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 isGrubbs 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 Windows - Provide More Space to Your Interiors
Bow windows can look very elegant and majestic especially if you know how to provide the right treatment. The approach is fairly simple and you don't even have to spend much trying to find the perfect look that matches your style and savvy. Here are some of the options available as well as a few guidelines to follow during installation.
There are two main ways to treat your bow windows. The easier route would be to choose individual window shade treatments. Perhaps four or more windowpanes comprise the curve of your bow window so getting single treatments will provide each one with its own shade drop-down style. Make sure you choose the ones that match the area where you're planning to place them. The colors should also be complimentary and consistent to avoid clutter.
Bow windows are generally considered to be an attraction in the home. It is equally important that the treatment you choose will bring out its beauty and shape more. You may choose window shades that provide more privacy when you need it as well as window shades that try to draw more attention to the bow window. Individual café curtains have less privacy but focus more on providing a nice view and aesthetic appearance.
The window treatment should look good from the inside and outside. A useful solution would be to find a cloth roller shade having designs or colors that compliment when viewed from the outside and another different pattern or tone when viewed from inside the house. You may need to have one made just for your window to perfectly suit the environment.
Your second option would be to get a custom-made cloth roller shade that specifically follows the curve of your bow windows through a track. There are a number of manufacturers that customize shades and blinds. You also get to spend a lot of effort and time in this manner since you can freely choose the design and color you need. Double track roller shades are also good if you feel that the environment supports it with enough light.
Working With Bow Window TreatmentsDouble hung windows are probably the most common type of window in the home. They are popular for their versatility. With the ability to open them up to let in light and a fresh breeze or close them against inclement weather and protect the home from the outside world, homeowners have been creatively dressing up double-hung windows for years to coordinate with the room's decor.ConstructionDouble-hung windows are two window panels set together, one on top of the other. They have a locking mechanism on the middle window sash.The top and bottom frames slide up or down to open or close. The windowpanes on each panel are set in groups of one, two, six or nine. They can be made with vinyl or wood frames, and a variety of glass, Plexiglas or multi-layered energy efficient inserts. Window TreatmentsBecause the windows are usually fairly large, using window treatments to dress them up and lighten their stark appearance is a common practice in interior design. Custom window treatments for double-hung windows include draperies, curtains and valances. They typically frame the window at the top and sides. Curtains or drapes can be drawn back from the center to let light in and frame the view to the outside. At night, they are drawn for privacy to prevent people from the outside looking into the home. A shade may be placed over the inside of the window to regulate light and privacy.Curtains, Draperies and ValancesDepending on the formality, curtains or draperies can be used. Choosing the length and design is really a matter of personal preference and setting a tone. Longer is more formal. Dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms and hallways might have floor-length draperies with sheers on the inside. Kitchens, dens, bedrooms, bathrooms, attics and basements are popular places for curtains that hang just past the bottoms of the windows or just to the windowsill. Blinds or shades may be added on the interior for privacy. Add valances on top for extra pizzazz. Roman ShadesCustom Roman shades are made of fabric or woven materials. They fit on the inside top of the window frame and roll up and down or can be hung at the top outside to completely cover windows. The fabric should complement the fabrics and designs in the room. Windows with only Roman shades often have a less formal appearance than those with curtains and valances.
Working With Bow Window TreatmentsWith the price of heating and cooling rising almost daily I started looking at my old windows and wondering if it wouldn't be worth it to replace them with newer, more energy efficient ones. I had read about Energy Star® Ratings and how they are (supposedly) indicative of the most energy efficient appliances and building materials available.I started to do a little internet research to see if it would be a good investment to install more efficient windows in our townhouse. I wanted to find out if they could really pay for themselves and how long the payback period would take.After a little searching I found a simple calculation that will yield your payback period for installing new energy efficient windows.According to Energy Star, "An average household spends over 40 percent of its annual energy budget on heating and cooling costs. You could reduce those bills by up to 15 percent with ENERGY STAR® windows."We can break that claim down into a simple formula:(Your average monthly energy bill (if you have gas and electric just add them together) X.4 ) X.15 = projected savings per month. Divide this number into the cost of upgrading your windows and you have how many months it would take to recoup your investment.To make a long story short, projected savings are 6% of your monthly energy bill.For our house the calculation looks something like this:Average month's electric bill: $141.20* Times 6% X.06 = Avg energy savings per month $8.472Cost to replace 6 windows with Energy Star windows: Approx $330 (at the low end) per window X 6 windows = $1980 (if you have special tax rebates available in your area subtract those from your total).Next I figured out the projected payback period:$1980 / $8.472 = 233 months or 19.5 years (Update: since I wrote this article the Energy tax credit has been phased back in, so you would subtract the $1500 credit available (0r 30% of the cost of the windows not including instalation costs and take whichever is smaller) before dividing by monthly usage ratio. In the example you would take 1980-1500 = 480 and divide by 8.472 = 56.66 months until payback).Based on my math the investment without the tax credit hardly seemed practical. I calculated this based on costs which include installing the windows myself. Now including the tax credit in our calculation the payback period is 4.72 years, making it a very worthwhile investment, to get that return on an investment I'd have to get a 50% return on your money....pretty good huh?)You can take this same calculation to decide between replacing your windows with cheaper ones or going for the added expense of putting Energy Star rated windows in, just subtract the cost of the cheaper windows from the cost of the Energy Star windows and see the projected payout period differential.While the additional expense doesn't seem worth it for my project, perhaps with better tax rebates available in your area, and/or a higher energy bill it may be worthwhile for you. Just remember before making any major purchase, first DO THE MATH!*Note: I already knew my average monthly bill, but you can get a fairly accurate estimate of the average for your home by calling your local utility and asking them about their monthly budget plan. The budget plan amount for your house and family will be a fairly accurate estimate of your monthly energy bill customized to your home size, number of occupants, and your geographic area.