BAY WINDOWS | An Architect Explains

Bay windows are angled or curved combinations of windows that extend outward to maximize your view. They are made up of a central window and two side windows. The central window is usually fixed, and parallel to the existing wall. The side windows are set at a 30°, 45°, 60°, or 90° angle. They’re often double-hung windows or casements and are either stationary or operating.

Bay windows are angled windows
Bay windows are angled windows that project out

Bay windows have both advantages and disadvantages which make them suitable only in some places. As an Architect, I have described Bay windows under the following headings so that you can decide whether it is suited for your requirement and your space:

Where are Bay windows best suited?
What are the advantages of Bay windows?
What are the disadvantages of Bay windows?


Bay windows have a deep sill area that is commonly used as a display for plants. They are commonly seen in the largest rooms of the home, often in living rooms and bedrooms. Bay windows are one of the most costly types of windows you can buy, this is owing to their overall size and construction.



Allow natural light to enter: Bay windows have panoramic views, so they allow more natural light to enter from multiple directions.
Good ventilation:  Because bay windows offer the option of having two operating windows, you can enjoy a nice breeze from two directions instead of just one.
Versatility: Bay windows allow for a reading nook or banquette style seating or for extra storage.
Add Space To The Home: Bay windows are installed in an outward protruding shape, this means that the floor space of the room increases by up to 3 feet in length. This ads a great feeling of additional space to the room.
Aesthetic: Bay windows are quite aesthetically pleasing to look at from inside and outside the home.
Add Value To Your Home: As mentioned above, bay windows are attractive to look at, they offer extra space and they add light into your room, these positives alone add value to your home when you decide to sell it.

bay windows offer a panoramic view
Bay windows offer a panoramic view, increase the floor space and allow for a banquette seating



Difficult to add a window treatment:  The tight angles and unique configurations of bay windows make it difficult to place and install hardware. You will have to hire a professional to avoid damaging the frame or compromising the style.
Allow natural light to enter:  This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Bay windows allow lots of light to enter, so it is important to purchase energy-efficient glass. Whilst this can be more expensive, it’s more beneficial in the long run, both in the summer months and the winter months..
Low-budget options are risky:  When bay windows are installed, it’s essential that the structure above them is well supported. A poorly constructed bay window will have structural problems that can cause the window to creak, sag and leak. If this happens, you will have to buy a replacement window, which can cost much more. 

bay window seat
It is difficult to add window treatments to Bay windows because of the angles

Like Bay windows, picture windows offer panoramic views but without the difficult-to-construct angles.

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For more information on other types of Windows, go to:


One thought on “BAY WINDOWS | An Architect Explains

  • July 31, 2020 at 8:24 am

    What is the name of a three bow windows column that starts in the basement apartment and extend to the upper most floor? The brick work is continuous from basement grade to roof level and there are three windows at each floor.


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