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 isMarble Falls 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.
Choosing Bay or Bow WindowsWhen sizing a glass block window panel you need to throw out the old saying "measure twice and cut once." With an interior or exterior block window project you need to measure twice and don't cut at all (this is because you can't slice through a block and have it retain it's structural integrity and energy efficiency properties). Although determining the size of the block glass window does require skill and knowledge, it does not take a neurosurgeon to figure this stuff out. In this article you'll learn the 4 step process to get the correct window size, system, pattern, color and options for your needs and tastes.Step 1) Where do you want to use the block window? What material is (or will be surrounding) surrounding the window opening?o Will your glass block window be used in a lower level basement, a 1st floor garage or commercial building, or a 2nd floor bathroom window that is 20 foot to the sill? If you're putting the window on the lower level you can generally make the window panel larger since you won't have to be lifting it in the air (most basement windows tend to use anywhere from 8 to 15 blocks in a pre-assembled section - weighing from 50 lbs. to 90 lbs per section). Most second floor bathroom windows tend to use 12 to 24 blocks so you might want to select a thinner block thickness (either 2" or 3 1/8") so the panel is lighter and easier to install.o The surrounding materials the window panel will be set in (also called the head - or top, jambs - or side, or sill - or bottom) are also important. If you're doing a basement foundation window that will be set inside a masonry wall made of concrete block, sandstone, or poured concrete you may want to size your block window using a mortar joint (to match up with your surrounding masonry materials) vs. a silicone jointing process for the window. For a bathroom window inside of a wood framed opening the silicone vinyl framed glass block window system might be preferred because this window is lighter (usually built with 2" thick blocks) and easier to set, making an upper level installation safer.Step 2) Measuring an existing opening or determining the size you'd like to create a new openingo To replace an existing window you start by measuring the opening first. When measuring an existing masonry opening for block basement windows or upper floor windows you usually want to measure assuming the frame will be removed (this happens about 90% of the time), from side to side, and from the top of the sill to the top of the header plate. The block window will need to be sized smaller than this opening remembering that you can't cut the glass, or as my Dad used to say fit 10 lbs of you know what into a 5 lb. bag. For upper floor frame openings you usually will measure the area inside of the frame after the window sashes would be removed to size your window.o Creating a new opening for a block window If you're creating a new opening for a block window you want to begin with the end in mind. Choose your specific block window system, pattern, design, and/or colors and find out from your glass block window manufacturer what size the window panel will be after it's manufactured. Then you'll create your opening usually about ½" larger than the size of the panel (for example if the glass panel size is 40" x 40" you'll want to create your rough opening to be 40 ½" x 40 ½").Step 3) Choose a glass block window system and select your pattern, design, air vent, colors, and block sizes.o Block window panels can be made either with or without a frame. For existing basement windows in masonry openings a frameless block window is more cost effective, can be mortared in place, and is usually the way to go. The frameless window panels can be joined together either with mortar or silicone. The advantage of the mortared windows is they are harder to break in through and match most foundations. The advantage of the siliconed windows are they are smaller in size when pre-assembled together (which works well for tighter fitting openings), lighter, and have an all glass look.o For upper level frame openings a vinyl framed block window can be an excellent choice since these windows are available in different frame colors and can be installed just like a standard replacement window. For openings you are creating, or can modify the size of, this is the way to go.o There are a wide selection of block sizes, patterns, design possibilities, air ventilation products, and colors for your windows. A brief overview is presented below:o Sizes and thicknesses of glass blocks - Glass masonry units are made is both metric and American sizes. Most of the blocks available in the United States are American sized. The American sized blocks are available in 4" x 8", 6" x 6", 6" x 8", 8" x 8", 12" x 12" and specialty shapes to turn corners or radiuses if you're looking to create a bay or bow block window. The blocks have nominal sizes meaning the actual size of the block units is ¼" smaller allowing for a mortar joint (a 6" x 6" block actually measuring 5 ¾" x 5 3'4"). There are 3 available thicknesses - 2", 3 1/8", and 4" thick. Thinner blocks are lighter and generally easier for someone less experienced to work with.o Patterns, designs and colored glass blocks - Blocks come in a multitude of patterns providing different levels of privacy, style, security, and energy efficiency. The block are now available in standard and custom colors and artistically decorated murals to match any interior design style. Check out a comprehensive block web site to see the possibilities.o Air ventilation and acrylic block windows - Glass block windows are available with vinyl air vents, dryer vents, or power exhaust fans. There are also acrylic block casement and awning windows that give you the look and feel of real block with the ability to open completely as well.Step 4) Don't worry about any of the first 3 steps and call a glass block window manufacturer and installation professional - If you really don't want to figure out what size window you need call a block specialty company who offers design, fabrication and installation services. This type of company will usually come to your home or business (without a charge), measure your openings, figure out the right window size, and install it for you with a guarantee.
Bow Windows Features and BenefitsThe history of and the traditional useful purpose of double hung windows has gotten somewhat obscured over the years. So much so that many people who have these traditional type windows know very little about their origins or to what purpose they were designed.The usually large double sash windows date back to the late 17th century in Europe, where they were first used usually in wealthy aristocratic homes of the time, or even in stately manners and castles. The people of the time liked having large ornate windows. The larger the windows one could afford carried with it some significance. It was akin to hanging out a sign telling the world about the wealth or status of the person who lived in the residence where they were installed. The problem with homes of the time was that during the summer months, homes tended to be very warm, even to the point of being intolerably hot. It is thought that the first double hung's were used around 1670 to 1690.By virtue of the surge in the study of the sciences the era saw the concept of the double hung window was born. Someone who understood the workings of thermodynamics applied the principle to window design thus producing the first manner by which indoor air was regulated.The principle of thermodynamics is simple really. Hot air rises, and cold or cooler air falls or sinks to the lowest level within a confined space. This simple principle along with double hung windows afforded homeowners of the time a moderately effective way to regulate the temperature inside the home.Because hot air continues to rise when uncontained, opening the upper sash of the double hung window allows an escape point for the warmer air. As the warmer air escapes from the top of the window, its volume is replaced by cooler denser air flowing in through the open lower sash.Homeowners learned the art of temperature regulation using the double hung window and the principle of thermodynamics to bring about what is revered today as poor man's air conditioning. Today few people who have double hung windows know the art of temperature regulations using them. So in answer to the original question, do double hung windows serve a purpose or have any advantage over other types of windows? The answer is a resounding yes. In fact if people would learn again how to regulate home temperature using windows they may already have, I am sure they would be moderately surprised how much money they could save on the electric bill. Not to mention how much stress they could take off the environment by using this little known green trick that helps keep the home cooler in the summer.
Quick And Easy Bow Window TreatmentBow windows have been around for centuries, and for good reason. Not only are they are a stylish addition or design feature on your house, but they also create space by projecting beyond the exterior wall so you can have a little nook to curl up in, and by adding one it can help give your room a sense of loftiness. They also provide a wider view of your garden or the street outside, and they will bring more light into your house. It can be a great spot for plants that need light, or for use as a breakfast nook. They are made of a minimum of four and up to eight casement windows joined together to form an arch. They are similar to a bay window, except for the fact they are curved and semi-circular.When you go to build your bow window you will want to consider having a roof built that can give a dramatic look and seal against water penetration. You can also go with architectural contoured moldings throughout, and full sized screens for ventilation. Other ways they can be built that can ease your life is to have tilt in sashes for easy cleaning from inside, having your sashes triple sealed, and neoprene bulb seals at ends to make a tight seal. Security features can include locking hardware for titling in sashes, snap in glazing inside the house, and extra security cam lock and keepers that resist forced entry.As for the actual windows themselves it is tough to argue against energy efficient windows. They will increase your comfort by reducing cold drafts and make your house feel warmer during the seasons you must heat your house. They also control condensation by maintaining a higher relative humidity. You can stop worrying about condensation as much, but no windows will entirely eliminate condensation if the humidity levels inside your house are too high. The biggest advantage they have is one for your pocketbook. They minimize air leakage and improve the thermal performance of windows. Just by adding storm windows alone you could improve the energy efficiency of your windows by up to 50%, making a noticeable reduction on your energy bill.When painting your bow window, water based finishes will not only accentuate the unique beauty of your home, but these finishes will also resist premature aging, nor will they make your windows brittle like some process are prone to do. Recent developments have dramatically improved this paints ability to perform in all kinds of weather for years to come. A good company will have hundreds of colours available for you to choose from, and will also give you colour-match options to find the perfect shade for your home.If you're looking to make a minor addition to one of your rooms to help open it up and give you a little more space and light, or if you just want more light and a quiet place to read at the end of a day, bow windows are a perfect option for you to consider.