Bow windows or bay windows? This question is as common in home design as “White or wheat?” is in bread choices. Similarly, which one you pick depends on what it’s going with.
The two types are similar in that they both project from your house and add to the feeling of a more spacious room. Both capture more daylight than a flat window, and both are very appealing to potential buyers. There are also differences:
- Bay windows have three panels. There is one large central one flanked by two smaller ones, appropriately called “flankers”. Bow windows can have four or five panels, sometimes even more if the structure allows.
- Bay windows have a sharp, angular appearance while a bow window gives the appearance of a graceful, curved look.
- Bay windows can project further out than a bow window, giving the appearance of a larger room.
- Bow windows allow more light into a room since they have more panels and can be wider than bay windows.
- Bow windows can wrap around the corner of a home, giving a turreted look with a view to two sides of your house.
- Bow windows are more suited to Victorian-style architecture (whether vintage or retro). Bay windows are more suited to modern lines.
Installing these windows is not a DIY project, especially if the original window opening needs to be modified. While the bay window is less expensive than the bow window (average $3000 for a typical bay window vs $4000 average for a typical bow window), bow windows offer more energy savings since they allow more daylight and warmth in during the colder months. With energy efficient glass, both types help with monthly bills.
Which one you choose is entirely up to you, but now you know the difference!