Should You Renovate Your Home With Bay or Bow Windows?

If you plan to renovate your home, a bay or bow window may be in your future. These windows can change the entire look of a room and add a bit of living space. While the two window types are very similar, they also have some key differences. Which one you choose depends on various factors and necessities. Discovers some questions and answers about bow and bay windows to help you choose.

What Are Bay Windows?

A bay window traditionally has three windows. The center window is usually larger than the two side windows. Often, the smaller windows are situated at about a 45-degree angle to the larger window. However, styles can vary. You may find bay windows styles where all three windows are the same size or parallel to each other. The latter styles are more unusual, however.

Usually, bay windows project outward from the exterior. On the inside, most bay windows add extra square footage. You may have room enough for a comfortable bench, desk, or display table. The bay window design allows for a variety of opening styles.

How Are Bay Windows Different From Bow Windows?

Bay windows usually follow the strict three-panel rule. Bow windows have more glass panels, generally four to six. Bay windows often involve angled windows that create a more boxed appearance. Bow windows create a gentle curve that bows out from the home. However, bow windows do not project outward as sharply as a bay window. Therefore, the alcove for a bow window is often smaller than a bay window.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Bay Windows?

Bay windows provide many benefits, but they aren’t for everyone or every home. Discover some pros and cons of bay windows.


Bay window pros include the following:

  • Bay windows let in more light than traditional windows.
  • Bay windows are cost-effective.
  • Bay windows create more space.
  • Bay windows have excellent ventilation options.


Bay window cons include the following:

  • Bay windows let in less light than bow windows.
  • Bay windows don’t work well in tight areas like near sidewalks.

What Are Bow Windows?

In addition to the attributes listed above, bow windows usually have a more traditional look than a bay window. They are easily modified to suit a Colonial- or Victorian-style home. Bow windows are wider than bay windows, allowing for more light. More light may affect your home’s temperatures, so be sure to choose energy-efficient materials if you choose this style.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Bow Windows?

Bow windows have an interesting look, but they have their pros and cons like bay windows. Below is a list of some advantages and disadvantages of bow windows.


Bow window pros include the following:

  • Bow windows have wider, uninterrupted views.
  • Bow windows have a narrower profile, making them ideal for small spaces.
  • Bow windows look elegant.


Bow window has a few downsides:

  • Bow windows require more panels with increased costs.
  • Bow windows have a more complicated installation.
  • Bow windows have fewer ventilation choices because they must open a certain way.

Bay and bow windows are a fine addition to most home styles. Modem and traditional-style homes benefit from them. They are excellent for dining and living areas. Bedrooms and bathrooms also look good with them. Both types can work on any floor, but bow windows are usually the choice for upper floors. Either choice is a great way to add more light and elegance to your home. If you want to know more about either type of window, call us at Fischer Window & Door Store. Check out what we have to offer. We can look into your situation and see if a bow or bay window can enhance your home. We even make custom windows. Make an appointment for a showroom tour as soon as possible.