f you are researching windows to install in your home and come across one called a bow window, don’t worry. It’s not a typo. Bay windows and bow windows are very similar, but not identical. If you are unsure which one best suits your space, learn more about what each has to offer.
</p><p><strong>Bay </strong></p><p>A bay window isAmity a three-paneled window that juts from your home, and typically features a window seat or storage bench below it, on the inside of the house. It is an attempt to bring the outside indoors. By creating the illusion that while in your living room, you’re simultaneously in your yard, the bay window creates a unique space in your room and eye appeal.</p><p><strong>Bow </strong></p><p>Bow windows are typically larger than bay windows, but serve a very similar purpose. Usually, bow windows have five panels, which cause them to curve like a bow instead of appearing more rigid like a bay window. The size makes them a prominent feature in your room, so it’s important that you have the wall space to incorporate them, and that you are comfortable with the light and exposure they allow.</p><p><strong>Customizing </strong></p><p>Once you have decided between bay and bow windows, the fun begins! You can customize with finishes such as:</p><p></p><ul> <li>Wood color</li> <li>Glass type</li> <li>Hardware</li> <li>Grilles</li> <li>Screens</li></ul><p>These choices will dramatically change the look of the window, so before you commit, envision the window with all of your selections. Have a good sense for the finished product before you head home. Otherwise, you may have an unpleasant surprise when the window arrives for installation. Once the window is in, you also have the opportunity to create a new internal space.
Bay and Bow WindowsWhy Choose Vinyl Windows?The biggest advantage with vinyl windows is that they are maintenance free. Make sure the vinyl window products you choose are 100% virgin vinyl, which means it will never pit, crack, peel, fade or require painting. Vinyl is a natural insulator which adds to the energy efficiency of the windows. Vinyl will not swell, rot or be susceptible to insect damage. Vinyl windows are a maintenance-free addition to the home.How does Low/E Work?Solarban 60 Coated Low-E Glass allows natural light to enter freely. In winter, indoor long-wave heat energy is reflected back into the house, lowering heating costs. In summer, outdoor long-wave heat energy , radiating from objects, is reflected back outside, lowering cooling costs.What is an Energy Star Window?The ENERGY STAR label for residential windows simplifies your purchasing decisions. You can be confident that ENERGY STAR-labeled windows, doors and skylights exceed the minimum energy efficiency criteria for the climate region in which you live - sometimes by as much as 40 percent! This means that ENERGY STAR window products will reduce your home energy costs compared to other products.Look for the label on the window that identifies it as a qualified ENERGY STAR product, and tells you in which regions it qualifies. Windows can qualify in some or all of the northern, central, and southern climate regions. Additionally, all ENERGY STAR qualifying windows, doors and skylights will carry another label which indicates that it has been certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). These independent ratings provide the basis for ENERGY STAR´s window performance requirements.ENERGY STAR performance requirements are tailored to fit the energy needs of the country´s different climate regions - northern, southern and central states. Additionally, recent technological advancements -- new materials, coatings, design and construction features -- make it possible to choose window products that allow you to balance your winter heating and summer cooling needs without sacrificing versatility or style. Look at the Climate Region Map on the ENERGY STAR label to be sure that the window, door or skylight you have selected is appropriate for use where you live.About Climate ZonesThe ENERGY STAR label identifies efficient windows appropriate for the following three broad climate areas.Buying a Window for the Northern ClimateENERGY STAR windows in the northern region must include features to reduce heat loss (windows with a lower U-factor have lower heat loss). The most common way to do this is with a low-e coating, which is a microscopically thin metal coating that is applied to the glass by the manufacturer.All low-e coated glass products reduce heat loss compared to clear glass products without a low-e coating. Look for a low U-factor on the product´s NFRC label to be sure. Some low-e products also reduce solar heat gains. The percentage of solar heat that is admitted through a window is shown by the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) rating. The lower the SHGC rating, the less solar heat the window transmits into your home. If you live in a house that is designed to take advantage of the free solar heating, or you have minimal concern about summer cooling you should look for windows with somewhat higher SHGC ratings.ENERGY STAR qualifying windows in the northern climate region must have a U-factor rating of 0.35 or below. Skylights must have a U-factor rating of 0.45 or below.Buying a Window for the Central ClimateENERGY STAR labeled windows in the central region must include features to reduce both heat loss and solar heat gain. The most common way to do this is with a low-e coating. All low-e coated glass products reduce heat loss compared to clear glass products without a low-e coating. Some low-e products also reduce solar heat gains more than others. The percentage of the solar heat that is admitted through a window is shown by the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) rating. All ENERGY STAR qualifying windows for the central states must have a U-factor rating of 0.40 or below and a SHGC rating of 0.55 or below.If you live in a home that is designed to take advantage of the free solar heating, or you have minimal concern about summer cooling costs, you can look for windows with somewhat higher SHGC ratings on the NFRC label. If you are concerned about both heating and cooling costs, you may want to look for windows with lower SHGC ratings.Buying a Window for the Southern ClimateENERGY STAR labeled windows in the southern region must include features to reduce the solar heat gain. Two of the most common ways to do this are through tinted glass and low-e coatings. These features limit the amount of solar energy entering your home and reduces the amount of air conditioning needed to keep you comfortable.All windows, doors and skylights qualifying for the ENERGY STAR label in the southern region must have a U-factor rating of 0.75 or below and a SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) rating of 0.40 or below.
Choose Good Quality Bi-Folding Patio Doors For a Secure HomeThe aim of this article is to give the layman an introduction to Windows in the 21st century. We will break down the topic into 4 parts:1) Basic Make-Up of a Window 2) Various Types of Windows 3) Window Design and Application 4) Examples of Window Manufactures1. Basic Make-UpThe 3 basic components of most windows are: a) Frame b) Sash c) Glassa) The frame is the outermost border of the window. It is the part that connects to the walls of a house. It can be made out of Wood, PVC, Aluminum, Steel, Iron, etc. The frame gives structure to the window and together with the sash determines what the window looks like on the exterior and interior.b) The sash is the second layer, in a manner of speaking, and holds the glass. It can easily be overlooked because it is often difficult to see where the frame ends and the sash begins. It becomes, however, much easier if the window is operable (able to open) because then the sash moves with the glass leaving only the frame stationary. Again, design-wise, the sash plays a big role and the sash-glass interface, namely the glazing bead or glazing stop, can change the look of a window.c) The glass is what makes a window a window. This is especially true for the layman or novice who might not notice anything but the actual glass. However, the glass is just the most central (physically speaking) of the 3 components. It can come as a single, double or triple layer in various thicknesses. It can be Clear, Tinted, Reflective, Textured or have ornate designs such as Stained Glass. 2. Various Typesa) Picture or Fixed b) Single and Double Hung c) Casement and Awning (and Pushout) d) Hopper and Pivot e) Tilt & Turna) Picture or Fixed WindowsThe term Picture is used interchangeably with the term Fixed. And they are the same in that both do not open. However, sometimes the term Fixed refers to the fact that there is a non-operable sash present, whereas the Picture Window skips the sash and has the glass mounted directly into the frame.b) Single and Double Hung WindowsSingle and Double Hung Windows are tried and tested and have been around for a very long time. Both refer to windows that are horizontally divided into an upper and lower sash. In a Single Hung the lower sash moves up and down and the upper sash does not move. In a Double Hung both sashes move up and down independent of each other. Because gravity would pull these sashes down immediately after being opened, these types of windows use weights, springs or friction to keep the sashes in the desired position.c) Casement and Awning (and Pushout)WindowsBoth these types refer to a window where the sash opens towards the exterior. In a casement style, the sash is hinged either left or right causing the window to open like a swinging door. I an awning style, the sash is hinged at the top and pushed out via scissor hinges at the bottom. In both cases a rotary mechanism (with a crank) is employed to operate the sashes. Pushout windows are hinged in the same locations as casements and awnings but instead of cranking the window open you simply push it open once you unlocked it.d) Hopper and PivotHopper and Pivot Windows usually open towards the exterior as well but the hinges are located either at the vertical centre or at the very bottom allowing the window to open like a "V". These types of windows have mostly become obsolete which might in part be due to them catching the water on a rainy day.e) Tilt & Turn WindowsTilt & Turn windows have long been a staple of Europe. This type of window swings or "turns" and "tilts" to the interior when opened. It is hinged on either the left or right as well as always on the bottom. When fully tilted inwards, the windows is open by about 6" allowing for ventilation at the top. The operator is a lever similar to a door handle.3. Design and ApplicationsTo start off, it has to be said that Hopper and Pivot Windows are almost completely out of use. Of the remaining 4 types, Europe uses mainly Tilt & Turn windows. This might have something to do with the larger wall depth you see in concrete/stone block construction in Europe and with the higher energy efficiency requirements. Tilt & Turn windows address both these issues better than any other type.As we have seen, Picture/ Fixed windows do not open. They are still the most widely used window by quantity. Their function is to provide light and to have the closest possible seal towards the exterior. Oftentimes, Picture/Fixed windows are used in conjunction with operable types either in between, below or above. The latter is most commonly seen above entry doors of a house. North America and the older parts of Europe make heavy use of Single and Double Hung windows which have a great longevity while looking very traditional. Combined with a Stained Wood Interior, they can be very appealing, however, in most cases you sacrifice a bit of the view because of their horizontal division.The casement/awning window is the most widely used window in North America today. Without any dividers, they offer a clear view while still being operable. A possible downside is the crank operated mechanism which can suffer from prolonged use.To achieve a traditional look you want to make use of either Wooden Single and Double Hungs or Casements and Awnings with External Grilles. These grilles are glued to the top of the glass on the exterior and/or interior giving the appearance of many small squares of glass.Contemporary designs tend towards using large glass-to-frame ratios and also the use of metallic frame and sash materials such as aluminum.Lastly, here are some examples of North American window manufactures that encompass most of the discussed types of windows:Picture/Fixed/Single; Double Hung/Casement/Awning:a) Andersen Windows b) Pella Windows c) Milgard WindowsTilt & Turn:a) Gaulhofer Windows b) Euroline Windows c) Innotech Windows
To answer the nagging question that so many bay window owners have, namely "How do I treat a bay window?" let's first take a look at what a bay window is and what that means to you the homeowner. A bay window is a recessed window with angled sections. So in essence it is like one large window, with two smaller angled windows on either side. For many, especially those with an outstanding view and with privacy and light control this should not be a concern because it is a great window to leave uncovered. Unfortunately most bay windows do not have fabulous views and plenty of privacy. Most bay windows require window treatments such as bay window curtains.
Each bay window is going to have a unique set of circumstances that will dictate what type of bay window curtain or treatment should be used. So, let's take a look at a few of these:
If your bay window has unique features, or maybe features handsome window frames, etc. consider playing them up with individual, inside-mounted cafe curtains, shades, or blinds. Roman shades with contrast banding are tailored and traditional.
For closely spaced windows, try a simple set of shades or blinds, and add a continuous valance or a series of shallow swags. If you can plan carefully, your bay window curtains will look lovely whether your blinds are up or down. If you should use a valance, plan so the top treatment conceals the under treatments when they're raised.
For many bay windows, you will want to use rod-pocket curtains or curtains on rings. If you have rod-pocket curtains and curtains on rings you should know that they may require a hinged, flexible, or custom-bent rod to fit your window properly.
If your bay windows are not closely spaced, and if there is enough space in between, hang a stationary panel between windows and at each outer window. For a bay window with little space between windows, flank the entire window area with a pair of panels and top the treatment with a cornice. This will give you the best looking results for whatever bay window you have.
Despite the stigma, finding the perfect window curtains for covering the bay windows in your home is easier than you think. You do not have to spend a whole lot of money to get bay window curtains that fit your needs. Affordable bay window curtains are available in various solid colors, print fabrics, and also in a huge selection of materials. You are not limited to one or two choices. You can also skip bay window curtains altogether and simply treat your bay windows with blinds and a window topper such as a valance or cornice. When it comes to bay window curtains you can choose from a variety of styles including... Pinch Pleated Drapes, Insulated Drapery Panels with foam backing, Tab Top Drapes, Velvet Drapes, simple valances, detailed cornices and more! And why not use a little of everything, for bay window curtains and drapes you can usually find bother the drapes and a coordinating valance top.
Have fun with your bay window curtains, and do not let the size or shape be an obstacle, rather make it a fun design challenge.