Building the Perfect Bay Window

Improve your homes curb appeal by upgrading your picture window to a beautiful bay window.

Your home is made up of dozens of different parts, and none have quite the same impact as your windows. On the outside they provide architectural accents which highlight your homes beauty. Inside, they provide natural light and a view to your yard. Windows can also transform a room to change how we see colors, textures, furniture, and more. These windows can change how you use a room, allowing for space for activities and many other uses depending on how much light you let in. A window provides all of these benefits and more. Expansive picture and bay windows can give both the interior and exterior of your home added dimensions, more light, and add value.

A bay window has many different benefits over a traditional picture window, specifically bay windows provide a unique view from at least three different angles. The base of a bay window also provides handy storage space for decoration or storage. As with many other aspects of home décor, bay windows come in multiple different styles and sizes. The following tips will make choosing the right bay window for your home easier and simplify the installation process.

Bay Window Styles

A standard bay with is composed of at least three windows, jointed along the edges at the factory to make a single large unit. Traditionally, bay windows comprised of a large center window which is surrounded on both sides by either narrow casement crank out windows or traditional double hung windows. The most common bay window style is an angled bay window which extends from the walls of your home at an angle between 30-degree and 45-degree angle. Furthermore, a box bay window includes a glass roof similar to a garden or greenhouse window.

Bay Window Size

A bay window comes in hundreds of sizes and styles which will be fabricated to fit any opening. Standard dimensions typically range between 3 feet to 10 feet in width and from 3 feet to 6 feet in height.

Bay Window Materials

The majority of windows in the United States and specifically the Midwest are made from either wood or vinyl. Finish and color options include primed wood, extruded vinyl and wood clad in low maintenance vinyl. While primed wood windows are on the decline, they must be painted and annual reoccurring maintenance needs to be conducted to prevent rot and window failure. Vinyl windows on the other hand are affordable and maintenance free for the life of the window.

Bay Window Glass Options

The majority of the bay windows come with insulated double pane glass separated by inert argon glass. Further energy efficient options are available with reflective low-e glass or triple panes. Homes specifically in cold weather climates such as Wisconsin want higher energy efficiency such as triple panes and argon curtains.

Bay Window Costs

The price depends heavily on the size of window as well as the functionality of the two side windows which are commonly casement or double hung windows. Without any structural modifications to your home a standard 3-foot by 6-foot bay window will likely run in the range between 900 and 1400 for the building materials alone. By hiring a window replacement contractor it’s likely to add an additional 2200 for installation and material disposal. Custom made units or modifications to the side windows can incur costs up to 15% to 20%.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Bay Window

Regardless of the type or style of bay window you are considering to have installed in your home, consider the following questions before buying or contracting the work out.

What Size Window?

The size of the window determines the raw material cost. Additionally, the larger the window the more material is required and the more difficult the install job. Installing a bay window that is the same size as your existing picture window will also lower your overall installation cost because it will limit the structural work required for installation. On the other hand, a large window also allows for a greater amount of sunlight to be let in and a greater visual impact both inside and outside of your home.

What Type of Window Sash?

There isn’t a set rule regarding which side windows or sashes to choose. Traditional options are double hung windows and casement windows. Honestly, pick the style that you like best. Taller narrower bay windows usually are accompanied with casement windows. Shorter units are usually paired with double hung window sashes. Ultimately, the best option is to choose something that compliments both the inside and outside of your home.

How is the Window Supported?

Bay windows need to be supported because they extend beyond the walls of your home. Typically, bay windows are supported both from above and below using steel cables.

Where to Find Your Perfect Bay Window

Window Concepts of Milwaukee

What Windows do I Have Installed?

Before diving into replacing windows or deciding how many with what type of glass, lets look at the basics here. The first thing you have to do is determine what windows you currently have installed, their dimensions, and the manufacturer that you previously used.

What Window Type Do I Have?

This should be a relatively easy question, but when we are talking with customers over the phone, this is the first thing many people get stuck on. They look at their window and decide that its unsightly, drafty, doesn’t work, or they just want a new one without understanding what they have. Several of the most common window types are:

  1. Double Hung Windows – A rectangle window which opens vertically on both the upper half and the lower half. Double hung’s are the most common windows, and are seen everywhere from small businesses to local homes.
  2. Single Hung Windows – The same as a double hung, but only opens on the lower half of the window.
  3. Sliding Window – A window that slides horizontally on one or both sides.  These are commonly installed in basements or bathroom as long windows that go across an entire wall close to the ceiling.
  4. Picture Windows or Bay Windows – These are usually a focal point in a room. They are large windows which usually overlook a front or back yard. The key difference here is that a bay window will always have some type of platform inside, and extend beyond the walls of the house to protrude outside.
  5. Casement Windows – These are usually crank open windows.

What Size Window Do I need?

When calling up a window contractor, always take two different sets of measurements. Measure the window height and length inside of the window frame, and on the outside of the window frame. This will really lock in the size that you are looking to get an estimate on and will allow them to give you an estimated range.

More often than not, you will receive a quote based upon the size of the window frame, because many window installation companies will remove the existing frame and install a new one to make sure that their product is properly sealed off.

What Windows Do I Currently Have?

Whether you are looking for the previous window manufacturer to have it replaced, or file a claim that the seal was broken, you’re going to need to know who installed it and what they installed. Locate your original home installation contract if you’ve never replaced your windows, or contact the previous contractor who installed them last.  If there is a possible warranty, they will need the make and model of the window and the sealant they used.

If you would like some local help you can always call in a window contractor or contact your local home improvement store to walk you through the identification process. If you are looking to do this after hours or on your own we would recommend that you use the NAMI website as a tool to identify the window manufacturer name and ID.

List of Current Window Manufacturers

If that website URL doesn’t work or you are looking for a short list to spur your memory, a list is copied below of the Window manufacturer and their ID number.

A Window Inc. – 412-1
Acadia Windows and Doors – 317-1
All Seasons Window & Door Manufacturing, Inc. – 353-2
All Temp Window Products – 165-1
Alpen HPP, LLC dba Alpen High Performance Products – 1914-1
American Exteriors Mfg. Inc. (Ponderosa) – 591-1
Arlene Stained Glass & Door Co., L.P. – 1672-1
B.F. Rich Company – 292-1
Changshu Hard Glass – 1547-1
Changshu Yili Building Material Company, LTD. – 1689-1
Coastal Industries, Inc. – 1632-1
Columbia Glass & Window Co. – 792-1
Columbia Metal Products Co. (KS) – 790-1
Custom Built Window & Door – 1628-1
Custom Window Systems, Inc. – 629-1
Diamond Windows & Doors – 1633-1
Elixir Industries – Division 34 (TN) – 1773-1
Fen-Tech, Inc. – 354-1
Fene-Tech, Inc. – 1037-1
Fenergic – 1591-1
GlassCraft Door Company – 1157-1
Heartland Window Manufacturing – 1018-1
IDP, Inc. – 1655-1
J & M Glass Company, Inc. – 396-1
Jantek Industries – 347-1
JELD-WEN Custom Doors (IWP) – Ciudad Industrial – 548-1
Jenkins Manufacturing – 1615-1
Kensington HPP, Inc. – 1954-1
LAS Enterprises – 1124-1
Lockheed Window Corporation – 334-1
MariTech Windows – 1477-1
Mathews Brothers Company – 335-1
Mercury Excelum, Inc. – 336-1
Phace LLC dba Accent Windows – 1126-1
PIVA Group spa – 1722-1
Ply Gem Window Group (Alenco – GA) – 162-1
Ply Gem Window Group (OH) – 1411-1
Ply Gem Window Group (VA) – 1408-1
Qinhuangdao ABP, Co. LTD. – 1608-1
Quaker Window Products – 031-1
RSL, Inc. (NJ) – 732-1
RSL, Inc. (OH) – 1436-1
Sain-Gobain Polska Sp z o.o-Lubartow – 1703-1
Saint-Gobain Polska Sp z o.o-Pruszkow – 1704-1
Serious Energy, Inc. – 1437-1
Shanghai Kinghua IG Blinds Company, Ltd. – 1925-1
Shwinco Architectural Products, LLC – 692-1
Silver Line Windows – 1674-1
Star Windows, Inc. – 804-1
Sun-Tek Manufacturing, Inc. – 225-1
Suzhou Taifeng Glass Decoration Co., LTD – 1732-1
Target Windows and Doors, Inc. – 1641-1
Therma-Tru Corp. (Mexico) – 1574-1
Thermal Gard Building Products – 695-1
THV Compozit Windows & Doors – 1578
Tri State Building Materials Corp. – 1626-1
Trulite Window &; Door Solutions, LLC – 1880-1
Vinylmax LLC – 072-1
Vytex Windows – 226-1
West Window Corporation – 113-1
Wincore Window Company, LLC – 1640-1
Window Tech Systems, Inc. – 008-1

The LF Priority and Advantage

As I’ve mentioned in the about Michelle page, I am here with a purpose, a goal.  I am here to document my families success in home improvement.  We have helped hundreds of homeowners improve their home and move up in the world. We have helped countless homeowners be more comfortable in their home by providing them with information regarding the best way to spend their money, how to prioritize home improvements when on a budget. And now, I am here to pass that information onto my readers, so long as they can stand my rambling sometimes!

Large two family home with new exterior features such as windows and siding. What was their home improvement priority?
What do you notice first about this home? Is it the windows, siding, soffits and fascia?

Michelle’s Goals

Over the next several weeks I will be discussing topics such:

  1. Window Installation and replacement
  2. Siding Installation and replacement
  3. Cleaning / maintaining windows and siding
  4. Choosing Soffits, Fascia, and Gutters
  5. Increasing your homes value to sell

Within each of these topics will discuss how important each aspect is to the exterior value of your home or your investment property.  I have also strategically created this list in the order of relative importance when it comes to your homes appearance and value.

Window Installation and Replacement

The windows of your home are critical to the resale value. They play a minor role on the exterior of your home as well as a major role on the interior value of your home.  The next time you enter your friends house or a neighbors house ask yourself where the windows are located, if they look well maintained, and if they are making the room more vibrant or not.  Odds are, the homes that you thought looked the nicest in your neighborhood, will have the newer windows.

Siding Installation and Replacement

Siding is primarily an external beautifier. What this means is that you rarely see what the siding looks like while you are inside your home, which is why this ranks second.  However; the siding plays very critical aspects in how energy efficient your home is, as well as the resale value.  Since the siding covers the majority of the exterior of your home it is what people will notice first or at a glance.

Soffits, Fascia, and Gutters

We’ve all heard that the devil is in the details, and that remains true when it comes to the soffits and fascia of your home.  While these features may not be as apparent as the windows or siding, a new home buyer will look at these details up close before they buy. The soffits, fascia, and gutters play a critical role in how your roof handles humidity and rain water.

Your Homes Priority – Increasing Your Homes Value

The goal of this blog is to help homeowners identify the areas that they can put money into their home to get the largest return on that investment. Over the years, we have moved three times and each time we have upgraded significantly because of the improvements we made to our old homes. I would like to share that information with my readers.

Whether you choose to remodel your windows or siding, or something else is up to you. I am just looking to make sure that when you make a decision you make the one that adds the most value to your property. If you have any questions, or are faced with a unique home improvement problem, feel free to contact me here.