Last updated on 01/24/2022
Did you know that round shapes and lots of natural light in a home arescientifically proven to make you happier?
Bow windows offer both of these features. Their curved design pleases the eye, while their projected shape harvests more light from outside and brings it indoors.
Are you choosing windows for your new home? Or maybe replacing existing windows and looking for ways to add more light and charm?
If yes, it's a smart idea to get clued-up bow windows.
Avoid window-installation regret and get informed by reading this guide to bow windows, their benefits, bow window prices, and more.
What Are Bow Windows?
Also known as compass windows, or curved bay windows, bow windows are a type of projection window.
They project out from the side of buildings, forming a curve. Most bow windows feature 4 or 6 pains of glass.
Bow windows are a classic design choice, and their roots go way back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
During this time, bow windows started to become popular in manor homes of the very wealthy in Europe. Back then they were called "oriel windows."
After this, builders and architects started to incorporate them into townhouses.
Bow windows also played a big role in traditional American architecture.
Types of Bow Windows
Most bow windows are fixed, but some also featurecasement windows with opening panes. These cost quite a bit more but can be a worthwhile investment if you're worried about heat build-up and ventilation.
Bow windows come in a variety of different frames options, including:
Wood frames offer the most traditional look, while aluminum frames give bow windows a slightly more modern feel. Vinyl and fiberglass frames are typically the cheapest options.
As far as the panes go, you can select from a variety of different glass, including low-E glass, and double- and triple-glazed options.
If you select a bow window with argon or krypton gas between the panes, this will drive up the price, but it will also be more energy-efficient.
A Bay Window vs a Bow Window
Are you wondering "But what is a bay vs bow window? Aren't they the same thing?"
While bow windows are round (like a bow) bay windows comprise of three angled sides. Instead of curving around, they have definite sides that protrude from the walls. The two outer sides are usually angled inwards and have a flat picture windowpane connecting them.
While bow windows are common in more traditional architecture styles, such as Victorian-style buildings, bay windows have a more modern and contemporary feel.
Advantages of Bow Windows
One of the biggest advantages of bow windows is they bring in more natural light than windows that are flush with your home's walls.
By protruding outwards, a bow window can trap more light and add extra window surface area to your home.
Besides letting in a lot of extra light, bow windows also add additional floor space to your home. They can open up rooms, give a feeling of spaciousness, and help to break up the angular feeling of your walls.
Because they are more rounded than bay windows, bow windows have a softer, smoother look to them. If you're trying to soften up the architecture of both your home's interior and exterior, installing bow windows is a great way to do this.
Besides creating extra interior floor space, a bow window can also create a perfect area for a reading nook or additional seating space. If you install a bench into your bow window, this can create a cozy, light-filled seating area with an expansive view.
Speaking of views, this is another advantage that a bow window can offer. Because bow windows curve outward, they can capture a lot more of the view than a flat picture window. If you have a beautiful vista in front of one of the rooms in your home, installing a bow window is one of the best ways to show it off and make the view a part of the room.
Disadvantages of Bow Windows
The primary drawback of bow windows is their cost and installation complexity. Thanks to their size and more intricate design, bow windows cost a fair bit more than regular casement orpicture windows.
If you are installing a bow window into an existing home, then you'll also have to consider the installation costs. Because bow windows protrude outwards, you may need planning permission to have them installed. You might also need a builder to install brickwork above and below the window and roof the protrusion over.
Finally, you'll also need to think about bow window curtains. Because bow windows are round, you will have to either install a curved rail that wraps around above the window or put up your bow window curtains so they run straight across the protrusion, which will cut the area off when you draw the curtains.
Finally, if you want to have bench seating inside the alcove of your bow window, you'll need to have this custom built to fit the curvature of the window.
Bow Window Prices
Bow windows prices can vary considerably depending on what type and size you get.
As we mentioned above, the frame material will influence the cost, as well as the number of panes, whether the windows can open, the energy efficiency rating, and overall style.
Installation costs can also influence the price.Some of thevariablesinclude howmuch you need to build out your roof overhang, what's involved in extending the floor, and labor prices in your area.
Overall, bow windows typically cost roughly three times that of regular windows. However, their higher cost can be well worthwhile. Bow windows bring an added level of light, space, and elegance that you can't achieve with most other windows.
Are You Looking to Install Bow Windows?
Bow windows can add a beautiful touch to an otherwise flat home. They allow in lots of natural light, can open up rooms visually, and give dimension, charm, and elegance to your home.
Are you thinking of installing bow windows in your home? If you're looking tocompare quotes, head to the top of this page, enter your zip code into the bar and we'll find you three quotes within 60 seconds.