Bow Windows – Gain Space and a Larger View With a Window Remodeling Idea
Winter can be a beautiful season, but its pleasures are often best enjoyed from the warm interior of our homes. That’s where beautiful bow windows come in. You can sit by the window, comfy and warm on cushions, hot cocoa in hand, all the while watching snowflakes fall or the cardinals and chickadees at the birdfeeder. So, if you have a room that seems to need “something” and you have been planning a renovation that involves replacement windows, consider some of the many benefits of installing a room expanding bow window.
Bow windows are perfect for living rooms, kitchens, sitting rooms, dining rooms, or even master bedrooms. Consisting of a series of four, five, or six identical windows, the bow window gently curves out from a wall, creating a kind of panoramic effect on the view outdoors while offering convenient and gracefully curved seating or floor space indoors. The addition of a bow window actually extends room size, but it also appears to bring the outdoors in without the expense of a sunroom. Your room will be awash with natural light.
And contrary to popular opinion, an expanse of glass in a stylish bow window does not make a room cold. In fact, new advances in glass and framing technologies actually make this energy efficient home remodel a smart idea.
Low-E (low-emissivity) is a thin layer of transparent metallic material that’s applied to window glass for insulating purposes. Renewal by Andersen windows, for example, have nine layers of metallic materials. This Low-E coating helps to prevent heat loss in your home by acting as reflective shield, pushing radiant heat that tries to pass through the glass back to the source it originates from. That means, come winter, the metallic coating holds warm air generated in your house inside, preventing it from escaping out through the glass. The result is a warm and cozy room-with an impressive view!
So while there is more “window” in your room, today’s window glass meets or exceeds all of the rigorous energy-efficiency standards as set out by federal regulations through the Energy Star ratings. If you have been following some of my previous articles, you will know that the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) energy performance label can help you determine how well your windows will perform in terms of their U-factor, SHGC, how they block out wind, and resist condensation.
Concerned about drafts? Air can rush in through gaps between the window frames and wall, as well as between the window frame and glass window panes. Today’s major window manufacturers have created some amazing new composites for window frames that boast great insulating properties, so multiple side-by-side windows won’t let in any drafts.
Wood and vinyl hybrids like Fibrex from Renewal Windows (made by Andersen) have half the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) of regular vinyl and are much closer to a home’s wood framing. The CTE describes how the size of an object changes with a change in temperature.
You may ask why that matters. If a window frame reacts to changes in temperature differently than the wall where it is attached, then small gaps are created that increase over time and allow drafts in. Wood and vinyl composite window frames respond to changes in temperature very similar to the way your house does; they expand and contract together as the weather changes. That means no gaps or cracks will appear, so your windows stay airtight and foggy windows will be a thing of the past.
So let the cold winds blow! Between today’s composite window frames and Low-E glass technology, your house will stay comfortable all winter long, and you can significantly cut your energy bills while you’re enjoying the view.
As an added bonus, today’s composites offer the real look of wood, both inside and out, so the exterior of your home will also benefit from the addition of a beautiful bow window. Now, all you have to do to make the picture complete is get your landscape in order!