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 isMena 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.
How to Prepare Your Home For Replacement WindowsLet's look at some of the basics of bay windows:1. How to Recognize ThemThis basically is what the definition of a bay window is. Bay windows are combinations of three or more windows projecting outward from a room. There are also different variations of bay windows; for example, bow windows are a variation of bay windows that is made up of four or more window units joined at equal angles to form a curve. So, a bay window is basically any window that extends out from the house and forms a bay.2. Why to Choose ThemThere are many reasons why you would want to choose a bay window for your home, so let's just look at a few of the most obvious ones. Bay windows are great, and you should get them because they maximize space and take advantage of multiple views. A bay window will also make a room appear more open and spacious, increases the flow of light into a home, and can add counter area to a room. So in other words, you get more space, light, and distinction. 3. When to Use ThemThe real question should be when not to use them. Bay and bow window units can be used in many different architectural settings to add class, and ambiance. Because they extend outward from the home, they tend to alter the basic configuration of a structural style, adding uniqueness and appeal. So, if you are looking for a little something more in the look of your house, a bay window is a great way to achieve that. If you want to add to the living space of your house without increasing the footings and foundation size (so more for less) then a bay or bow window is the way to go. If you have a great view off your house, whether it is of a lovely mountainside, lake, river, sunset, oasis, whatever it may be, a bay or bow window is a great way to capture that.4. Where to Place ThemThere are some rooms in the house that are more suited to a bay or bow window. For example, a bay or bow window in a bathroom is probably not the best placement. Bay and bow windows work particularly well in rooms where you are trying to create a greater sense of spaciousness, or in rooms where lots of people will be spending significant amounts of time in. They are popular choices in living rooms and master bedrooms. Another great place for a bay or bow window, depending on the layout of the room, and how formal you intend it to be in the kitchen and dining room area of the house. For many the kitchen acts as not only the room for food preparation, but also acts as the place for family gatherings, homework, etc. This is a great place for a bay or bow window. 5. What To Look ForWhen you go out and shop for your bay windows, besides the things you will determine through your personal choices and tastes (such as materials) you will want to get a bay or bow windows that has good NFRC ratings. So when shopping, compare NFRC ratings. These ratings are important because they indicate the efficiency. When it comes to U-Factor, the lower the better, and the lower number also means the less you'll spend heating and cooling. It's an easy, accurate way to compare the energy efficiency of windows and patio doors. So use these ratings to help you determine which bay window is going to be the best for your house.
Pros and Cons of Double Glazed WindowsWith so much crime reported in the papers, we could be forgiven for thinking that we'll be the next victims. Most of our possessions are kept in our home, our car or on our person.In this article, we consider some of the ways to reduce to risk of theft by opportunists. News stories and advertisements from insurance companies can make us feel vulnerable. However, if we feel that our home is secure against casual criminals, logic will allow us to relax a little. For most of us, installing burglar alarms or CCTV is a little extreme but we can deter the casual thief by following some basic, "common sense" rules. Don't put valuables on display to passers-by (either in the home or car); Have good locks on doors and windows and use them appropriately; Don't broadcast your movements or details of your valuables (it's amazing what can be overheard from mobile phone conversations in public); Don't leave keys within 3 or 4 metres of a letter-box or pet-door; Ensure that your doors and windows are not easy to force open (e.g. a good fit, solid frames, good locks/bolts, 'unbreakable' glazing); When you go away, set timers on lights and ask a trusted friend or relative to visit occasionally so that your home doesn't look empty; Consider asking a neighbour to use your driveway overnight. If your doors and windows are below today's standards, consider replacing them with good quality ones - not only is this more secure but it will be a good selling point in the future.A Personal Perspective. When we moved into our house, there were three different makes of p.v.c. windows: one had been good in its time, one make was newer and of acceptable quality and condition, the third make was of cheap, flimsy quality. We replaced the first-floor windows with good quality p.v.c. from a local, reputable glass company; the frames felt solid and, being made to measure, fitted well; the handles, catches and locks worked smoothly and there was a long guarantee. It was bliss not to have the wind noise whistling through the gaps in the old windows each night!On the ground floor, we decided to spend a little more money for two reasons - security and narrower frames for a more pleasant view of the garden - so we opted for stronger, metal frames from a leading windows manufacturer, as recommended by the company who we had selected to install our bi-folding doors. We wanted tilt-and-turn windows with a very large glazed area but most other companies we approached were unable to accommodate our request.We selected a UK manufacturer/supplier to install bifolding doors along the back wall of the living room. Bi-folding doors, sometimes called sliding-folding, accordion or concertina doors, are door panels that are hinged together at the sides so that they fold as you slide them to the side(s) of the opening. This means that, unlike French doors or flat panel sliding patio doors, an aperture of several metres can be opened up - as if instantly removing a whole wall. We short-listed four or five companies based on a number of criteria and, finally, one emerged victorious. A decision we have not regretted, two years on. The bi-folding doors feel very secure. They have strong aluminium frames and each pair is locked at the top and bottom by turning a key located in the centre of the vertical frame. For additional security, there is no keyhole on the outside of the patio doors. Another bonus is the warmth of our open-plan rooms since we replaced the old p.v.c. door and windows with the modern bi-folds and windows.
Double Hung Window - Installation FactsWith 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.