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 isPalestine 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.
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With the charm and grace that it provides a room, bay windows is one of the most important window types that is difficult to decorate. Architecturally designed as an overhang window, this window type may be designed with or without a window seat. Having a window seat allows for more space within a room from which guests can sit without the added tables or chairs in the area.
Choosing the correct window treatment for bay windows can prove to be a little bit tricky as compared to regular windows since they come in two types: the polygonal-shaped windows or the normal square windows. Depending on how big your bay window is, you have several design options to pick from. So, use more of your imagination to come up with unique window treatments.
Another option is to use tab curtains for your windows. With the use of a curtain rod, your curtains can be opened by manually pulling them to the other side.
So, the trick here is to consider the shape of your bay windows before deciding on the type of window treatment to apply. Seek professional help if you think your ideas do not match with your current furnishings. Understanding how bay windows should be treated will ensure a well-thought out design and a functional area as well.
Working With Bow Window TreatmentsVinyl replacement windows can be a great way to enhance a home's value and beauty. This type of window has many advantages over traditional windows, such as being durable, easy to maintain, energy efficient, and aesthetically appealing. However, these are not the only benefits they deliver.There comes a time when every homeowner must make the important decision of whether or not to replace their windows. With the overwhelming amount of options available on the market, making a decision sometimes can get confusing.There are however good reasons why many homeowners choose vinyl windows over the alternatives, with two of the biggest ones being that they are cost effective and energy efficient. These two factors alone can help homeowners realize that they can have substantial savings by choosing to go with vinyl.Energy EfficiencyThe chemicals used in the manufacturing of vinyl windows ensure that they can withstand extreme temperature changes. It is for this reason that the windows provide excellent insulation, helping keep the home warm during winter and cool during summer. This type of window eliminates any chances of water or air infiltration because the corners of their frames are fusion welded with a strong sash.Some vinyl windows are filled with inert gases between their vacuum filled dual panes of glass (in most cases argon), which reduces heat loss through convection. As a result, this increases the window's energy efficiency and can help families cut down on their energy bill - which is something we all want to do.There is also a special glass coating called Low-E that reduces heat transfer, while still letting the light in and not obstructing your view at all. Glass windows without this coating contain less of an R-Value and therefor cause for a loss of heat in the winter and a house that's all too hot in the summer.Noise ReductionAnother benefit to vinyl windows is that they can increase comfort levels in a room by reducing outside noise, making your home a much quieter and serene place. The windows, specifically those that are argon filled, reduce noise because the gas is denser than the air, which creates an additional layer of insulation that impedes sound transmission.Green livingVinyl windows can provide protection against damaging ultra-violet rays from the sun, which are not just harmful to the body, but also to property. For example, UV rays can cause certain items such as flooring, carpet, window coverings, and even photographs to fade. Fortunately, glazed windows with a special coating reduce the amount of UV rays passing through them.Reduced condensationTaking advantage of higher Energy Ratings and multiple glass options available allow you to reduce condensation since the window's inner surface will be warmer on cold days and nights, this gives your glass a higher tolerance to interior humidity levels. There are recommended humidity levels that need to be maintained to keep condensation at a minimum, usually with combined living habits and efficient windows this is attainable. The results of installing new and energy efficient windows in your home will give you clear views through your windows even during the winter months since they won't fog up.DurabilityVinyl windows are highly durable and require very little maintenance, meaning they will look great no matter their age. They have a high impact construction, are resistant to rot, rust, and corrosion, ensuring long-term reliability. Furthermore, vinyl windows are almost scratch-proof and do not require scraping, painting or staining, so once you install them, you don't have to worry about them again.Design OptionsVinyl windows are made from a chemical called polyvinyl chloride, which makes it possible to have them made in different colors, styles and shapes. These windows can be retrofitted into nearly any window space and colored to suit any structure or room. Vinyl windows can even be coated with a wood grain finish to give you the appearance of wooden windows, but with none of the drawbacks.Easy MaintenanceAnother benefit is that they have a high quality balance system that ensure that sashes work smoothly with no need for adjustments, and makes opening and closing the sashes effortless regardless of the temperature or humidity.Furthermore, they also have easy to lift out sashes or casement windows that open wide enough to allow you to clean them in a safe and easy manner, and require little more than a bit of soap and water. Other types of windows may require more maintenance, which translates to more work and higher long-term costs. Vinyl windows are designed to last with little maintenance and operate smoothly no matter the conditions.
Vinyl Replacement WindowsWith 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.