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 isDonaldson 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.
Replacement Windows: No Big Secrets, Some Negative Aspects? (Part 1)
Bow and bay windows are sought after by homeowners to make a bold statement. Curb appeal is often enhanced by replacing a few standard double-hung windows on the front of a house with one large "showcase" window that projects outward from the exterior wall of the home. By extending the facade in this manner, you are afforded the ability to construct an interior window sill onto which you can set vases or other floral arrangements, fine porcelain or even trophies, if your heart desires. I had a customer several years ago who purchased a large bay window for one simple reason: to allow his cat a place to comfortably lay in the sun.
As with all replacement windows, there are many factors you must take into consideration when purchasing a bow or bay window. First and foremost is the energy-efficiency of the product. Remember, these windows are much larger than traditional double-hung windows, the ones you will likely find in your bedrooms. As such, there is substantial glass surface area which will be exposed to the elements. Choose a window with poor glass and you'll be miserable for years to come.
The interior window sill on a bay or bow window can be vinyl or wood. Often, birch is the wood chosen by manufacturers for its beautiful wood grain. Be careful if you plan to place plants on this window sill. When watering, any overflow will damage the wood before long. It may be best to opt for a vinyl sill if this is your intention. If instead you plan on placing a large vase or artificial flowers on your new sill, birch will be your most attractive option. A wood sill can be stained and a polyurethane coating applied to not only protect it, but to complement your home's interior. Often we will stain a sill to match a wood banister or hardwood flooring in a customer's home.
Replacement Windows: No Big Secrets, Some Negative Aspects? (Part 1)
There comes a time in every window's life when it must be repaired or replaced. There are many different reasons to repair or replace windows, the trick is deciding which is the best option for you. If you are looking for more energy efficient, high performance windows, replacing will win out over repairing. Even if you need just a minor repair you should review your options and determine if replacing the window might be more beneficial than a repair in the long run. The following information weighs the options for repairing or replacing a window for two major window issues: replacing glass and replacing a window sash.
There are usually two reasons to need to replace glass. 1. The glass is broken. 2. The insulated glass seal has failed and the glass is fogging. In either case, a new piece of glass can usually be ordered and installed into the old window to fix the problem. If it is a wood window, replacing the glass will require more work, and will cost more. Vinyl or aluminum frame windows normally have a glass stop that is easily removed so the glass can be replaced. In some cases with broken glass, old windows may not be cost effective to repair and you might be better off replacing the window unit.
If the glass is fogging because the seal has failed, the entire insulated glass will need to be replaced to fix the problem. One thing to consider if the seal has failed in one window, it may not be long before other windows start to fail as well. If your windows have reached this point, you might consider replacing the windows with newer, more energy efficient windows. A new piece of glass installed in the windows can run you between $100-$300 for materials and labor. A new replacement window will cost between $300-$700 installed.
While there is a significant difference in these two prices, the window replacement will have a longer life and provide you a more energy efficient window. In addition, with the energy savings of new replacement windows, you will recoup the additional costs incurred to replace instead of repair.
Window Sash Replacement
When wood windows get older they become inefficient, drafty, and hard to operate, or the old wooden sashes begin to rot because of poor maintenance and need to be removed, even though the window frame is still in good shape. Sometimes a sash replacement can help cure this problem by inserting new sashes into the existing window frames of the house. Several manufacturers offer sash replacement kits that provide new sashes and tracks to be installed into the old window opening. The tracks are screwed into the old frames and the sashes are mounted inside the new tracks. The process provides new sashes that are in good shape and are more energy efficient than the old sashes in the opening.
While this process may save material costs (not having to pay for a brand new window), it can be a labor intensive process, which will add to the bottom line costs. In addition, this process must be done correctly or the new sash replacement kit will not function properly which could lead to future performance and weatherproofing problems.
Old wood windows can have full frame replacements without removing the old frame or interior/exterior trim using a pocket window replacement. A pocket window replacement is performed by removing the old window sashes and stops and sliding a new window inside the pocket left behind by the old window. The window is then trimmed around the edges and sealed tight to guarantee a leak free installation. The benefit to a pocket replacement, in lieu of a sash replacement kit, is that the window is manufactured and tested at the factory so you know it is airtight, watertight, and energy efficient. By sliding the new window inside the existing opening, you are letting the window manufacturer worry about it keeping out the elements.
The window sash replacement will run you about the same as what you will pay for a new window by the time you factor in installation costs etc. so it can be a wash between the two options. If you get a low price for a window sash replacement, you should make sure the installer understands the amount of work required and that installing the kits correctly is the most important thing about the project.
The Choice is Yours
Ultimately the decision to repair or replace a window is yours to make. Generally a replacement window is going to cost more than a simple repair to an existing window, but the long term benefits of a new window can surpass the benefit of just a "band aid" on an old one. There are also many more companies equipped to provide a replacement window installation than there are to perform a quality window repair. While you may save on the costs to fix a window, you might spend a lot of time trying to find the right person to perform the repair. The bottom line is this: when you are considering a window repair, you should also consider replacing the window for the long term benefits that it can provide.
Who Makes the Best Replacement Windows?Vinyl replacement windows are an great way to increase the value and improve the appearance of your home. These windows are extremely durable and will last for many years with proper care. One of the greatest benefits is the ease of care and cleaning.Follow these easy steps to ensure that your vinyl replacement windows can be enjoyed for years to come.Sometimes, your windows will have labels or tape on the glass. Alcohol-based cleaners can remove label and tape adhesive that can be left behind from these labels. Be sure to test the cleaner on a small portion of the glass first. After this is removed, thoroughly wet the glass and rinse with plain water.Glass can be easily cleaned with regular or other ammonia-based glass cleaners. Windex and similar glass cleaning products are ideal.Vinyl (PVC) products can be cleaned with a solution of mild soap and water. For heavier cleaning tasks, the window manufacturer recommends commercially advertised household cleaners. Use any non-abrasive cleaner for tough jobs, avoiding Soft Scrub and similar abrasive products, which may cause damage. Do not use solvents, paint removers or sharp objects to clean your windows and patio doors.If mildew is a problem in your home, use an appropriate cleaner or mildew controller found in any local retail store.The tracks of the sliding and double-hung windows are exposed to the outdoor elements, which can contain abrasive elements such as dirt, leaves, sand, grease, soot, etc. If these elements are not removed, they can be ground into the tracks when the sashes are operated, making operation of these sashes difficult.To avoid this problem, a minimum semi-annual cleaning is recommended. These tracks can be cleaned with a small, stiff, nylon brush, and then wiped down with a soft cloth. If necessary, an occasional light coat of silicone spray lubricant on the track of the sliding window will help to ease the operation of your window without leaving an oily residue, which can collect more abrasive elements.Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for safe use of any chemical or cleaner.Over time, your windows' screens can accumulate dirt and other debris. Screens can be cleaned easily with a soft brush. The type of soft brushes found on some vacuum cleaner accessories are a good example of a suitable brush.