When it comes to adding style and making creative use of space - squeezing a breakfast nook into a small kitchen, making a beautiful garden a room's best feature, creating a comfy window seat for curling up with a good book - the bay window is a superhero. It helps blur the lines between inside and out, letting in extra light and adding living space. It adds dimension to a flat wall and offers the opportunity for all manner of architectural embellishments, from copper roofs to corbels.
Available from leading manufacturers including Andersen, Marvin, Milgard, and Silver Line, bay windows can be aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass or wood, and come in styles and options to fit all budgets. Typically they consist of an assembly of three windows; the two side windows, usually casement or double-hung to allow ventilation, are set at an angle (usually 30, 45, 60 or 90 degrees) to the center window, which is typically fixed and does not open. The entire assembly extends, sometimes several feet, outside the building's exterior wall. While the three-window configuration is usual, custom arrangements are also popular. (The bow window, sometimes called a circular bay window, consists of a series of individual windows joined in a gentle curve rather than at an angle.)
While bay windows were certainly in their heyday during the Victorian era, they work well with almost any architectural style. You definitely want to spend time looking at pictures and houses you like to get a clear idea of what's going to work best with your home. The bay window is sure to be a focal point, a jewel in the perfect setting, possibly the pièce de résistance of your whole project, so don't rush the process of choosing the right one.
Your window contractor is your friend here. Your contractor can also help you deal with any unexpected issues that come up - for example, any structural reinforcement that might be necessarily to support that couch you're putting right in the window so you can watch the world go by in comfort. Click here to get a free estimate from a CalFinder window contractor.
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