Bay Vs. Bow Windows: Which Is the Right Fit for Your Home?

bow-windowMany homeowners relish the idea expanding their natural light and view of the great outdoors, and increasing their curb appeal. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you want to install a glass garage door in your living room in order to create one of the indoor/outdoor living spaces that have gained popularity of late.

You might be looking for an option with more classic appeal that better suits a traditional style of architecture. The good news is that you have two great options when it comes to upgrades and window replacement in Boise or Twin Falls: bay or bow windows.

If you want to kill two birds with one stone, installing bay or bow windows in your home will not only give you a better view, but also improve the appeal of your home’s exterior. The only question is: should you opt for bay or bow windows? Which option provides the best fit for your home? Here are a few factors to consider before you decide.

bay-window-and-bow-window-comparisonHow are They Different?

Bay and bow windows are similar in that they both project out from the exterior walls of your structure. The main difference is that bay windows tend to consist of three (or possibly more) windows that angle sharply outward, sometimes at as much as a 90-degree angle.

Bow windows, on the other hand, are somewhat less pronounced. They often consist of 4-6 windows that form a more gradual arch out away from the exterior walls, with angles that are far less sharp. Both can help to make rooms appear brighter and more spacious, provide extra seating, and add visual interest to your home.

Your Goals

You probably have several goals when you start looking for new windows in Boise, Seattle, or Los Angeles. Perhaps you want to allow for more natural light to come in, or you’d like to get a better view of your beautiful landscaping or the vistas outside your abode.

You may be interested in adding seating and/or storage, as well as making your interior more spacious. Of course, many homeowners also aspire to improve their curb appeal, especially if their facade is particularly dull, without any defining features to add visual interest.

In truth, selecting the right windows to add to your home could help you to accomplish several or even all of these goals. That said, you need to prioritize. For example, bay windows extend a bit further out from your home than their bow counterparts, allowing more latitude to add comfortable seating and ample storage.

Bow windows, on the other hand, are somewhat larger, but more flush, so you’re more likely to improve the view and the natural light coming in. Understanding your goals and priorities can help you to choose the perfect window upgrades for your home.

Available Space

Because bow windows include more windows, they tend to be larger than bay options. For this reason, you need to measure available space to ensure that the windows you want will fit in your home.

In most cases, any large picture window can be upgraded to either a bay or a bow window, or you could even create a larger hole in wall to accommodate bigger windows. However, having measurements at your disposal when you begin shopping for new windows will ensure that you don’t end up with a product that won’t fit your house.

Home Style

Bay and bow windows are most commonly seen in Victorian architecture. However, like many desirable architectural features, they have crossed over and tailored to suit other design styles. If you love the look of bay and bow windows and the benefits they confer, speak with a qualified contractor, designer, architect, or window specialist to determine which style of window will best suit your structure.


There may also be cost differences between purchasing bay or bow windows. This could depend largely on the scope of the project, though, including not only whether you choose bay or bow, but also the type of windows you select (casement, double-hung, picture, etc.) and the size you select. Take the time to comparison shop so you can stick to your budget and find the perfect windows to complement and improve your home.

Rocky Mountain Exteriors specializes in window replacement. We offer the very best replacement windows, styles, workmanship, and warranties available in the Boise and Twin Falls areas.

Schedule Your FREE Assessment!


You may also like:

Schedule Your Free
In Home Estimate!

Call: (208) 955-6818

Our inspections and estimates are always free and informative. There is no obligation.

Or use our:

Quick Contact Form

Recent Posts

  • Home ExteriorSeptember 12, 2017
    The Top 4 Items to Prepare Your Home’s Exterior for a Cold Winter
    read more »
  • Roof Repair or ReplacementSeptember 7, 2017
    7 Reasons Why Autumn Is the Perfect Time for Roof Repair or Replacement
    read more »

Contact Us

Rocky Mountain Exteriors
3330 N Meridian Rd #100
Meridian, ID 83646
Phone: (208) 955-6818
Get Directions

Service Areas

Southern Idaho

Boise · Meridian · Nampa · Caldwell · Middleton · Star · Eagle · Emmett · Fruitland · Mountain Home · Sun Valley · Twin Falls · Burley · Jerome

Eastern Oregon

Ontario · Baker City · La Grande · Union · Cove · Imbler · Summerville · Elgin · Enterprise · Joseph · Wallowa & Wallowa Lake Oregon

Boise ID
Meridian ID
Twin Falls ID
La Grande OR

Our inspections and estimates are always free and informative!

We provide a full assessment of your project and discuss your goals and budget. There is no obligation.

Simply call: (208) 955-6818 or use our Quick Contact Form below:

*No solicitors please