victorian home with bow windows by window authority of houston

At first glance, many homeowners aren’t sure of the difference between bay and bow windows—in fact, it’s one of our most commonly asked questions that our team at Window Authority of Houston gets about our replacement window products. While both are elegant, stylish, and eye-catching in the same sort of way, they’re very clearly two distinct window styles, with unique characteristics that set them apart from one another.

If you’ve been shopping for replacement windows and are interested in something that goes beyond the standard slider, single-hung, and double-hung window types, bow or bay windows are worth considering for your home. To help you learn the differences between the two, our expert team of contractors has prepared this simple guide to bay and bow windows so that you can choose the right style for your upcoming home renovation project.

Bay Windows vs. Bow Windows: The 3 Major Differences

Bay and bow windows are both projection windows, which is why they seem similar at first. Once you learn to tell them apart, however, it’s very easy to tell the difference between the two. Here are the major differences between bow and bay windows:

  1. Structure: Bay windows are made up of three window panels that project from the side of a home in an angled semi-circle, and usually (but not always) consist of a picture window with two smaller windows on either side. Bow windows, on the other hand, project from the side of a home or a corner position in a rounded curve and are usually made up of four, five, or even six separate panels.
  2. Style: Both windows will complement any type of architecture, however, bay windows are usually the premier choice for modern or contemporary décor, while bow windows are traditionally used in Victorian and Tudor-style homes.
  3. Price: In general, bow windows cost more than twice as much as bay windows, and here’s why. Bow windows are made up of more panels and frames than bay windows, which means they’re made at a higher cost. They’re also more complicated to install, especially when placed in double-view corner positions on buildings, like in turrets.

Should You Choose Bay Windows or Bow Windows?

Both bay and bow windows are extraordinarily beautiful window types that will add plenty of light, curb appeal and sophistication to your home décor. Though they look a bit different from each other, both will add significant style and flair to your home’s exterior and interior, offer extravagant views from inside your home, and brighten up your home with natural light. Your decision between the two popular window styles should depend on a variety of factors, including your home’s existing décor style, the window placement, and your budget.

If you’re currently trying to decide between bay and bow windows for your home, it might help to ask a professional design consultant for advice. At Window Authority of Houston, we offer free, in-home, personalized consultations and pricing estimates for our customers to help you decide on replacement windows that are best for you. If you’d like to meet with one of our design consultants, give us a call now to learn more, or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation and pricing estimate now.