Bay vs. Bow Windows, What’s the Difference?

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When comparing bay vs. bow windows, bay windows consist of three window pieces and an angular structure, while bow windows usually have at least four window pieces built into an arched structure. Bow windows extend further from the house, letting in more natural light and views. 
Whether you’re upgrading your home or simply want to take advantage of all that beautiful natural light, swapping your windows for bay or bow windows is a great place to start. But when it comes to choosing between the two types, it may be hard to figure out the difference. 
That’s why the super app for car and home insurance, Jerry, is here to help you decode the differences between bay vs. bow windows. Here are the pros and cons of each, whether home insurance covers the costs of window upgrades, and how to save money when remodeling your home. 
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Differences of bay vs. bow windows

Take a look at your window (or imagine your future window). How many sections does it have? The answer to this question is key to deciding on a bay vs. bow window.
Bay windows have a central picture window with two different windows to the left and right. Bow windows often use the same window type but have a more rounded structure. 

What are bay windows?

Bay windows consist of three window sections that extend out from the house. The center window is a picture window, and it’s surrounded by different side windows. Keep in mind that these side windows are often the same
One of the hallmark features of bay windows is their angled lines. Often, the side windows extend from the house at 45 to 90-degree angles. Bay windows are a great way to add extra floor space to a room since the angular shape can be used for a range of purposes. 
Whether you opt for bookshelves, a reading nook, a seating area, or space to keep your plant collection, know that a bay window adds to a house’s square footage. 


Bay windows are beautiful and tend to add to your home’s curb appeal. But they bring other benefits outside of adding to a house’s aesthetic! 
Here are some of the pros of bay windows:
  • Add to the square footage of a house
  • Increase the amount of natural light
  • Provide additional ventilation
  • Create additional space that can be used for a variety of purposes
  • Increase the house’s resale value


Like all good things in life, bay windows aren’t for everyone. One of the biggest downsides is the price. Installation can be expensive, often setting you back $4,000 to $7,000 depending on where you live. 
What’s more, this window type requires having enough space outside of the window. Remember that the window extends outward from the house, so your property needs ample space to allow for this.
The biggest problem that comes up even after the windows are installed is finding the right window treatments. Not only are they expensive (you’re buying treatments for three windows!), but it can be difficult finding treatments that fit your space.

What are bow windows?

Unlike bay windows, bow windows feature an arc shape with at least four casement windows. The key difference when comparing bay vs. bow windows is the shape—unlike the angular bay windows, bow windows are rounded.
Like bay windows, bow windows increase the square footage of your home and allow more natural light in—but they’re even more expensive. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons. 


So, what are the good things about bow windows? Here are the biggest pros of this window type:
  • Increases the square footage of the house
  • Allows more natural light
  • Can help improve your view
  • Provides additional ventilation
  • Adds to the house’s resale value
  • Adds curb appeal to the house


The biggest downside to bow windows is the expensive installation costs. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 depending on where you live.
Why is the price so high? Unlike bay windows, bow windows require windows that can accommodate the curved window structure. Not just any window will do! Plus, the curved structure makes installation more complex and drives up the overall cost.
Also, be ready to face the challenge of finding window treatments. The arc shape makes this difficult but you will also need to get treatments for at least four windows (potentially more, depending on the number of window panels in your structure). 

Does home insurance cover window replacements?

It depends. If your windows were shattered during a storm or vandalism damaged your home, for example, then home insurance may help cover the repair costs. 
However, if you’re needing them replaced due to general wear and tear, you’ll need to pay for the replacements out of pocket. The same goes for upgrades—home insurance will not cover the costs of upgrading your standard picture window to a snazzy bow window. 
Since window replacements aren’t cheap, switching to a more affordable homeowners insurance policy is a fast and fool-proof way to start saving money to put towards your new windows. 
All you need to do is download the insurance super app, Jerry. In minutes, Jerry will find you the best policies out there. Once you’ve made your pick, Jerry will deal with the hassle of canceling your old plan and buying your new one. There’s no faster way to save money than that!
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Bay windows are generally cheaper than bow windows because they are easier to install and don’t have to accommodate a rounded structure. If you’re getting bay windows, you will likely pay $4,000 to $7,000
Bow windows cost at least $1,000 more than bay windows. The average cost of bow windows ranges from $5,000 to $8,000 depending on where you live.
Yes! Since you already know that your house has the space to accommodate one of these window types, swapping a bow window for a bay window is easier than installing one from scratch. 
Make sure to use a window professional to help you properly install your new window. You don’t want to risk having any structural issues!

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