Bay windows extend outward from the wall of the structure, creating a nook in the interior of the room. The windows are generally located on the first level of the building and may extend all the way to the ground below.
Bay window styles and designs are numerous and each of them adds distinctive architectural interest to an otherwise bland exterior. While the windows are usually associated with Victorian-style buildings, they lend grace and charm to many architectural styles, whether historic or contemporary.
Homeowners in the New England states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire interested in replacement bay windows should look to the home remodeling professionals at United Home Experts for their window replacement needs. The UHE staff is thoroughly experienced in window installation and can give advice on various styles and manufacturers of bay windows.
Now that the definition of what constitutes a bay window is clear, following is a description of a few of the bay window styles and designs the homeowner might want to consider discussing with a local window replacement contractor.
The Oriel Bay
This type of bay window defies the first-level placement rule stated earlier, as they are commonly found on the upper story of the building. Oriel windows are generally placed over the entrance to the building and are usually supported by stone or brick brackets or corbels. They are representative of the Gothic Revival style of architecture established in England in the mid-18th century. The term “oriel” is from the Latin word for porch.
The Box Bay
Box bay-style windows, as the name implies, are shaped like a box. The windows consist of a set of three windowpanes capped by a small roof. The usual design is a large center windowpane flanked by two smaller panes. The box bay window is a perfect way to open up space without repositioning any walls. These windows are very often seen in combination with an interior window seat.
The Circle Bay
These windows are larger than the oriel style and more embellished than the box style. The circle bay also incorporates more panes than the box bay and is apt to feature the application of elaborate and intricate moldings. They can be up to six feet high and may extend outward from the building by two or three feet. This window style takes great advantage of a view and lets in much natural light. Many are capped with a cone-shaped roof. This window came into its own during the Queen Anne Victorian era of the 1870s.
The Bow Bay
Bow bays can be located on any level of a structure and are gently curved rather than straight-sided like the other bay styles. They are generally created by combining four or more casement windows together to form an arch. The casement panes are attached to the frame with hinges on the sides of the windows. The bow bay window first appeared in 18th-century England and the American Federal Period.
While these bay window styles all add interest to the exterior of a building, they also serve to enhance the interior of the building by expanding the space and letting in light to brighten it up.