Bay Window Guide: What You Need To Know

Bay windows are a beautiful addition to any home. They add architectural interest and extra seating to any room, and they can even make a small space feel bigger.

But there are a few things you need to know before you schedule your window installation.

In this guide, we’ll cover what you need to know, such as pros and cons, so that you can decide if they’re right for your home. Read on to learn what you need to know about bay windows!

What Is A Bay Window?

A bay window is one of the types of windows that project outward from the main walls of a building.

People often use bay windows to provide extra space and light inside a room. You’ll see that they usually have three or more windows set at different angles to create what people call a bay effect.

Bay windows are a popular architectural feature in many homes, and you can find them in both traditional and modern styles. They can be fixed or openable, and you’ll find them in a variety of materials, including wood, vinyl, and fiberglass.

When choosing bay windows for your home, it is important to consider the size, style, and function of the space. A bay window installation can add beauty and value to your home, but they also come with some unique challenges.

Bay Window Pros And Cons

First floor bay window


Bay windows can provide you with a number of advantages, from enhancing your curb appeal to increasing the amount of natural light and ventilation in your home.

They aren’t as expensive to install as bow windows. You can also use them as a place to hang more decorative types of window treatments.

Perhaps best of all, bay windows add and also create the illusion of extra space, making small rooms appear larger and more open.


First and foremost, bay windows can be quite expensive, as they require additional framing and support. Additionally, because bay windows protrude from the home, they can create potential leak points if not properly installed.

Bay windows do stick out from the home exterior, meaning they take up some outside space. Finally, bay windows can block views and make it difficult to place furniture in the room.

How Much Can Bay Windows Cost?

New bay windows can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000 and higher to install while replacing them can run you about $1,800 each. It mainly depends on the window size, the number of panes, and how much construction your house needs to support a bay window.

Bay Window Types

Bay window with large center pane


You’ll see bay windows in a variety of styles, but the most common is the box bay window. As its name suggests, this style features a box-like construction, with all three sections of the window aligned to create a rectangular shape.

They are similar to canted bay windows in their structure, but the side panes on box bay windows meet the front pane at a 90-degree angle. This creates a box shape.


This is the classic style you see with most bay windows. You’ll see a flat front with sides that meet it at an angle. People only use them on the first floor of homes.


As the name suggests, circle bay windows feature curved glass panels that create a rounded look. These panes are larger than other bay window styles and usually have more windows above them, so they let in more light. You’ll usually see them with more architectural details and ornamentation.


Oriel bay windows are a specific type of bay window that is supported by a frame that extends from the ground up to the eaves of the roof. This helps give them the support they need as this window style doesn’t connect to the ground. You can put them on any level.

This bay window style was popular in Victorian-era homes, and it can add a touch of elegance to any home. 

Bay Window Designs

Decorative upper level bay window

You can use bay windows to create a number of different looks, depending on the configuration and style of the window panels.

For example, a bay window with three equal-sized windows can create a symmetrical look, while a bay window with two smaller windows flanking a larger central window can create a more eye-catching design.

Your side windows can open if you want to make your bay window more functional. This can help ventilate your home and allow you to feel a nice breeze without going outside. The main choices for openable side windows are casement and double-hung.

You can also customize your bay windows with a variety of finishings, such as shutters, curtains, or blinds. 

Bay Window Styles


Today’s bay windows are often more sleek and minimalistic, with clean lines and simple hardware. You’ll see they have smaller frames and tend to have larger panes, allowing more light to enter the room. They also have fewer decorative features.

While bay windows are still typically made of wood, there are now many more options for materials, including vinyl, aluminum, and even fiberglass. 


Mid-century bay windows are characterized by their large size and simple, clean lines.

Unlike the elaborate bay windows of the Victorian era, mid-century bay windows are typically made with just a few panes of glass, set in a metal frame. This minimalist approach was popular during the 1950s and 1960s when many architects were exploring new ways to use glass and metal in architecture. As a result, mid-century bay windows often have a very modern look.

However, they can also be adapted to fit a more traditional style. For example, by adding a bit of trim or paint, mid-century bay windows can easily become a charming feature of any home.


Bay windows and Victorian architecture go hand-in-hand. You can tell the Victorian style from its ornate details and traditional canted style. They also use oriel-style bay windows, though this is less common.


They are typically square or rectangular in shape and have a series of small windows, called “lights,” that are arranged in a diamond pattern. Tudor bay windows were popular during the 15th and 16th centuries, and they often had leaded glass panes.

You’ll usually find them with casement windows and see the wood brackets that hold them up.

Bay Window vs. Bow Window

Bay windows typically have three panels, with the two side panels angled at 30 to 45 degrees relative to the center panel. This configuration allows for maximum light exposure and provides a wide, panoramic view. Bay windows tend to be less expensive than bow windows, and they are also easier to install. Additionally, you have the option for openable bay windows but not with bow windows. Bay windows are a popular choice for living rooms and bedrooms.

Bow windows are similar to bay windows, but they have four or more panels that are all angled outward. This gives them a more rounded appearance and provides an even wider view than bay windows. Bow windows are often used in formal living areas or as a focal point in a room.

You Can Trust Urban Exteriors To Install Or Replace Your Bay Windows

Bay windows are a popular choice for homebuyers, and we can install them in any style or design you choose. Whether you’re looking to add value to your home or simply want a new look, our team can help make your dream bay window a reality. 

If you’re thinking of installing bay windows in your home, Urban Exteriors is here to help! We have years of experience installing bay windows, and we can guarantee that you will be happy with the results.

Be sure to fill out our contact form so we can help you find the perfect style and design for your home.