Bay Windows Vs Bow Windows

Bay windows vs bow windows, which are better? There are many reasons to consider upgrading your home to include a new set of projection windows or replacement bay windows. Perhaps you are looking to expand your view or let in extra sunlight. Maybe you are simply looking to increase your room’s living space.

Regardless of your reasoning, projection windows — such as bow windows or bay windows — can be an elegant addition to any home. Not only do they help connect you to nature by blending indoor and outdoor spaces, but they also brighten your home with natural light and boost its overall curb appeal.

When shopping for projection windows or replacement bay windows, there are a number of different styles to consider. So, if you’re just beginning to research your options, you will probably have some questions.

For starters, the two most popular styles of projection windows are bow windows and bay windows. Naturally, the two share a few similarities (such as protruding from the wall to open up space). However, understanding the difference between them will help you make a more informed decision.

So, keep reading to learn the differences between bay windows vs bow windows!

Bay Windows

A bay window is a combination of three or more panels set at angles, so the centerpiece is always the widest. Usually, this centerpiece is a picture window, so it’s stationary and only exists to offer an elegant view.

Bay windows also include casement or double hung windows on their sides. Unlike picture windows, double hung windows include two operating sashes that can slide up and down. This allows bay windows to open, providing ventilation and airflow to the home.

Unlike other projection styles, replacement bay windows can be fully operational. This in mind, they are a great choice for those looking for projection windows that can maximize airflow and ventilation.

Bow Windows

On the other hand, bow windows are wider and more intricate. Usually made up of four to six panels set side by side, they curve to create a rounded appearance from the outside.

Like bay windows, bow windows also protrude from the home to open up living space. However, they are usually wider and more angled, making this protrusion less steep. You should still be able to design an elegant nook and relax by the window. But if you’re looking to maximize space at the window, replacement bow windows are not the best choice.

On the bright side (literally), the wider panels featured in bow windows open up more space for natural light. This leads to a broader view and a deeper connection to nature, but also lessens the possibilities for increased living space within the home.

Finally, unlike bay windows, most bow windows are not operational. This means they cannot be opened or closed to allow fresh air into the home. This in mind, bow windows are not a great choice for those looking to open their windows or increase ventilation.


So, what is the final verdict? Bay windows vs bow windows, which is better? Who is the winner?

Truthfully, the right projection window for any home depends on its homeowners’ priorities. Though replacement bay windows and replacement bow windows share a few similarities (such as protruding from the wall and opening up space within your home), they can also deliver distinctly different perks to your home. 

Bay windows are a great choice for those looking to open their windows and increase airflow in the home. On the other hand, bow windows are a solid choice for those looking to maximize their windows’ expansive view.

It is important to understand these differences before making a decision. To help simplify these features, we’ve included a brief summary below.

Bay Windows:

  • 3 panels
  • Angled curve
  • Can be operational
  • More protruded than Bow Windows

Bow Windows:

  • 4-6 panels
  • Rounded curve
  • Non-operational
  • Wide, expansive view
  • Less protruded than Bay Windows

How To Find A Window Installer

There are a number of reasons you might be considering replacement windows for your home.


Perhaps they look worn out or have become difficult to operate. Maybe they are not energy efficient or even sound-proof.


Regardless of the reason, all replacement window projects require professional support. In fact, who you choose to install your new windows is key to ensuring your desired outcome – a beautiful look for your home, inside and out.


If installed improperly, even high quality windows will not look as good as they should. They may even end up using more energy, rather than less.


So, if you are preparing for a home improvement project, start by searching for the best window installation company in the area.


Keep reading to learn which traits the best window installers should have.


What To Look For

Clear Expectations

A professional installer should walk you through every aspect of the installation process beforehand, so nothing ends up being a surprise. You want the home improvement process to go smoothly, from start to finish – no hidden costs, no hassles, no problems.

For the smoothest process, it is best if each new window is installed immediately after the old one is removed. Avoid using a contractor who removes all the old windows first, then installs the new windows. Otherwise, you risk spending time with a boarded-up hole, awaiting the right windows.

At Big L, our process begins with a free in-home consultation, during which we measure the exact parameters of your home and develop an accurate quote. Then, we schedule a time for installation that is convenient for you. Customers are never in the dark.

Our goal is to ensure that you feel comfortable and confident that your new windows will not only look amazing, but that your home will be treated with the utmost respect.

Guaranteed Satisfaction

Many national window brands recommend using installers who have been specifically trained and certified to work with their products. So, using the same contractor for purchase and installation can avoid finger-pointing if problems occur later.

If you do have a local dealer install the replacement windows you buy from them, find out how complaints are responded to. The dealer should always be willing to help resolve problems until you are totally satis­fied.

At Big L, we proudly offer our unique Total Trust Guarantee. It’s an exclusive suite of warranties that cover both the products we sell, as well as the installation services we provide.

By selling only high quality windows, and using our installation professionals who have over 200 years of combined experience serving Buffalo, NY, the Big L Total Trust Guarantee is our promise that you’ll be completely satisfied when your job is complete (and for many years to come).

Social Proof

When it comes to hiring a professional for your home improvement project, you never want to be a company’s test dummy. Look for window installers who have positive customer reviews, ideally dating back a few years.

While not all customer reviews are one-hundred percent accurate, they do help offer a general gist of window installers’ credibility. Don’t let one or two customers’ bad experiences discourage you from working with a dealer that makes you feel comfortable. However, be weary of any window installer who has only negative feedback online.

At Big L, we take great pride in each and every review left by our customers. The videos testimonials page on our website puts these reviews on full display. Plus, we offer a referral program that allows any one of our satisfied customers throughout Buffalo, NY to benefit from their positive feedback.


Put simply: If your home improvement project involves replacement windows, make sure you are working with a high quality window installer.

If installed improperly, even the best windows on the market can end up looking or performing poorly.

So, when preparing for your next window replacement, look for window installers who:

  • Set clear expectations of what the process will entail
  • Guarantee your satisfaction with both the products and the installation
  • Have positive feedback from previous customers easily-accessible online

Ready to get started?

If you’re already thinking about new windows and you’re located in the greater Buffalo, NY area, then consider your hunt for the best window installer over.


Click here to schedule a free appointment with one of our window and door professionals today.

Best Insulated Windows for Home

Benefits of Insulated Windows

One of the most important traits of any modern replacement windows are their ability to insulate airflow within the home. The question becomes, who has the best insulated windows for home?

The best insulated windows for home are crafted by Marvin Windows and they can bring a number of benefits to your homes, especially since they’re specifically designed to stop valuable air from escaping through cracks and crevices.

So, are you asking, should I replace my windows? Simply put, replacement windows means less heat will get wasted during those brutal Buffalo winters, and during warmer months, the load on your air conditioner will also be significantly lessened. In the bigger picture, it could mean lower utility bills and greater peace of mind.

Keep reading to learn how window insulation can benefit your homes and who has the best insulated windows for home!


1.   Energy efficiency

Most energy efficient windows are insulated by design. By incubating heat and cool air within the home, energy efficient windows help reduce overall energy usage by keeping your home close to the desired temperature (and keeping your fingers away from the thermostat). That means lower utility bills and a smaller carbon footprint, so you can save money while also lessening your impact on the environment. All thanks to window insulation. Sound like a win-win?

2.   Noise reduction

Aside from being energy efficient, insulated windows also reduce sound-bleeding and prevent outside noises from seeping into your home. Whether they are double or triple-paned, the air between glass panes doesn’t allow as much noise to pass through as regular replacement windows. So, you can stop listening to your neighbors bickering and start enjoying some peace and quiet.

3.   Increased safety

The best insulated windows usually feature double or triple- panes of glass. That means extra layers of glass, which don’t just increase window insulation — They also make the windows tougher and more difficult to break. As a result, you can expect an increase in the overall safety and security of your home. Multiple panes are both harder to break into for intruders and more capable of withstanding damage than regular, single pane replacement windows.

Buyers Want Worthy Windows

Homebuyers know what they want… And they’ll wait for it.

Since buying a home is a long-term commitment, new-home buyers do not want to compromise on their future property. Instead, they’ll hold out until a dream home presents itself.

According to a recent study by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, the most common obstacle faced by shoppers is an inability to find what they’re looking for. Of more than 21,000 potential homebuyers questioned, 46% said they were unable to find a home that meets their desires. In almost all cases, this leads to delays in their settling down.

But what exactly do those dream homes entail? Apparently, it may have something to do with windows.

The same study also asked participants to rank the most important home features affecting their decisions. Surprisingly enough, price of the home was not the primary deal-breaker.

In fact, more than half the future homebuyers consider the design of the home to be more persuasive than its price-point. Energy savings and functionality also ranked among their top concerns.

But are these features realistic?

We think so.

Read below to see how a worthy window can address homebuyers’ deepest desires.

Design of the Home

       Since windows are such a major component of your home’s overall look and feel, they can make a world of difference when it comes to design. The right style window will complement any home exterior and effortlessly increase its curb appeal.

Energy Savings

       Approximately one-third of all heat that escapes from a home travels through windows and doors, according to the NRDC. This can have dire consequences on your heating bill, effectively wasting heat produced by your furnace (and the cool air generated by air conditioners in the summer). Upgrading to a modern, more energy efficient window is an obvious solution. If properly installed, new windows can reduce energy bills by 10% to 25%.


     Windows serve a variety of important roles within the home: They let in natural light, incubate heat or cool air, defend against trespassers, and open up ordinary rooms to the world. So when it comes to the overall functionality of a home, an easy-to-operate window can be a make-or-break element.


Promoting Wellbeing With Accessible Homes

When envisioning the perfect home for their family, Kiley and Jim agreed that accessibility was paramount—access to the outdoors, and access for their daughters, Langley and Boelyn, who have special needs and rely on their wheelchairs to get around. After purchasing a narrow lot in Downers Grove, Illinois, the couple reached out to Chicago-based firm Kuklinski + Rappe Architects to design a residence that would serve their daughters, their son Huck, and their own various needs. Crafted to adapt to the family’s lifestyle over the years, the home will provide lifelong health and happiness.

It just so happened that the parameters that Kiley and Jim presented resonated with architect Scott Rappe. “They spoke about the future and the uncertainty around how their daughters would develop. So that, right away, keyed into an interest [at our practice] in looking at how homes are used over the long term,” he says. They approached the challenge of the site first: long and compressed, it suggested a floor plan that placed rooms on either side of a corridor in order to create accessible spaces. Rappe, however, discarded this idea: “This conventional approach, while pragmatic, would have produced a dull, lifeless house.”

Instead, Rappe chose to lengthen the plan and carve out outdoor spaces from the home’s footprint, allowing interior spaces to look out onto serene, landscaped areas—hence the name Courtyard Residence. The solution provides privacy and natural light, and facilitates a better relationship with the dwelling. As Rappe explains, “The long, dark corridor of the conventional approach was instead transformed into a ‘cloister’ running along the main courtyard, which offers a contemplative experience, rather than just a distance to be traversed.”

In a home so permeable to the outdoors, the choice of windows and doors carried significant weight. For Rappe, selecting Marvin Windows and Doors was a no-brainer. “They have very high-performing products,” he explains, “and they offered us thin sightlines, high insulation values, and a high degree of predictability and reliability.” Also crucial was the ability to accommodate Langley and Boelyn. “It was really important for us that all of our entrances were accessible,” says Jim. “The low-profile [sills] allowed us to both have great, open windows with terrific views, and wheel the girls in and out very easily across them.”

The placement of the windows takes Langley and Boelyn into account as well. “The girls spend a lot of time on their backs because they can’t sit up naturally,” says Kiley, “so they’ll play on the floor and look up.” Thoughtfully positioned openings ensure that wherever they are, the girls have a view of the outdoors.

While the Courtyard Residence offers communal spaces for the family to gather, it also caters specifically to each member in other moments. An office sequestered near the front entry allows Jim to work without interruption. A centrally placed, professional-grade kitchen avails itself to Kiley, a chef and culinary educator. Huck, who is 13 years old, enjoys a private bedroom that connects to the family room, children’s courtyard, and backyard, and he can invite friends over to shoot hoops in the lower-level game room. Finally, aside from the accessible design of the house overall, Langley and Boelyn have dedicated rooms that facilitate around-the-clock care.

Read the full article:

Union Stables Case Study

Built in 1909, the 63,768-square-foot, four-story heavy-timber and masonry building stood silent for decades, tantalizing Ed Weinstein, FAIA, with a wealth of adaptive reuse possibilities to revive this landmark near Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Over the years, the building had served as a parking garage, auto body shop, and furniture warehouse. Today Union Stables shines as a Class A office center and treasured Seattle landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

35-Year Dream

Weinstein’s initial contact with Union Stables goes back to the early 1980s. Early in his career, Weinstein worked in an office just across the street from the aging stables.

“On a number of occasions the Union Stables owner had me look at different options for the building, including office and multifamily housing.” Then, after three decades of false starts, the stars aligned in 2013 for the long-awaited restoration. “A well-regarded construction company was looking for a new home. They purchased a 50 percent interest in Union Stables, with a plan to renovate it as their headquarters. At that point, we committed to become a tenant and design the facility,” Weinstein says.

Aesthetic Preservation

Weinstein heads Weinstein A+U, a Seattle-based 35-person regional architectural firm that works on “a broad cross-section of project types,” including retail, office, public-sector work, mixed-use, and multifamily. The firm has won about 70 design awards from the American Institute of Architects.

The reinvention of the stables called for a seismic retrofit, façade restoration, new HVAC and plumbing systems, and the addition of a fifth-floor penthouse. Every effort was made to maintain the building’s character, such as preserving the heavy timber columns (right down to the gnaw marks left by restless horses).

Careful Selection

As for the windows, that renovation decision to restore, replace, or replicate was easy: They didn’t exist. The windows had been removed about 25 years earlier and replaced with plywood painted to resemble a window, Weinstein reports. To balance the demands of the local landmark preservation board and the U.S. Department of Interior with the project’s budget and aesthetic, Weinstein turned to Marvin aluminum clad windows. “We replaced them with Marvin windows that were close in pattern and profile to what we could determine from old photographs,” he says. With Marvin, Weinstein was able to specify standard size windows while satisfying the need for accurate historic detail, without having to build fully custom.

“The sash and profiles were absolutely perfect,” he says, praising the new windows.

Economy with Accuracy

Marvin was ideal, Weinstein says. “They were simple and direct,” he observes. “We wanted to abstract the divided lite windows that were here before. The new windows are a single large panel of glass with a spacer bar in the cavity and muntin bars affixed on the inside and outside to match the original pattern. We achieve economy with aesthetic accuracy.”

What’s more, he says, “their energy performance met our criteria very well” – so much so, that they helped Union Stables earn LEED Gold certification from the USGBC. The reborn Union Stables delivered in early 2015 was greeted with wide acclaim. Among several distinctions, it won the 2015 Washington state NAIOP Redevelopment/Renovation of the Year Award.

Vision Fulfilled

Weinstein’s persistence of vision yielded an especially sweet reward. “I’m now sitting in my chair, looking out at my old office from 35 years ago. It feels just like yesterday. I’m gratified the firm has grown and stayed in the neighborhood. It’s wonderful to be in a building with a charismatic architectural character and premier office amenities.”

Originally published in Architect Magazine.

Mixing Window Finishes For a Barely-There Look

The new design rules are that there are no rules, even when it comes to painting your window sash and frame in contrasting colors.

Whether you’re going through the window replacement process, remodeling your home or building anew, there are endless options when it comes to how to paint, stain or finish the items in your home. Though you might assume that a monochromatic scheme is the accepted practice for windows and window trim, experimenting with starker contrasts might open up new possibilities.

With the resurgence of industrial-chic aesthetic and black steel factory windows, many are seeking thin, clean lines and the contrast of darker window sashes to frame their view. At the same time, white walls are also gaining popularity to create a sense of simplicity and space.

To maximize views and make a statement with barely-there window sashes, homeowners and designers are turning to a mixed finish paint job to create a classic trompe d’oeil, or trick of the eye, that makes the sash the star and helps the rest of your window fade into the backdrop.

“Black interior window finish is a current spin on a classic look, both contemporary and traditional,” says designer Barbara Bradlee. “Black interiors replicate the feel of a European metal window, and casement windows with horizontal black ‘grids’ feel sleek and stream lined.”

The mixed finish look can be achieved by using a dark paint or stain on the window sash, while the surrounding framing is painted to match the walls around it.

What exactly is a sash? The easiest way to think about a window sash is that it’s the part of the window that houses the glass, and it’s also the part of the window that moves with the glass if the window opens and closes. The casing is the stationary trim that frames the window opening to provide a finished look.

Designer Mary Douglas Drysdale sees the use of contrast as a bold design choice that can help individualize your space. “Color and pattern enliven and actually allow you to see space and its details in new ways,” she says. “This renewed interest in contrast reflects a more daring idea about design.”

Creating contrast with white casing and black sash is something that can be applied using paint after your windows are already installed. Alternately, new Marvin windows and doors can have a mixed finish applied in the factory to avoid at-home painting.

For tips on painting existing windows to achieve the mixed finish look, our friends at This Old House offer a few tips.


A Contemporary Do-Over for a Rotting Window Replacement Job

In the latest series of videos on Build with Matt Risinger, Austin-based builder Matt Risinger works on a stucco and stone house with a major rot problem. Un-clad wood windows were installed facing West towards storms and an unruly sprinkler system, meaning lots of moisture exposure. When paired with poor installation, constant moisture exposure led to rotting and deterioration of the windows and surrounding walls. Caught early enough to avoid major structural damage, the issue created an opportunity to replace the windows, add proper weatherization and opt for a more modern solution that maintains the luxurious feeling of wood on the interior, but introduces a tough aluminum-clad exterior for no fuss maintenance.

In the first of two episodes, Risinger addresses the installation mistakes that led to poor protection against water leakage, and walks step-by-step through the proper replacement window installation and moisture barrier technique.

The second episode in the series addresses how Risinger and team utilize Marvin’s Contemporary Studio products in a novel way to minimize the appearance of wood framing between enormous panes of glass. The more minimal look helps achieve the sleek and contemporary aesthetic the homeowner desired, especially in a large opening facing a pool and beautiful canyon. The Marvin dealer helped developed a unique engineering plan involving a 5/8 steel plate to take the place of multiple studs, reframing what was previously nine individual panes of glass down to four for a contemporary look that still flows with the architecture of the home.

The result? A dramatic transformation that not only brings the home up-to-date structurally to protect it against the elements, but also demonstrates the opportunity to change the look and feel of a home through smart window replacement choices.

Full article:

What’s Your Replacement Window Type?

Windows can crank, lift, glide, tilt and turn, move up, down and sideways. For homeowners who need to replace windows in their home, it can seem that options for the look and functionality to replace your old windows are endless. The type of product you choose and how it operates will help you determine the ideal function and look of the windows for your project, so it is important to understand terminology your contractor or building professional might use to describe the options available to you.

Before you begin exploring materials, colors and hardware options, get familiar with five of the most popular window types, what they look like, and how they function.

Double Hung Window

The most popular type of window, the double hung, has previously been associated with more traditional homes, but is making a resurgence in transitional and even modern projects. Two sections of framed glass offer ventilation by sliding bottom up and top down.

Casement Window

This window is hinged on the side, and swings inward or outward like a door, letting air flow freely. You might hear the term “crank-out casement,” which refers to the motion of the hardware when you’re opening and closing the window.

Glider Window

Designed specifically for horizontal operation, gliders have glass-framed panels that slide open on tracks, meaning no lifting is involved.

Awning Window

This type of window is hinged on top and swings outward, so you can leave it open when it rains. Awnings are often placed higher in a home for added privacy and natural light.

Bay and Bow Windows

Bays feature a fixed center window, with venting windows angled on the sides. Bows are made up of a series of windows connected in a gentle curve.

Full article:

A Window Company’s Clear Vision

This Labor Day is all about honoring workers — but sometimes a job is more than just a job. When there’s a shared vision, it can make all the difference. Connor Knighton takes us to a manufacturer in Minnesota to see for himself.

The pieces of pine may not be much to look at. But after they’re sliced into different sizes, sorted and stacked, shaped and sanded, they start to transform into something you might look through.

The windows that eventually end up inside of homes are formed inside of a two-million-square-foot factory, the headquarters of the Marvin Window and Door Company. Every product here is made to order, and made in America. Just barely!

Marvin is located six miles away from Canada, in the tiny town of Warroad, Minnesota.

About 2,400 people work Marvin in Warroad — that’s more than the town’s population of about 1,700.

Paul Marvin is the company’s CEO. For the past four generations, his family has been this small town’s largest employer.

“When Great-Grandpa George was starting up Marvin Lumber and Cedar Company in 1912, he went on the record a few years later as saying, ‘You know, the reason I did it is because some of my friends couldn’t find jobs, and if I didn’t find jobs for them, they were gonna leave Warroad,'” Marvin said.

The company moved from lumber into windows, but it never left Warroad. Not when the factory burned to the ground in 1961 … not when the construction business collapsed in 2008.

Marvin’s dedication to the local community has brought it national attention.

In a December 6, 2011 speech, President Barack Obama spoke of the family business in Warroad: “They did not lay off a single one of their 4,000 employees when the recession hit.”

Kermit Jensen has been at Marvin for 32 years. He’s held a variety of titles, but he’d be the first to tell you, they don’t really matter.

“What we do doesn’t define what we are,” Jensen said. “It’s who we are that defines what we do.”

And what Marvin employees did, during the recession, was cut back on hours and perks so that newer employees like Tiffany Runnels could stay on the job. “Working here, you almost feel like it’s a community within a community,” Runnels said.

In a small community like this, when your co-workers are your neighbors, business is done a little differently.

“Whether we see them in church or at the grocery store or at the hockey rink,” Marvin said, “and we do, we want to be able to look ’em in the eye and say, ‘We did right by you.'”

A quick note about that hockey rink, by the way: It’s huge!  Warroad’s other major export is hockey. Eight Olympians, several NHL stars, and more college players than they can count.

But it’s the work that’s kept people in this town — that, and the views worth building a wall of windows to take in.

“Not everybody’s a friend or neighbor, but there’s a lot of people that treat you as a friend or a neighbor,” said Bob Marvin. When he retired from the family business, he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. He stayed in Warroad to serve as mayor.

The trucks that leave the factory each day are carrying windows destined for homes all across America. But Marvin will always have one home: Hockeytown, USA … Warroad, Minnesota.

Source: CBS News