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What is the Cost of Bow Windows?

Bow windows are a notch up from regular casement windows so how much can you expect to pay? The cost of bow windows start from $799 dollars upwards depending on a number of factors explained in this article.

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The average cost of bow windows

Your home may already have bow windows which need replacing or perhaps you are thinking of adding a bow window as a feature to a living room or dining room to let in more light or maximize the view of your garden.

Before you start contacting contractors and window installers, it’s a good idea to have a rough idea on bow window costs. Here are some costs divided up by brand and also the price for installation.

Type of Window Cost per Window Labor/Installation
Simonton Prism Bow Window $1,100 £1,455
Andersen 400 Series Bow Window $1,565 $1,790
Pella Bow Window $750 $900
Certainteed BrynMawr III Bow Window $1,500 $1,340
Marvin Bow Window $799 $1,000

Check out this video which explains a bay versus a bow window and relative costs:

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What is a bow window?

Not to be confused with bay windows which are very similar in size and shape, a bow window is a form of projection window, popular for living rooms and dining rooms as a feature. Bow windows let in more light than a regular casement window and sometimes, a downstairs bow window is matched with one above on the first floor for the master bedroom.

Bow windows project from the house so do not sit flush with the wall. They are similar to bay windows in that they are curved or angled to create a bench-like space or window seat inside the house. Typically, a bow window will consist of four or five individual windows to create this rounded projecting structure.

The gentle curve of bow windows gives them an old-fashioned or Victorian appearance. They are perfect for larger homes with architectural details like arched windows and doorways as they follow the gentle curves of the building’s features. They are also popular in smaller properties as they provide an interesting external feature on the façade and can bring much more natural light into rooms with typically small windows.

Because they project outwards, bow windows allow much more light into the house than regular single-hung or double—hung windows. This makes them a good choice for houses which face north or east and which lack direct sunlight.

Typically, a bow window will have four, five or six panels but it can have as few as three depending on personal preference. The seat board or window seat is similar to a bay window.

In contrast, a bay window will have one large central window almost like a picture window and two flagging panels: the panels on a bow window will be of equal size.

Factors affecting bow window costs

The prices in the table are just a guide, there are lots of different things which can impact on the cost of new bow windows. These include:-

  • The size of the window
  • The material for the frame
  • The brand or manufacturer
  • The type of window – double glazed, triple glazed
  • The number of panels
  • The level of detailing on the panels like leaded lites
  •  The type of glass – thermal, tinted, self-clean
  • The window will need a roof particularly if you choose a circle bow
  • Any work required to the wall when the old window is removed
  • Disposal costs for the old window
  • Accessibility of the site
  • Whether you use a large or small window installation company
  • Extra charges like scaffolding hire for first floor windows
  • Your location, installation costs vary from state to state and from cities to rural areas

The advantages of bow windows

The biggest advantage of bow windows and the reason why so many people opt for them is the amount of light they can let into the room. If you have a lovely garden or view, then that is even more reason to consider installing one. In this regard, bow windows can be a better choice than bays as they are usually longer which allows them to cover a greater portion of the wall. They are also ideally suited to old properties where the rooms have low ceilings and where more light cannot be achieved with a window of greater height.

Here are some of the other advantages of a bow window:-

  • Bow windows can curve around corners so they can follow a rounded wall or a square wall on some homes. This adds a completely different aspect to the house giving it almost a castle-like feel and is a unique feature which can mark your house out from others in the street
  • Bow windows are an expensive addition to any home so they have a desirability and cachet which can add to a home’s aesthetic appearance and its value when it goes up for sale
  • Improved ventilation is available with a bow window simply because it is larger than a standard casement window
  • Bow windows sit flush to the house compared to bay windows so if you have a house that is right up against the edge of the plot then they can be a good choice to maximize light without abutting onto someone else’s land

The disadvantages of bow windows

  •  If you are looking for a decent sized bench seat inside the room then a bay window may be the better option, bow windows tend to project less far so offer a narrower seating area than bays
  • Bow windows do not offer a ‘picture window’ as all the panels or lites are the same size so there is no large central feature to optimize a great view
  • Because the panels or lites are narrow, finding blinds or curtains to fit can be a challenge. Some homeowners leave them without anything or you can install a straight track in front of the window seat to close in the evening

Saving costs on bow windows

Because bow windows are a feature and most people only install one or two, then you are not looking at the expense of changing all the windows in your home. At most, householders tend to install two bow windows, two downstairs in an open plan room that is usually a combined lounge and dining area or one downstairs and one directly above it upstairs for the master bedroom.  One way to spread the costs is to install them one at a time. Here are some other options:-

  • Choose a cheaper manufacturer or brand
  • Pick a more economic frame material
  • Swap from an expensive glazing to a more budget-friendly alternative
  • Look for finance from your window installer, many companies offer payment options via a third party institution and this can help spread the cost
  • Search out window grants

Can window grants help with costs?

Window grants are another way of mitigating the cost of installing bow windows but they are not available for everyone or for every type of window.

Window grants tend to fall into two broad categories:-

  • Those aimed at energy efficient products, usually vinyl windows with thermally insulated glazing
  • Those for people on low income or the elderly who may otherwise struggle to upgrade their windows

Key points about window grants

  • Window grants are not available for all windows so check carefully with your installer
  • Some environmentally friendly grants do not include windows
  • Grants are available at federal, state and local level, some schemes are very small
  • You will need to qualify in terms of the product you are choosing and sometimes your status in terms of age or income
  • Some schemes are overrun with applications so funds are released in phases, it could be that when you want to apply, the scheme has been temporarily exhausted and it might mean waiting or looking elsewhere
  • Some grants will require you to pay for the window/s in full first of all and then evidence your receipt before they release the money
  • Some schemes will only cover the cost of the replacement of simple single or double-hung casement windows – if you want to push the boat out and upgrade to a bow window then you may have to meet the difference
  • Most grants will not pay for all of the cost but contribute a percentage
  • There can be restrictions under the terms of the scheme about how long you remain in the property once the work has been complete, this is to avoid homeowners upgrading a property at the expense of a community or state fund only to sell it on shortly afterwards for a profit
  • Always read the small print and don’t rely on your installer’s version of the grant’s terms and conditions.

How to find window grants

There is lots of information online and your window company should also be aware of any current schemes that are available.

Most window companies are only too keen to tell you about window grants as they can be a real incentive for homeowners to sign on the dotted line. But always check the fine print carefully and make sure the scheme is right for you.

Ask around on social media or community forums as sometimes there can be short-term local schemes which are not very well advertised.

Other finance options to help with bow window costs

If your new bow window is part of general house renovations or home improvements, then you could speak to your bank or your mortgage company about arranging finance for this and other elements of your project.

Some homeowners raise money through a home improvement loan based on the equity they have in their property; it is also possible to re-mortgage to another lender for a better rate and release money at the same time. There must be enough equity in your property and your current or new lender will need to see evidence that you can afford the repayments. Sometimes this is a better option than arranging finance with the window installer as this can be more expensive.

If your window company does offer finance, then it's easy to feel pressurized and accept the quote because it is a simple way to sort out payment. Always look around and check that you are getting the best deal and at the best rate. Most window installers don’t provide the finance themselves but work with third party institutions.

How to find a good window installer

Bow windows are a significant investment for your home especially if you are having more than one so it is essential to find a reputable and professional company to install them.

Start by asking around friends and family or work colleagues for a personal recommendation. A bow window would be considered a standard job for a good window installer so you shouldn’t need a specialist company.

Putting a post on social media in a local community or neighborhood group is another option but beware, sometimes people just recommend their friends. However, if local people are posting them you may be able to drive by and check out their home if they have recently had new windows installed.

There are trader platforms on the internet which match a few of your key details with installers free to do your work in the area. These can be a good source of window companies but check out that the customer reviews are genuine as some companies pay a fee to advertise and the listings are little more than an advertising directory.

Questions to ask a contractor

Although it can be time-consuming and laborious, always get three quotes so you can compare prices and it will also help you get a feel of which installer you think may be right for you. Here are some questions you should ask:-

  • Does the price quoted include all labor and materials?
  • Are there any third-party costs not quoted for like scaffolding for the first floor or disposal costs for the old window/s?
  • What type of frame material do you recommend and why?
  • What type of glazing would be best for the window?
  • How can I style the window so it fits in with the rest of the windows on the house?
  • How long will it take to install?
  • Do you foresee any problems with the installation or construction of the wall?
  • Is access to the site good enough or will I need to clear away some of the garden?
  • Do you offer any guarantees for your workmanship?
  • What are the manufacturer’s warranties for frame material and glass?

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a bay window and a bow window?

Bow windows curve outward in a gentle style and normally consist of between three and six window panels known as lites. Bay windows in comparison angle outward sharply and typically consist of three window panels.

How do bow windows work?

Bow windows are usually made up of casements that open via a crank, this is in order to allow ventilation into the home. Casement panels open outward on hinges. There is also the option to have a bow window made up of single or double-hung windows that lift up on tracks.

Do bow windows increase the value of a property?

If the window is well and professionally installed and improves the aesthetic of the exterior of the house plus offers good views and plenty of light inside, then it will increase both the kerb appeal and the value of the property in a modest way. Beware fitting bow windows to homes which really do not lend themselves to this design – on the wrong property, they just won’t look good.

Can you change from a bay window to a bow window?

Providing the dimensions are roughly the same, then you should be able to swap an old bay window for a new bow window.

Which is better for an older style property, a bay window or a bow window?

Bow windows are more uniform in their appearance and tend to suit a character or more traditional property. In contrast, a bay window with its central picture window offers a more modern look and suits contemporary homes.

How can I make a feature of a bow window inside as part of the room’s interior design?

Bow windows offer endless design possibilities inside the house for the keen interior designer. Installing a window seat with plush padded cushions can really maximize both sunlight and a beautiful vista. A window or bench seat will usually need to be installed by someone other than your window company. A local carpenter can discuss wood types and if you create lift up seats then they provide excellent added storage space.

Some people put a table in the window, it’s a great place to eat for 2-4 people. Or at Christmas, it is a perfect location for the tree.

What is a circle bow window?

Circle bow windows tend to be a bit more of a statement than a regular bow. They can extend out from the wall of the house by as much as three feet and come with their own roof which is cone shaped.