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 isGravelly 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.
Who Makes the Best Replacement Windows?You finally decide that you are going to wash those dirty, streaky, hazy looking windows. After scrubbing and washing the inside you see that they are still looking quite bad so, you rush and do the outside. Still, they look they same as they did when you started.As you take a closer look you notice that the haziness and streaks are actually inside the panes of glass. You might even see water droplets inside as well. How did this happen and what should be done?What you see is caused from a failed or broken window seal. Double and triple paned windows and doors are constructed using two or three pieces of glass. In between these pieces of glass is an air space that is enclosed with a seal. This air space is usually filled with a gas such as Argon or krypton. This air space acts as an insulation that reduces the transfer of unwanted losses of warm or cool air inside the house. When the seal eventually cracks or breaks, moisture from the surrounding air is drawn in and will condense on the inside of the glass. Usually the main reason for a failed window seal is age. Typically a window seal will last around 10 - 15 years. This all depends on the manufacturing quality, and how much stress or abuse the window is subjected to during its life.Factors that aid in the deterioration of a window seal include:- Pressure changes caused from hot and cold weather. - Building settlement. - Movement from opening and closing. - Objects hitting the window (balls, birds, etc.). - Pressure washing. - Deteriorating frameworks.Unfortunately, once you have a window with a broken seal there is nothing you can do except replace it. Besides the obvious visual impairment, a broken window seal will not significantly affect the insulating factors to any noticeable degree.Here are some things you can do to help prolong the life of your windows.Give your windows an inspection about once or twice every year. Look for any signs of aging or defects. If you have deteriorating outer perimeter seals, you can simply apply a bead of caulk around the edges to keep water from coming in contact with the sash. To keep a wooden window frame from becoming rotten, make sure it has a good coat of paint. If you have windows that get a lot of sun exposure, consider putting up window awnings or outdoor shades. Also make sure the windows get good air circulation indoors and out. This will help keep outer condensation levels to a minimum thus reducing the chances of mold development. If you decide to replace a window or two, do a bit of research. Find a company that offers a good warranty plan. Most of the higher quality windows now days offer a 10-20 year and even life time warranty.
Bow and Bay Window BasicsWith 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.
A Kitchen Bay Window - More Than Just a Pretty Face
Last week a visitor to my site asked me about the best way to insulate around a replacement window. A few days later I got the same question so I decided to compile my response into an article below.
There are two main types of insulation are used when insulating around replacement window. Many contractors use fiberglass. There is spray foam that gives the highest R value; this is one of the best insulation you can use around a replacement window.
If you are insulating the replacement window from scratch, put your fiberglass around it and then spray it with the spray foam. In my view this is the best way to insulate around a replacement window. However do take the time to check out some other reliable sources online.