The upgrade or addition of a projection window is a popular way for homeowners to boost their curb appeal, expand their view, and increase a room’s functional living space. If you’re just starting to research replacement window options, you’ve probably heard mention of both bay and bow windows—but what’s the difference between the two, and which style should you choose for your home? Here are the benefits of each type and a few factors you should consider when making a decision between the two.

Bay Windows:

A bay window is the combination of three or more windows that angle out beyond the exterior wall. Our Certified Master Installers can expertly install bay windows in four projection angles up to a 90 degree box bay. Since the window protrudes outside the wall, you can enjoy an extended view and even additional seating space.

White bay window and seat

Above: Bay Window/ White Interior/ Colonial Grilles/ Double-hung and Picture combination

Bow Windows:

Similar to bay windows, bow windows extend beyond the exterior wall, but sweep away from the wall in a graceful arch of four, five, or six windows.  This elegant window style is typically larger than the bay window style and has more glass area because of a curve in lieu of corners. As with bay windows, adding a window seat to your bow window can be a quick and easy room addition. If you’re adding a bench seat below your window, consider it an opportunity for extra storage! If you’re looking to make your room appear bigger and brighter, bow windows are the perfect solution.

Bow window - exterior

Above: Bow Window/ Canvas Exterior/ Shake Roof/ Colonial Grilles/ 5 Casement Windows

Bay and bow windows are typically associated with Victorian architecture—you might think of “The Painted Ladies” in San Francisco for instance. Dress your bay and bow windows with grilles, various roof options, and colors that complement the architectural style of your home. These windows can be flexible when it comes to each individual window type. You can choose a combination of double-hung, casement, picture, or awning windows to create your bay or bow window.


Above: The Pink Ladies in San Francisco (Shutterstock). Note: These are not Renewal by Andersen replacement windows.

If the idea of a bay or bow window is new to your home, note that they can be used as a replacement in most large window openings—so if you’re looking for something new, we recommend talking with our experts! It’s in your best interest to schedule a free consultation with one of our design experts to talk through your exact needs so you can rest assured you’ve made the right decision. Schedule a free consultation and start your replacement window project today!