Bay windows have a purely magical way of connecting a house to the great outdoors. They bring in sunlight, and they do so with character. Bay windows are a popular feature of Victorian architecture such as the Painted Ladies of San Francisco. Read on to find out the things you’ve always wanted to know about bay windows.
Practical uses of bay windows
Bay windows are versatile home additions that can add space to the interior of the room where they are installed. These can be constructed to provide extra seating—when large enough, they can even be comfortably used for lounging. Bay windows are extremely useful for apartments, flats, and small residences because they broaden the visual perspective of a room from three angles instead of the limited dimension a regular window can provide.
Types of bay windows
Bay windows protrude outward from the walls of a house or a building; these are usually angled at 90, 135, and 150 degrees. These windows come in different heights, and most of them are constructed as polygons or squares.
Two classic variants of bay windows have become extremely popular. These are the bow window—which is curved—and the canted window, which is constructed with a flat front and angled sides.
Some bay windows come with a glass roof; these are often called garden bays or greenhouse windows. Garden bays allow maximum lighting to enter a room.
Bay windows: structure and materials
Here’s a quick look at how bay windows are constructed–their basic structure and the typical materials used.
• Bay windows are actually made up of three windows joined to make a single unit. The center window is usually wider and is flanked by two narrower windows. These three windows are separated by vertical mullion posts.
• Bay windows come in hundreds of sizes, but they typically range in width from 3 ½ to 10 ½ feet and in height from 3 ½ to 6 ½ feet.
• Bay windows are commonly made of vinyl or wood. Primed wood is used for the exterior of wooden bay windows. No one can argue how good this type of finish looks, but using wood also means regular scraping and repainting to prevent rot.
• Vinyl windows are very affordable and are quite maintenance-free but they are not as aesthetically pleasing as wooden bay windows. A third option is the clad window, which has an all-wood interior and an aluminum exterior for easy maintenance.
• Bay windows are made with two glass panes separated by air space. Today the glass for bay windows is glazed, and some windows have three panes with a total of two air spaces in between for better energy efficiency.
• Bay windows are now available with low-e glazing; this allows the entry of solar heat during winter months and reflects heat during the summer season.
How much do bay windows cost?
The cost of installing a bay window will depend on the size of the window, the type of materials you choose, the style of the windows, and the fees charged by your contractor. In addition, some cities may require you to pay for a permit for such a renovation.
For a rough idea of how much putting in a bay window will cost you, figure out what you would shell out for a regular window with the same dimensions and multiply this by two or three. You might spend anywhere from $1000 to $2000 per bay window, and even more if you have one custom made for you.
If you weigh the cost of bay windows against what they contribute to your house, you will see that they are worth every penny. Moreover, their ambiance can very well bring up the value of your property by more than a couple of thousand. Just make sure that you do your research and shop around for the window that will be perfect for both your house and your pocketbook.