exterior. Their design helps provide a more comprehensive view of the outside. Additionally, bow windows bring more light to the house. All windows of a bow window are similar in size, unlike those of bay windows. Bow windows include materials like vinyl, wood, and aluminum.

Bow Window Roofs

There are many roofing materials for bow windows. The roofing you choose depends on factors like your budget, style and the outlook of your home. Some roofing materials for bow windows include:

Flat Roof: A flat roof creates a modern look for the bay window. Additionally, it emphasizes the curve of the bay window. Some good materials for a flat roofing include metal, tile and slate due to their easy installation.

Gable Roof: A gable roof is ideal for a bow window due it’s flat surface. It complements the bow window and it's fairly easy to install. Additionally gable roofs allow adequate ventilation in your home. Asphalt shingles and tiles are among the used materials for gable roofs.

Hip Roof: A hip roof is easily extended to cover the bow window hence minimizing installation cost. Also, the hip roof creates more additional space and ventilation due to its four sloping sides. The most popular materials used for hip rules are metals and concrete tiles.

Dome Roof: Dome roof is commonly made of metals or shingles. It’s an ideal choice for a bow window; their spherical shape complements the look of the window. Dome roofs can be built using a variety of materials like ceramic, wood and copper.

Bow Window Pros

● High Resale Value- Buyers are willing to pay more due to their unique design

● They bring in more natural light to your home.

● They give your home an aesthetic appeal due to their unique design.

● Their curved design gives you more room which can be utilized for sitting or storage.


● More Expensive - Bow windows are more expensive to purchase, install and maintain due to their expensive design.

● They are more vulnerable to break-ins due to their glass material.

● They take up more wall space.

● They are challenging to clean and maintain due to their multiple glass layers.

● Bow windows are less energy efficient as their glass surface is difficult to insulate.

Bay and Bow Windows Installation

Installing bay and bow windows is a tasking process. While you can attempt to do it yourself, it would help to hire a professional architect to design the windows for you. Professional contractors have the suitable materials and expertise to handle the project.

Another reason professionals should install windows is to avoid accidents. When not properly installed, water can sip inside the house. Additionally, air circulation may be interrupted. What's more, having your windows installed by professionals will give them the desired outlook and appeal.


Ultimately, the window design you choose depends on your preference, space, and the outlook of your home. Bow windows are more expensive to maintain than bay windows due to their complex design. Both windows give your house a unique and stylish finish. Additionally, both make the rooms feel more spacious while providing a beautiful view of the outdoors. Furthermore, you can complement the windows to suit your home's decor and match your style.

What’s To Know About Bay and Bow Windows

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