Bow Window Installation
Learn about the Historic Beauty and Benefits of Bow Windows
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Bow Window Installation
What Is a Bow Window?
A bow window is a multi-pane window that extends from the wall of your home in a semicircle. The number of panes, or “lites” (the term often used for the glass segments in a bow window) can vary from four to six. For example, a “five-lite bow window” refers to a window that has five vertical panes of glass positioned together to form a gentle curve or “bow” across the window opening.
Attractive and historic in character—the bow window can be the defining architectural feature of a home. Not only does it help light come into your house, it wows with an elegant and finely-crafted design that will draw the eye and admiration of passers-by.
Its long history and many possible configurations make the bow window a great choice for homes in a variety of styles and sizes.
Bow Windows vs. Bay Windows
You might be wondering, what’s the difference between a bow window and a bay window? It’s a great question with a fairly straightforward answer. Both bow and bay windows stick out from the wall, creating extra space, a ledge for sitting or displaying some of your favorite knick knacks and the chance for more light to stream into your home.
The key difference is that we generally use the term “bay window” to refer only to three-paned windows that extend from the wall in a trapezoidal or rectangular shape. Bow windows, by contrast, can have more than three window panes, all of which are arranged to create a gentle curve that sweeps out across the window opening.
One other significant difference is the operability of the individual window panes. Bay windows can have casements that open only on the sides where the larger center window is almost always a single picture window that doesn’t open. Bow windows can have several different configurations in which any of the individual panes can be a casement window that vents to the outside.
Bow Windows Have More Than One Name
Perhaps because of their very lengthy history, bow windows have been known by different names over the years, some which are still used today. The most popular alternative name for a bow window is a “compass window,” a term you might still see in architecture and design magazines.
Whether you call it a bow window or a compass window, it’s all the same thing: a gorgeous feature of your home.
The Many Benefits of Bow Windows
Here are just a few of the benefits of this unique window type:
- They let in more light. Because bow windows actually increase the surface area of the window opening they provide more opportunity for light to pour into your home.
- They provide more space. Have you ever dreamed of making a little reading nook? Bow windows provide a little ledge you can use as a seating area.
- They provide a better view. Bow windows extend out from the wall, allowing you space to poke your head out beyond the room.
- They are fully customizable. Bow windows come in so many different configurations to fit the design of your home and its ventilation needs. There are many ways to put together a bow window that can be right for you.
- They add curb appeal. The historic character of the window provides your home with a timeless sophistication that will impress the neighbors, guests and any potential buyers (if you’re thinking of selling your home).
- They make a statement. These are not generic picture or bay windows: bow windows have something to say. This depends on the design that you choose. From inviting to impressing, bow windows do it all.
Of course, if you’re installing a new bow window to replace an existing outdated window, you’ll see benefits in the windows’ performance that may save you money and could help the environment.