Looking to change up the look and feel of your front room? Here’s why a window made famous in the Victorian times might be the best choice for you…
A configuration of windows consisting of three or more units which stands out from the building is known as a ‘bay’ window.
Building regulations were relaxed towards the end of the Victorian era allowing homes to be built whereby windows no longer needed to be flush with walls, revolutionising home design.
Many Victorian buildings took advantage of a protruding window and this still remains synonymous with that era today.
Unlike a ‘bow’ window which is positioned onto a wall, a bay window also allows space for standing in, on the inside.
As well as offering a unique style from the outside, the bay window permits extra space within a room to sit and relax.
With a small amount of alteration to the surrounding brickwork, bay windows can replace a casement window, thereby completely changing and enhancing the look and style of a home.
Bay windows can be manufactured in uPVC, aluminium or timber to compliment the design of your property.
The extra glass units on a bay window, offer additional light and a panoramic view.
Many people enjoy the pleasing aesthetics of a bay window along with the ability to incorporate seating inside the bay from which to enjoy a view.
Types of bay window
Bay windows tend to be ‘splay’ or ‘box’.
As its name suggest, the splay window is a configuration of three units, one central one being flanked by two either side, splayed out at an angle.
The curved bay window requires multi-frame segments to provide the curve allowing a semi-circle of glass that effectively creates a peripheral view, drenching a room with light and visibility from inside.
Buildings where a window encompasses a corner, can be fitted with a ‘single end bay’ to provide a double aspect view.
Whenever there is a larger surface of glass, you would expect a larger potential of heat loss.
Reputable manufacturers of bay windows provide glass units of an A+ rating which ensures they are sealed to maximise warmth retention.
Argon gas is sandwiched between the double-glazed panes (see also ‘How Does Double Glazing Work?‘) to offer the consumer optimal performance whilst balancing cost.
Krypton pushes glazing technology further but comes at a price.
Glass filled with Xenon offers a new, cutting-edge option, usually reserved for modern skyscrapers (who stand to lose the most heat in terms of glass surface area) and a little ambitious for the average homeowner.
Weather-resistant seals are used on the glass units to ensure a tight fit which keeps both heat loss and fuel bills down.
Are bay windows less secure than casement windows?
As with all styles of window these days, glazing is done from the inside to ensure the utmost security.
Clearly, the extra glass required in a bay window provide great views from inside but this works from outside too. Your choice of window dressing along with keeping valuable items out of sight are simple ways to reduce risk.
Additionally, the multi-point locking systems on the handles of your bay will ensure a good level of security. You can request locks that have more locking points if you want to increase security. Just talk to your window provider who should be able to advise on the complexity according to your requirements.
Due to hi-tech materials, frames and hinges now stronger than ever, all work together to provide the homeowner with peace of mind.
Material and colour choices for bay windows
Bay windows are obtainable in uPVC, aluminium or timber.
The ever popular uPVC comes in a range of colours to suit most homes. Where colour is only required on the exterior, there is a two-tone option allowing for the traditional white on the inside.
uPVC bay windows can also be manufactured in a laminate finish of textured woodgrain; the benefit of timber appearance without the chore of maintenance (see also ‘How Long Do UPVC Windows Last?‘).
The uPVC option sits at the lower end of the pricing scale making this durable material affordable to most.
Whilst aluminium bay windows will come with a higher price tag, they are the most hard-wearing and can afford a more streamlined style.
Much admired in a white that isn’t susceptible to fading, they can also be manufactured in darker shades, such as the popular grey anthracite, now dominating the designer magazines.
For the purists of charm and style, wooden bay windows provide the homeowner with an authentic option, showing off a natural and sustainable grain.
The timber option can be painted or stained, paying homage to tradition, following up-to-date fashions or setting new individualised trends.
Are bay windows worth the effort?
Doubtlessly, bay windows offer multiple solutions and enhancements to many homes. From the traditional; making use of classical Georgian bars or decorative lead work, to the contemporary; where maximum light is desired along with panoramic views.
You may picture yourself seated inside an elegant room; a cosy tableau for onlookers to admire. Or maybe you dream of a meditative window seat from which to revere the world outside.
Either way, this crafted feature of window technology promises to deliver and make your wishes come true!