Looking for a more dramatic way to let natural light into your home while simultaneously increasing your home’s curb appeal? A bay window – with the classic appeal of its rounded arc shape and outward projection – could be just the ticket to adding space, volume, and character, as well as maximizing light and opening up views in your home.
Usually composed of two angled windows and one wide center window that make up a single large unit, bay windows reach out and capture light from different directions. The protrusion also creates additional seating space and adds valuable square footage to your home.
Often a combination of either two casement windows or two double-hung windows, and a picture window in the center, the dramatic feel bay windows create often serves as a stunning focal point to any room.
Going From Flat Windows to Bay
Replacing your flat panes with bay windows can bring added views and ventilation to the home. From the outdoors, the unique lines of a bay can add significantly to curb appeal. Indoors, you can enjoy a cozy perch on which you can lie back and read or relax, or style a nook where you can let your decorative plants soak in the sun. Pets of all types are notorious for curling up in bay windows, or using them as vantage points to survey backyards.
Before You Install Your New Bay Windows
Bay windows have a universal appeal, but remember that getting them installed is considered a significant remodel. You’ll need an experienced professional, not just a general contractor. Adding a bay can change the dynamic of a room, as well as impact the logistics and ergonomics of the furnishings.
Bay windows typically range from 3 ½ feet to 10 ½ feet in width and 3 feet to 6½ feetin height. It makes most sense to put a bay in a window opening that’s similar or slightly smaller in size, but keep in mind that the added components mean a more technical installation.
Because of their size and the added surface area, bay windows also require regular cleaning and maintenance. The type of material you use can affect the amount of maintenance needed: Wood can be economical, but must be repainted regularly to prevent rot. Vinyl is inexpensive, but typically warps and results in seal failure. Wood composite is maintenance free, and doesn’t warp or discolor. There are a limited number of window materials, so make sure to select the frame that suits you and your home best.
The biggest consideration when installing a bay is ensuring structural safety. Careful planning according to the area and support needed by the new bay windows is necessary. Adding bay windows to a second or third story is simple for an window replacement expert, but it can be a major safety hazard for someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. Be sure to ask your window replacement company about how your exterior materials will be effected (stucco, siding, brick, etc.).
In some instances, permits are required for bay window additions. Bay window additions in Cincinnati are sometimes considered alterations and need a building permit that other window replacements may not. In most cases, your local window replacement expert will know what permits are needed and should be able to get them for you.
Colin Jeffries serves as Regional Marketing Manager for Renewal by Andersen Cincinnati. He spent years in the property management and residential development industries before joining Renewal by Andersen in 2013. When he’s not too busy working, he finds the time to write informative and helpful articles and blog posts for the company’s customers and homeowners throughout America.