Case Studies

Global Home Improvement Case Studies: What's the difference between bay and bow windows?

Monday, February 19th, 2018 by Michael Gabrian


Bow and bay windows are an elegant addition to just about any style home. They both allow the feeling of some extra space, provide additional lighting, and have a certain charm, but what exactly is the difference between the two?

Let’s dive in.

Style and size

One of the primary differences between bay and bow windows are the style. Typically, a bay window will have 3 panes, while the bow window will 4+ panes.

Since the difference is focused on the angle and shape. Think of a square, hexagonal, or octagonal shape for bay windows and circular shape with bow windows.

Bay windows tend to protrude out of the house a bit more giving you more space, while the bow window will stick out less but be wider.

Ventilation and light

Bay windows have the tendency to act as regular windows, so if ventilation is something you’re looking for, bay might be the better call. Bow windows have the option to open, it could boost the price pretty significantly.

Though the amount of light you capture depends on a few factors (angle, architecture, direction facing), bow windows offer more light because of the amounts of glass space and that they use less framing.


It’s tough to find a concrete estimate for how much a bay or bow window would cost because it depends on so many factors; hourly rate, installation, frame types, etc.

The best way to get a tailored, accurate estimate is to have a local contractor come and see the area, go over pictures, and talk about options and goals.  


Bay and bow windows are both great options for adding space to a room, letting light in, and building yourself an amazing view. The main differences being bay windows will stick out a little further and bow windows are wider, allowing more light in.

Choosing between the two can be difficult. To discuss some of your options and get a free estimate, click here.


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