The Differences Between Bay and Bow Windows

Bay windows and bow windows can transform the look of a common room or living area in any home. They extend outward to open up the space and create an inviting atmosphere steeped in natural light. There are, however, some key differences to note between these window styles.

 

The number of windows

A bay window consists of three windows connected by an angled coupling system. Typically, the central window is a large picture window that provides an unobstructed view. This fixed window is usually flanked by two narrower windows.

A bow window consists of four to six windows connected by a similar coupling system. These windows are typically all the same width and style, but that’s not always the case.

 

The angle of the windows

The components of a bay window are usually connected at 45-degree or 30-degree angles. The clean lines and sharp angles of a bay window are often preferred for homes with a modern esthetic.

The components of a bow window are also connected at equal angles, but they’re significantly shallower. This creates a curved appearance reminiscent of Victorian-style architecture, particularly when viewed from the exterior.

 

The view they provide

Bay and bow windows are both excellent solutions for brightening up a living space. However, a bow window generally lets in more natural light because it’s often wider and has more glass panes than a bay window. The extra panes also give the impression of a more expansive view.

Additionally, a bow window can wrap around a semi-circular side of a building. This creates a unique structural element and offers a view from two sides of the home.

 

The ventilation options

Bay and bow windows can be comprised of fixed or vented windows. However, the central pane of a bay window is usually fixed because of its size. This provides an air-tight seal and increased security but reduces the potential for ventilation.

A bow window generally provides more air flow because it has more panes that can be vented. Additionally, the curve of the window creates more opportunity for a cross-breeze.

 

The right choice for your home

Whether you want to replace bow window or install a bay window as part of a larger renovation, the experts at Canadian Comfort Windows & Doors can help. We offer a wide range of durable vinyl windows and professional installation services for clients in the Ottawa region. For more information or to request a free quote, contact us today.