When many people talk about bay windows, what they’re actually referring to is something different altogether: a bow window. What’s the difference, you might ask? Well, bow windows are usually composed of three or more panes that are all joined to create a curving window structure.
Though a bow window will still project out of the wall of your property, there won’t be protruding corners. Rather, bow windows are seamless in how they blend into the brickwork, which is why many people love them.
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Just like bay windows, uPVC (unplasticized polyvinyl chloride) is used to make the majority of bow windows around. And you also have the same choice when it comes to the other window elements too like colours, design, and glazing options.
Customizing Bay Windows and Bow Windows
The great thing about uPVC window styles is that they’re so customizable. If you’re getting a new bay window fitted as a part of home improvements, the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing. In fact, you might struggle to make all of the decisions to find your perfect bay window style!
The number of windows
When it comes to bow and bay windows, the difference between them is usually in the number of windows the design has. And, with more windows, you’ll expect to pay more.
A bow window usually has more windows than a bay. Bow windows can have 3, 4, or 5 panes and they can be split into different height options too.
uPVC bay windows styles
A uPVC bay window can be given a personal touch when it comes to style and design. It’s not just about the number of windows but the glazing choices and finishes too.
Bow windows look elegant as they have a soft design compared to more angled bay window designs.
Colours available – who knew there were so many!
As well as the traditional white uPVC bay window styles, you can also get different colours. These include:
- Woodgrain colours
- Chartwell green
- Light oak
- Contemporary colours.
It’s worth noting that uPVC bay window cost is more expensive by 30% to 40% when you choose a colour over white uPVC.
So, if you like the idea of wood but want something that is more low maintenance, you can get a wood effect uPVC bay window.
Types of windows
Bow window prices will also depend on the number of windows and the type of windows. A bay window with fixed panes will be much cheaper than one with opening windows.
You can get individual window units that are sash windows (these go up and down in the window frame) or casement windows (which open with hinges).
Decorative glazing options
Most bay windows will come with double glazing as standard. However, it is possible to customize your windows with leaded glass or decorative glass. In terms of the windows cost, you will pay more for these features.
It’s rare to have windows that don’t have double glazing at least these days, so don’t worry about having to pay more for this.
The advantages of new bay windows installation
A new bay window design is exciting as it gives homeowners the opportunity to coordinate the look of their home and their interior. There are many advantages to installing bow and bay windows, let’s explore them:
- Bow windows project outwards, which means they make the room appear larger. In fact, it’s not that the room appears larger, they do actually create extra space inside the home too.
- Bow windows funnel more light into a room than a standard window.
- The unique design of bow windows means they create a better view of the outside. Upstairs, a bay window gives great panoramic views!
- Soft angles and graceful lines mean bay windows can add charm to both the interior and the exterior wall of your property.
- Windows can be customized so that they will blend in with the style of your home, whether they’re for period properties or modern designs.
- New windows mean increased security against would-be intruders.
- uPVC windows don’t need much (if anything) in the way of maintenance. TO keep them at their best, they just need cleaning occasionally.
- Since uPVC is a strong material, it is long-lasting and is ideal for complex designs like bow windows.
- You can also choose different glass options for maximum energy efficiency. If you choose the right glass, your energy bills won’t be as high – even though there is more glass!
Key Features of Bow Windows – a summary
Bow windows usually have more than three panes, which give unobstructed views of the outside world. Since they’re curved, they create more space and also give an illusion to a larger room.
The windows can be fixed, double hung or single hung. You can also have a combination of all three types!
New windows work well in terms of energy efficiency – especially in comparison to old windows. This makes them an eco-friendly investment.
Being durable and resilient, they have a long lifespan and added security.
Things to think about before investing in new uPVC windows
uPVC bow windows are an investment. It’s important to understand how bow windows work before getting them installed on your property.
Since these windows are virtually maintenance-free, you want to make sure that your home is free from structural problems before getting them installed. The last thing you want is cracks in walls or other disasters!
If you’re installing bay windows for the first time, it’s a good idea to get your walls checked to see if structural bay poles are needed for support. Most good window design companies will do this for you.
Another thing to consider is your doors. If you have wooden French doors but are installing uPVC windows, you might want to price up uPVC French doors at the same time. Even if you’re not planning on changing them yet, you might get windows prices reduced if you also get doors.
What will you use the extra space for?
It’s a secondary question really but it’s a nice one to think about as you can envisage your finished room and window!
Lots of people use the space as a storage area or incorporate a window seat into the opening. You could even combine the two with a seat that lifts up with storage underneath! Having a seat in the bay window means you can make the most of the natural light from all angles too.
Final thoughts on uPVC bow windows
No matter the final design you go for, you need to make sure you’re getting the most competitive price. Window prices and window designs vary from company to company.
It’s advisable to get a few different quotes on a like-for-like basis. If you have a preferred company, they might do a price promise whereby they match another quote.
It’s always a good idea to choose a company that is a member of the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF). This Glazing Federation membership means you know you’re getting a high-quality product.
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You can save up to 65% OFF your new bow windows by using our online cost calculator.
uPVC bay window FAQs
What glazing choices are available for windows in new bay designs?
There are so many options nowadays. You can find double glazing, triple glazing, acoustic glazing, leaded windows, Georgian bars, and more!
How secure are modern bay windows?
Nowadays, most bay windows are much more secure than those installed in previous generations. For example, window frames come with extra internal glazing beading, which means the glass cannot be removed externally. What’s more, multipoint locking systems are available too.
What material options do I have?
Many people love the look of natural timber but either don’t want to pay the higher price or are worried about the maintenance of it in years to come. Whenever you do any home improvements, it’s good to look at all options. As well as timer and uPVC, you can also get aluminium frames.
In terms of choice, however, uPVC windows cost the least – and they can even be made to have a wood-like effect!
What is the difference between a bow window and a bay window?
Many people use the terms interchangeably but essentially a bow window has more angles and more panes of glass. They both allow for lots of natural light to enter the space but bow windows have round posts and are more curved. Another distinction is that bay windows include a central picture window with two different windows on either side. Bow windows on the other hand have the same style of window used in each section.