A Guide to the Different Types of Bay Windows

If you want to add more character to your home or simply want to brighten a space, bay windows can be a great choice. Bay windows offer more than just an architectural feature; they can provide a connection to the outdoors while still being protected by the safety and comfort of the indoors.

But with the different types available, how do you pick the best for your home? We’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll look at the different types of bay windows and the factors to consider before purchasing one. So whether you’re looking for a sunny spot for reading or a dramatic view of a stormy sky, we’ll help you find the perfect bay window.

Types of Bay Windows

Canted Bay Windows

Canted bay windows are mostly found in traditional and Victorian-style homes. They resemble typical bay windows, but instead of being straight or inclined, they consist of a series of flat panels that are curved to form a smooth curve.

Canted bay windows are usually made up of three panels, with the center panel being wider and angled outwards, creating a protruding effect from the rest of the wall. The two side panels are usually narrower and fixed, while the center panel can either be fixed or operational.


  • They are compatible with a variety of architectural types and can enhance both traditional and modern residences.
  • The protruding design of the center panel creates a sense of depth and provides additional space, making them a great option for creating a small seating area or a cozy reading nook.   
  • They provide an abundance of natural light and a wider view of the outdoors.


  • Due to their unique design, canted bay windows can be more expensive than standard windows and can require professional installation.
  • Cleaning can also be a bit more challenging due to the angled design, but with proper tools and technique, they can be easily cleaned.

Bow Bay Windows

Bow bay windows consist of multiple panels curved in an arc shape, giving the appearance of a gentle, continuous curve. The panels are usually fixed and do not open, but some manufacturers offer those that can open for ventilation.

Bow bay windows are often used in more modern architectural designs but can also complement traditional designs with the right finishes and accessories. They are typically wider than other types, providing a larger interior space.


  • The curved shape can add a unique and elegant architectural feature to any building.
  • The huge window’s surface area also permits an abundance of natural light to enter the room, creating a bright and airy environment.
  • The interior of a window, which can be utilized for sitting or storage, can be a terrific way to add additional living space to a room.


  • They can be more expensive due to their complex design and manufacturing process.
  • Prone to more energy loss than flat windows because of their larger surface area, leading to higher heating and cooling bills.

Box Bay Windows

These are one of the most popular types of bay windows. They have a rectangular shape and protrude from a building’s outside wall. Box bay windows consist of a flat front panel, and two angled side panels, creating a box-like appearance. The interior is perfect for creating a cozy seating area or a spot for a breakfast nook.


  • They provide additional floor space that creates the illusion of a larger room
  • Brings in an abundance of natural light.


  • They can be more expensive than traditional flat windows due to their complex design and installation.
  • As they are prone to water leaks and can be difficult to clean, they may necessitate extensive care and maintenance.

Oriel Bay Windows

Oriel bay windows originated in medieval England. They are a form of projecting bay window that is typically supported by brackets or corbels rather than being cantilevered from the building’s structure. Oriel bay windows are often seen in older buildings and homes that feature traditional architecture. They have a more ornate appearance compared to other types, with intricate details and decorative features.


  • They can bring a great deal of personality and charm to a structure and are typically viewed as a symbol of history and tradition.
  • They can also create additional space and bring in more natural light, making them perfect for creating a cozy reading nook or a small seating area.


  • Can be expensive due to their complex design and construction.
  • They can also require additional support and maintenance due to their projecting nature, making them more susceptible to weather damage and water leaks.
  • It is also important to note that oriel bay windows may only be suitable for some types of buildings, especially those with modern architecture. 

Circle Bay Windows

Also known as round bay windows, these windows consist of a single panel that is curved in a circular shape. They’re often found in older buildings and homes with traditional architecture but can also be incorporated into more modern designs with the right finishes and accessories. Circle bay windows provide a unique and charming feature to any building and can create an elegant focal point in any room.


  • They are unique and elegant in appearance. 
  • They offer plenty of natural light, making them an excellent choice for illuminating any room.


  • They have limited use in practical applications making them less suited for use as a lounging area or additional living space.
  • They can be more expensive than other types of windows due to their unique shape and the need for custom manufacturing.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bay Window

Energy Efficiency — Bay windows can be less energy efficient than traditional windows, as they have more glass surface area. Consider energy-efficient solutions, such as double or triple-paned glass, low-emissivity coatings, and insulated frames, to save energy expenses.

Function —  Think about the purpose of the bay window. Will it be used as a seating area, a reading nook, or simply for aesthetics and to allow more natural light into the room? This can help you select the optimal size and style for your needs.

Placement —  Consider the direction of the sun and how it will affect the room, as well as the view that you want to enjoy. Placement can also affect the structural integrity of your home.

Style and Design — Bay windows come in different styles and designs, from traditional to contemporary. Consider your home’s architectural style and select a design that complements it. Also, keep in mind the materials and finishes that will best fit your decor and preferences.

Professional Installation — Working with a professional window installer like Simpson Windows & Doors Ltd. can help ensure that your bay window is installed properly and safely. A professional can assist you with the choosing process and verify that the installation is performed according to building codes.

Hire Simpson Windows & Doors Ltd. to Install Your Bay Window Today

Adding a bay window to your home can add both visual appeal and value to your space. However, the process can be quite challenging because of the many options available. That’s why it’s important to work with a trusted and experienced window installation company like Simpson Windows & Doors Ltd.

Our team can guide you through every step of the process, from selecting the appropriate bay window for your space to ensuring a flawless installation that adheres to all building and safety regulations. Contact us today to book a free consultation!

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