A bay window has multiple panels that protrude further than a building’s outside wall. This outward projection creates an interior recess or bay, which is supported by a wall at sill height. The windows are usually polygonal or rectangular, with the usual internal angles 90°, 135° and 150°.

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Bay windows are distinctive features of the architecture of Victorian homes; however, they were initially used in the English Renaissance to make rooms appear bigger, supply improved views, and admit more natural light than windows that were flush with the line of the wall.

The recess created inside a room by this sort of window can be utilised for storage by surrounding the lower area, or for creating a window seat with soft furnishings and cushions. Alternatively, it may be used as an area for displaying plants or decorative items.

Due to a larger area of glazing, such a window can need more cooling or heating to keep the internal temperature comfortable. Consider also the structural soundness of the building’s foundations, which have to be able to support the prominent windows and the roof above.

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Return of the bay window

In today’s architecture, these windows have undergone a revival, becoming a typical flourish of the Chicago School. Now, they are found in all manner of domestic designs and in flats. Bay windows are available from specialists such as firmfix.co.uk/windows/bay-windows.

The types of bay window include:

– Canted: a window with angled sides and a flat front.
– Bow: a window that is arc-shaped or curved.
– Oriel: a window on an upper floor, usually resting on a bracket or corbel. This sort of window lets the floor space be extended without a change to the foundation’s dimensions.
– Mashrabiya: enclosed decorative balconies that are typical of Arab architecture.
– Box: these windows have a box-like shape with a 90-degree angle. There is one big window with smaller ones either side.
– Circle: this type of window is a new twist on the bow window, bringing together a mix of windows into a circular area. Circle windows are used in bedroom suites, master living rooms and dining nooks.

If you are still not sure which type of bay window you have in your home, any window company will be happy to advise you.