Bay Windows vs Bow Windows: The Differences Between Each

This post will cover the following topics:

  • Major differences between the bay and bow window
  • Potential cost variance between each set of windows
  • Windows options that Stanek Windows can provide you

Within our home, there is a fantastic room containing a small portative organ along with a harpsichord. When plans of interior design first began, we decided that one thing of primary importance would be to make the music area feel special. There was no additional space within the room, meaning the best option was to install a new bay window. This is because it offers more space due to the fact that it opens outwards towards the exterior of the home. Moreover, you are able to see the views of the outdoors and look great with the harpsichord that curves into the nook that has been created by the addition of the bay window.
According to Sven Kramer, the National Sales Manager for Stanek Windows, bay or bow windows can often be a focal point of the room. These windows are not like other ordinary windows, as they possess a shell that offers protection to the home from the outside with three or more window panels. As such, these windows can provide a huge boost in appearance to both the inside and outside of your home.

Differences Between Each Window Type

Initially, Bow and Bay windows can appear very similar as they both provide a lot of benefits in opening a room up and giving a look that appears to be more spacious and full of natural lighting within the room.
However, there are some differences:

  • There are three openings to a bay window that comes in angled projections, in comparison to a bow window that generally has four to five openings.
  • A bay window’s structure is a picture window with two additional windows on each end that are usually smaller in stature. In contrast, a bow window is more curved with a more round look from the exterior ( These windows are known as a Four-lite or Five-lite bow).
  • Bay windows are seen as a better fit for more modern homes due to their flat planes and angled lines. The bow window, on the other hand, is better suited for more Victorian-style architecture due to its semi-circle structure. Although both styles will ultimately work in any home.
  • As mentioned, bay windows will jut out more from the wall into the home’s exterior which results in a more interior room. This said bow windows are able to facilitate more light entering the space due to having more glass panes.
  • Finally, bow windows are often wider than bay windows because the latter only consists of three panels. As such, bow windows are able to be wrapped around building corners that present a turret-like shape from the exterior with a nook on the interior. This allows for a view of two separate sides.

How Does the Cost Vary Between the Windows?

In general, a new window will run roughly 2.5 times more than flat windows that possess the same opening. The reason for this is simply that a bay window is not just a singular window. Stanek Windows even offer a bow with a hardwood shell that is custom made in order to properly fit custom window frames. Further, installing a bow window is more complex than a bay window because they need a soffit tie-in or new hip roof in order to keep out water and air.
The cost can also differ if you have a window that is certified by Energy Star because these windows have less issues with air leaks that make your utility bill rise. Without this, the window can sometimes pay for itself in the span of a couple of years. The good news is all Stanek bay and bow windows are energy efficient so you will be sure to save some money down the line. After purchase, you obtain the Energy Star and NFRC independent ratings that result in an increase in property value as well. This along with the money saved on utilities makes these windows a solid option for your home.

Bay and Bow Window Options by Stanek

Bay Windows

  • Three-sided window bay

Bow Windows

  • Three all the way up to Six-lite window bow

Bay Windows Angles

  • Offer a 25°, 35° angle, as well as a 45° angle

Bow Window Angle Options

  • Sides are put in at identical angles and will be less deep

Colour Options for Interior

  • Cherry, White, Oak, Medium Oak, Light Oak, Beige and Walnut

Colour Options for Exterior

  • Beige, Cocoa, Hunter Green, Redwood, Clay, Boone Brown, White, and Brown


  • Satin Nickel, Antique Brass, Beige, Brown, and White
  • White, Beige, Brown, Bright Brass, Antique Brass and Satin Nickel


  • Offer a total of twenty-four specialty window shapes with many style choices to choose from

About Stanek Bay and Bow Window Shells

According to Kramer, the shell is of the utmost importance when it comes to a bay or bow window because in order to support the hefty window is houses, it needs to be very structural sound. Moreover, good insulation is needed in order to protect the interior of the home.
Stanek Windows have two amazing shell options that sport a vinyl sash and multiple unique glass options:

  • Ultra Oak Veneer has a shell with a 1-¼ seat and 3-½ oak casing.
  • Ultra Elite Tongue & Groove has a solid insulating tongue complete with groove hardwood flooring planks and furniture grade 6-inch colonial stack casings.

Kramer states that customers tout their windows for adding additional light and expanding the amount of space within the room where the windows have been installed. They are often regarded as a way to enhance the home affordably.
If this sounds good to you, think about replacing your existing windows in favour of bay or bow windows that come in various different shapes that are customized to meet your individual needs.
For help or a completely free estimate, feel free to sign up to receive a no-obligation consultation free of charge.

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