It’s no secret that new bay or bow windows can make a dramatic improvement to the interior and exterior aesthetics of your home. These windows are beautiful on the inside and outside, and they add charm wherever they are installed. 

On the outside, they increase your home’s curb appeal, and on the inside, they create a showplace for plants or other accents. But which is right for you? Below, we cover the four primary differences between the two and illuminate the top factors to consider when deciding between bay windows and bow windows.

1. Cost of Bay vs Bow Windows

The main difference between bays and bows is how many windows you’ll need to install. And that, of course, influences the cost of your renovation. 

There are many types of bay windows, but they each come with three windows: one picture window in front and two double-hung, casement, or fixed light windows on the sides. 

Bow windows are made up of multiple windows that create an arc, or bow shape on the exterior. Normally, these windows will be smaller than the ones used for bay windows, meaning there will be more windows required to cover the same space. 

We recommend that you get a professional estimate for each window style to understand the respective costs. There are many factors beyond just the quantity of windows and the installation that can affect the overall cost of your window project. Accurate measurement is one of the most important factors and, you really want a professional measure to inform that estimate. 

2. Interior Lighting

Both windows are going to bring more light into your home than a flat window, but bow windows offer more angles for light to enter. This means that you can enjoy more direct sunlight compared to the flat designs of bay windows.

Bow windows are also closer to the edge of your home. Bay windows have an outward frame with a roof that can keep sunlight away from your interior. Meanwhile, bow windows extend less, meaning you can enjoy the sunlight for more hours in the middle of the day.

3. Space

Both windows are great for creating an interior space that can be used as shelf space for plants and decorations or as a sitting area. But there are key differences in how they add space to your home.

Bay windows tend to create more room simply because of their basic configuration. Since bay windows jut out more from the home, they create more extra shelf space. Bow windows can create quite a bit of space, depending on the number of windows used, but they typically can’t compete with the space that bay windows create.

4. Air Flow

Bow windows allow for a gentle flow of air that can move freely through the windows and around the room, which creates refreshing air circulation in your space. Bay windows offer good circulation as well, but it’s much harder for air to move freely around flat surfaces compared to the smooth arc that bow windows have. If the airflow is what you’re looking for, then bow windows are the superior option.

Bay and Bow Windows from Window Nation

No matter what you decide, you can trust Window Nation to offer a wide selection of high-quality options to make that new window purchase fit perfectly into your budget. We have low-cost, high-quality vinyl windows that will give you all of the style and features you’re looking for, with a gentler hit to your wallet. 

Or, if you’re looking to add more beauty to your home, you can choose elegant, handcrafted wood seat boards and trim to make those new windows really stand out. 

Either way, we offer you the highest quality of artistry, one of the most comprehensive guarantees in the industry, and certified installation experts who will get the job done right. Request a free estimate and get started today!

As an Indianapolis homeowner, you may be wondering which type of bay window is right for your Indianapolis Home? Bay windows offer many benefits to Indianapolis homeowners by opening up your home with natural light (for those three months in the Indianapolis summers you can find it) while providing a practical space for you to use to create a window seat, garden ledge, or multi-use area. What many Hoosiers don’t realize is that there are several types of bay windows, not just one kind. Explore the different types of bay windows so you can pick the right kind of window to open up your Indianapolis home.

Different Types of Bay Windows

When you’re looking into bay windows in Indianapolis, here are the types of windows you’ll find.

Canted Bay Window

The canted bay window is the classic shape that most Indianapolis homeowners imagine when they think of a bay window. The front pane of the window is flat, parallel to the home exterior, and the sides slant out. Canted bay windows have at least three (and often four) individual windows. Canted bay windows are frequently found on Victorian homes, as building codes changed in the 1890’s so that windows no longer needed to be flush with the home exterior. But, with the classic styles of Indianapolis homes, you might just be the proud owner of these types of windows.

Bay Window Oriel

Oriel is related to the Latin word for porch, and once you know this you’ll always remember what sets a bay window oriel apart. These windows are typically found over the entrance to a building—basically where the porch would be, but they’re not connected to the ground. These windows lend a Gothic-style appeal, so they may be appropriate for a classic family-style Indianapolis home. Oriel bay windows are unique among other types of bay windows for almost always being on the second story. If you have a narrow, dark hallway on the second floor, a bay window oriel could open up the sense of space and add much-needed natural light. This is a nice place to put a reading nook by adding custom cushions to the interior of the bay window, and maybe a Hoosier sandwich to snack on while you’re bundled up.

Box Bay Window

Box-style bay windows are popular among homeowners who want to install a bay window but don’t want to mess about with the positioning of the walls. Box bay windows have a boxy shape: they look like three windowpanes with a small roof overhang. You’ll often see these windows in front of a sink, to let in some natural light while you’re cooking up a country-fried steak. When seen from the home exterior, box bay windows are flat. The effect is as if the home siding were bumped out to accommodate the bay window. However, these are flexible types of bay windows that can go just about anywhere in your home. Since you won’t need to move the walls, box bay windows are less expensive to install than larger bay windows.

Bow Bay Window

The name of this window suggests the shape. Bow bay windows have curves as gentle as the turns on the tracks of the Indy 500. Bow bay windows consist of four or more casement windows gently curved to create an arch shape. These tend to be larger than box-style bay windows, which means more space on the interior, and about as much natural light as you’ll find in the Garage Food Hall. You’ll also enjoy a more noticeable footprint from the home’s exterior. Bow bay windows are great for any purpose that you might use a linear bay window for, so you’ll have quite a few options for your Indianapolis home.

Get a Custom Bay Window

With any of these styles, custom bay windows can match the size of your existing windows or run floor to ceiling for a dramatic visual effect. Talk over your needs with our service team in our Indianapolis showroom to learn more about custom bay windows.