Bay Windows vs. Bow Windows | Ep. 161

Split image showing a bay window, on the left, and a bow window, on the right
Bay windows vs. bow windows: Although they look similar, these types of windows are installed differently and could have an impact on your home’s curb appeal.

Bay windows vs. bow windows: A lot of folks wonder about the difference, and which is right for their home.

That’s the case for Erica from Huntington, Calif. She’s wanting to remodel a large flat picture window in her living room into either a bay window or a bow window. Erica asks, “Do you know any reason why we should choose one over the other?”

In this week’s Podcast Question of the Week, we’ll break down the differences.  


Bay window, seen from the inside of a home
Bay windows typically extend down to the home’s floor level.

Bay Windows

A bay window is the combination of three windows that angle out beyond a home’s exterior wall. These windows, if on the first floor, also have walls beneath them that extend to your home’s floor surface.

The angle at which the windows are installed will determine how far out they protrude. With a 30-degree angle, the window will typically extend about 13-14 inches. If the windows are at a 45-degree angle, they could extend about 20 inches.

If you have a walkway in front of your house, that might protrude too far out and obstruct it. Carefully consider these things before choosing a bay window.


Bow window, seen from the outside of a downtown apartment complex
Bow windows are sometimes called pocket windows.

Bow Windows

Similar to bay windows, bow windows usually have more window panels than bays and have a curved design. They also typically don’t have walls that extend down to the home’s floor level. These pocket windows sometimes have seating within them. 

Bow windows come in different sizes and can protrude beyond your home’s exterior as little as four inches. With a small bow window, you may not have so much of an obstruction outside your house as with a bay window.


Other Considerations

No matter which window you choose, think about your roof before installing it. You might be extending the window beyond your roof overhang, which means you will have to do some roof work.

Then, you’re affecting the aesthetics of your home exterior. Consider having a drawing made by an architect to see how the window will look from the outside.

No matter which window you choose, it will make a difference in the room. The added window area will make the room feel larger by flooding it with natural light

Installing bow windows and bay windows is not a DIY project, so you should check with some remodeling contractors before installing either one. The average cost of a bow window, with materials and installation, is $3,600, according to HomeAdvisor. A bay window costs an average of $2,110.

Skip to [18:52] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Also on this episode:


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Simple Solutions

Fast Fix for Sagging Gutter — If you notice that a section of rain gutter is sagging, chances are the spike that holds the gutter in place has pulled free from the fascia board. The solution is to use pliers to pull out the spike, and then replace it with a long structural screw. And, if possible, always drive the screw through the fascia and into the end of a rafter tail. 

Watch: How to Repair Sagging Gutters

Paint Color Reminder — This home-decorating tip was submitted by a listener, Betty Dodson. Whenever you paint a room, save two or three extra paint chips of that color, and put them in your wallet, purse or car’s glove compartment. Then, when shopping for new curtains, towels, rugs, or other room accessories, you can pull out the paint chips to help you select accessories that best complement the room paint. 


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