While many homeowners can ascertain the differences between various types of windows, even those with a keen eye can miss the subtle differences between bay windows and bow windows. This might seem surprising, considering that they are among the most popular and beautiful window styles available! Both bay and bow windows protrude several inches from the home exterior, but the differences could lead you to choose one or the other for your home.
Bay windows are composed of three sashes – a large fixed center unit and two smaller units – which are mulled together at an angle (usually 30 or 45 degrees) to become one continuous unit. The windows are stabilized to the home in one of two ways -either they are screwed to the house using braces, or the installation experts attach steel support cables to the home above the unit. And to complete the aesthetic of the unit, a roof is built on the top (though in some instances, an overhanging eave can be used as the cover for the window protrusion).
Homeowners usually like bay windows in their living or dining rooms because it allows a lot of natural light into the room and provides a nice view of the outside of your home. The expansive ledge can be used as a display mantle and even as additional seating in some cases!
Bow windows are very similar to bay windows in that they also protrude from the home exterior, though there are some subtle details differentiating the two. Bow windows can comprise more than three panels and each of the panels is of the same size (compared to bay windows, which has one large size panel and two smaller ones). As a result, you can have bow window projects range in size from as small as four feet to as large as thirteen feet! This also means that bow windows don’t jut out quite as far from the exterior (usually around 4 to 24 inches). However, they can provide a more panoramic view and allow for even more natural light to reach your home interior.
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