A View with Some Room: Bay Window Installation Tips

August 03, 2009

Bay windows date back to the Victorian era. They were a great idea then, and they're a great idea now. The name comes from the alcove, or bay, that is created using three windows (typically one large, fixed window and two angled, narrower windows). This alcove can be small like a shelf or large like an addition to your home. There are things you need to consider, though, once you've decided to install a bay window.

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  • Window Type: There are lots of different kinds of windows, and they all have different purposes and niches they fit into. For a bay window, a large fixed window (or picture window) is usually the way to go. They offer the best views, and since the side windows open, you don't need to worry about airflow. Speaking of side windows, if you go with a fixed center bay window, you probably want to have side windows that can be opened. Casement windows are your best bet. They allow you to open the window completely, and there's no ugly hardware messing up your view in the meantime. Single- or double-hung windows are also popular--and less expensive--options.
  • Bay Window Curtains: A bay window isn't like a typical window, so it requires a bit more thought when it comes to curtains. Aim for curtains with a minimal amount to hardware because they'll have to be stuffed into the alcove created by the bay window. Curtains aren't only for privacy; they can provide quite a bit of insulation, which is especially important for bay windows because they occupy a large area.

Bay windows should be thought of as window system that works together. The side windows should complement the center window. The curtains you choose should insulate without blocking the view or making it difficult to operate any windows that can be opened. If you keep these things in mind when it's time to install your bay window, you can enjoy some room with your new view.

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