Proudly Serving Honolulu, Oahu, Maui, Kauai & Big Island CT36100
Replacement Windows: Bay Versus Bow Windows | Oahu, HI

Replacement Windows: Bay Versus Bow Windows | Oahu, HI

Photo By DenGuy at istock

Windows have a large influence on the appearance of any type of architecture. Choosing the right type of window can make your home’s appearance vastly more appealing. Windows also have a much larger role than aesthetics. They are also the main source of light and air ventilation in most homes in Oahu, HI.

Homeowners need to think carefully about replacement windows and learn about the wide variety of available designs. Large, multi-faceted windows protruding beyond a home’s exterior are usually referred to as ‘bay windows.’ Many people are not aware of bow windows, but bay and bow windows are actually two different designs. They are both made up of multiple windows with 30°, 45°, 60°, or 90° angles.

Bay Windows

Replacement windows are available in a wide range of colors, styles, and sizes. Homeowners need to choose the right type of replacement window to complement the interior and exterior of their homes. Bay windows are an increasingly popular choice in Oahu, HI. Carefully installed bay windows may even increase curb appeal and property values.

Each bay window is installed as a unit made up of three or more separate windows forming a square bay box. The center is frequently a picture window, while the side windows could be double-hung or casement style. Bay windows are a flattering design for houses with modern or historic architecture.

Replacement windows in a bay arrangement can be confined to the first floor or extend to multiple stories. Homeowners can also choose bay windows on the second floor instead of the ground floor if proper support structure is in place. 

The square has four projection angles up to 90-degrees each. Bay windows increase space in a home’s interior by extending beyond the exterior wall. Some people use the additional space to take advantage of the copious sunlight for indoor flowers or herb gardens. It’s also a great opportunity for a deck or other seating arrangement to relax and enjoy lovely outdoor views.

Bow Windows

Bow windows also add more interior space by protruding beyond exterior walls. Bow windows do not have the sharp angles of bay windows and utilize elegantly shaped arches instead. Bow window units are usually made up of four to six windows set side-by-side. They are larger than bay windows because of the additional number of windows.

The additional indoor space is slightly larger than space provided by bay windows, and the expansive design makes indoor spaces seem spacious and open. The configuration provides a larger glass surface area. Bow windows are excellent accents to modern homes or homes with Victorian style.

Benefits and Challenges of Choosing Bay or Bow Replacement Windows

Bow and bay windows create panoramic views and let a great deal of natural light into the home from multiple directions. They are a good option for replacement windows in a kitchen, dining room, or living room where increased sunlight is appreciated. Flat windows are often better for bedrooms where extra sunlight can be intrusive and unwanted.

Homes with small bay windows are brighter than those with only flat windows. Bow windows provide a broader view and let slightly more light into a home’s interior due to their curved shape, broader width, and more extensive glass area. Uniquely designed bow or bay windows also offer extensive versatility to complement modern, classical, or high-tech architectural styles.

A wide variety of window treatments are available for bay and bow windows. They have a sophisticated, elegant appearance with Roman or Venetian blinds in each individual window within the structure. Some interior decorators choose to hang curtains that screen off the entire alcove, or use beads or a combination of curtains to divide the alcove. The size and shape of these windows vary between homes, so it may be necessary to order or make custom window treatments.

The unique weather in Hawaii adds some extra considerations when choosing any type of replacement windows. Bay and bow windows are designed to admit copious amounts of sunlight, but cooling is also a concern for homeowners. It’s important to choose windows with high solar heat prevention ratings.

Awnings and tinted glass panes can also block excessive sunlight without interfering with other benefits of multiple window configurations. Ask your local window replacement professionals about various hues and gradients of tinted glass.

The type of curtains and other window treatments make a big difference too. Homeowners can customize replacement windows and window treatments and dressings to achieve a unique appearance and address challenges, such as solar heat and minimizing sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

Most bow windows include inoperable picture windows that can not be opened. The opening mechanism interferes with the aesthetics and the curved design. It is possible for an experienced professional to include operable windows in a bow configuration.

The side windows in a bay window arrangement are usually casement or double-hung, so they can easily promote fresh air circulation without interfering with aesthetics. Operable windows on both sides let a home’s occupants take advantage of a cool breeze from several directions.

A qualified dealer and trained professionals help homeowners choose the best materials and window design to maximize desired benefits of bay or bow replacement windows while minimizing downsides. The construction and installation of bay or bow window configurations is usually permanent because they are complex and require extensive planning.

Homeowners should hire skilled professionals to make sure they get exactly what they want the first time. Contact Sunburst Windows, to discuss the possibilities of replacement windows and find a design to perfectly fit your home.


905 Kalanianaole Hwy
#3207 Kailua, HI 96734


M–F 8:30AM–4:30PM
Sat by Appt. Only

Call Now 808-427-1164