Bay and Bow windows have a long history in architectural design. These statement windows can be found in European castles dating back to medieval times.
When it comes to window replacement, you’ll often hear people using the terms bay and bow window interchangeably. It’s certainly understandable, as both are large window units with multiple lites, or windows, mounted within a single structure that extends beyond the home’s exterior wall. Both style windows allow more natural light to enter the home than a flat window and can provide added interior space.
While your window replacement specialist will ask questions to confirm what it is you are looking for, it’s important to know what the similarities and the differences are between Bay and Bow windows.
Both Bay and Bow windows require a structural frame, or buck, that the individual windows will be mounted in. Jantek’s bay and bow window bucks are custom made to fit your opening by expert carpenters using ¾” marine plywood and with the interior surfaces beautifully finished with oak or birch veneers and trim. The exterior of Jantek’s buck frame is clad with vinyl in the color of your choice. Depending on the specific construction of your opening, your bay or bow window will be designed to tie directly into a soffit, or, with a shingled roof.
Bay windows can also be called a canted window. Generally speaking, this style has a flat front. The angular design is well suited for contemporary or modern home designs.
A three lite bay is constructed by using a fixed or operational center window that is flanked by two operational windows. A four lite bay has two openings in the front “flat” section of the buck frame.
Although it is most common for the front flat openings to contain fixed non-operational windows, both the 3 lite and 4 lite bay windows can have all operational windows.
The operational windows in Jantek’s bay windows can be either Casement or Double Hung windows.
The minimum opening width and height for a Bay window is 48” x 48” and the maximum is width and height is 120” x 84”
Similar to a bay window, bow windows have multiple windows contained within the frame opening. Bow windows are most often used in colonial or traditional home designs.
A bow window buck frame is designed with four or five equal size lites, either casement or fixed, to achieve the gentle curved, or bow, shape.
The minimum opening width and height for a Bow window is 66” x 48” and the Maximum is width and height is 145” x 84”.
Because bay or bow window are large, they can drain your energy dollars if energy efficient windows and insulated seat boards aren’t used. Look for Low-E, triple pane window units. Our EneryMiser™ windows, used in our insulated bay and bow buck frames, are manufactured using intelligent design principles that optimize functionality and effectiveness.
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