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Bay and Bow Windows

Bay and Bow Windows

Bay and bow windows, known for their graceful curves that extend beyond the walls, are a source of architectural beauty and versatility in Chicago homes. These windows not only provide a unique design element but also offer functional benefits. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the world of bay and bow windows, with a focus on their significance in the vibrant city of Chicago. We'll delve into the features, installation considerations, and answer common questions regarding these exquisite windows.

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Bay And Bow Windows Customization Options

Exterior/Interior Finishes

Solid finishes

Solid white finish
Solid almond finish

Painted finishes

Our paint has been specially designed for vinyl windows and engineered for maximum durability and heat reflection:

  • Non-toxic, non-hazardous, non-flammable, environmentally friendly, lead- and chromium-free;
  • Has excellent cohesion to the vinyl. It is elastic and moves with the vinyl as it expands and contracts. Also, the paint has exceptional abrasion and impact resistance.
  • Ensures both long-term color retention and low heat absorption.
Painted bronze finish
Painted black finish

Laminated finishes

The laminate films endure a series of rigorous tests performed within the Grafco laboratory. These tests include heat reflectivity, Delta E (fade factor), distortion and adhesion, allowing us to offer a lifetime warranty.

Laminated light oak finish
Light Oak
Laminated dark oak finish
Dark Oak

Some of the Custom Color Options

Painted royal bronze finish
Royal Bronze
Painted cocoa finish
Painted bonneville green finish
Bonneville Green

Insulated Glass Units

Double- and Tripple-pane Glass Units

Our window and door products feature insulated glass units (IGU) with dual or triple pane combinations.

Solid white finish
Double glass unit
Solid almond finish
Tripple glass unit

Thickness ranges from 0.708" to 1.417" (18-36 mm) depending on the product. Glass panes are available in various thicknesses and types.

Coated glass, tints, and patterns are available for double and triple pane units. NEAT® coating on the exterior surface allows for easy cleaning.

Energy-efficient Spacers

The energy-efficient spacer systems used are stainless steel INTERCEPT UltraSpacer®, Endur, and organic SuperSpacer®. The spaces between the glass can be filled with dry air, argon, or a mix of argon/krypton gases.

Solid white finish
Solid white finish
Endur® Warm Edge
Solid white finish
Super Spacer®

All glass units meet industry standards and undergo frequent electronic quality checks. IGUs have a 20-year warranty for seal failures, the highest standard in the industry.

Glass Options


Cardinal LoE coated glass performance

LoĒ-270 Coated Glass

LoĒ coated glass delivers year-round comfort in any weather. In summer, it rejects the sun’s heat and damaging UV rays. In winter, it reflects heat back into the room.

LoĒ-366 Coated Glass

LoĒ-366 is a clear coating that blocks even more solar gain, reflects heat, and lets the light stream in. It even outperforms the tinted glass often used in warm climates.

Cardinal LoE-270 coated glass
LoE-270 coated glass
Cardinal LoE-366 coated glass
LoE-366 coated glass


Cardinal Annealed glass
Annealed glass break pattern (not safety certified)
Cardinal Tempered glass
Tempered glass break pattern (meets safety criteria)
Cardinal Laminated glass
Laminated glass break pattern (meets safety criteria)

Annealed glass

Annealed glass, commonly known as the standard glass, undergoes a thermal treatment process followed by slow cooling to eliminate internal stresses. It is commonly utilized in applications where safety considerations are not a primary concern.

Fully tempered glass

Fully tempered glass is significantly stronger than annealed glass, with a strength four times greater. In the event of breakage, it shatters into small, safe pieces, minimizing the risk of injury.

Heat Treated Glass

Heat-strengthened glass undergoes a slower cooling process compared to tempered glass, resulting in a lower compression strength. However, it still provides approximately twice the strength of annealed glass.

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass can withstand strong impacts. It is a superior solution to safety glazing.

Laminated glass does more: it is the type of safety glazing that also remains intact within the window frame.


Neat Glass

Unlike regular exterior window surfaces, Neat glass requires minimal maintenance. With Neat technology, the glass stays cleaner for longer periods. And when the time comes to clean, you'll find it quick and effortless.

Cardinal Neat glass

Grid Options

Decorative grids or blinds can be added and are sealed within the glass units.

Farmhouse grid style
Farmhouse grid style
Colonial grid style
Colonial grid style
Praire grid style
Praire grid style

Understanding Bay and Bow Windows

Bay and Bow windows are window combinations that create a gentle curve, projecting outward from the walls of a home. They are designed to maximize the entry of natural light and provide panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Bay and Bow Windows in Chicago

Bay and bow windows hold a special place in Chicago's architectural landscape:

  1. Expansive Views: In a city known for its stunning skyline and natural beauty, bay and bow windows are an ideal choice to capture these picturesque views.
  2. Architectural Elegance: The graceful curve of bay and bow windows adds a touch of architectural elegance to homes in Chicago, making them stand out in their neighborhoods.
  3. Enhanced Space: The additional space created by bay and bow windows can be utilized for various purposes, from cozy reading nooks to decorative displays.

Features and Benefits

Bay and bow windows offer a range of features and benefits:

  1. Increased Natural Light: Their expansive design allows more sunlight to enter your home, creating a brighter and more inviting living space.
  2. Added Space: The extended space created by bay and bow windows can serve as a seating area, enhancing both functionality and aesthetics.
  3. Improved Ventilation: The operable casement or double-hung windows within bay and bow windows allow for efficient ventilation, especially during Chicago's changing seasons.

Installation Considerations

Professional installation is crucial for bay and bow windows:

  1. Structural Integrity: Since bay and bow windows project outward, ensuring the structural integrity of your home's walls and foundation is vital.
  2. Insulation: Proper insulation around the windows is essential for energy efficiency, especially in Chicago's climate.

Bay and Bow windows offer a touch of elegance and functionality to Chicago homes. When considering bay and bow windows, consult with a reputable window professional to explore customization options and ensure a seamless installation. With the right bay and bow windows, you can transform your living spaces, allowing you to enjoy Chicago's beauty while enhancing your home's aesthetic appeal and comfort.

Frequent Questions Answered

Q1: Are bay and bow windows energy-efficient in Chicago's climate?
A1: Yes, bay and bow windows can be energy-efficient when installed with high-quality insulated glass and frames. They provide excellent insulation against Chicago's cold winters and hot summers.
Q2: Can I customize the appearance of bay and bow windows to match my home's style?
A2: Absolutely! Bay and bow windows are available in various materials, finishes, and design options, allowing you to tailor them to your home's unique aesthetics.
Q3: Are bay and bow windows suitable for small spaces?
A3: Yes, bay and bow windows can be designed to fit various space requirements. They are a versatile choice for both large and small rooms.
Q4: Do bay and bow windows require special maintenance?
A4: Bay and bow windows have more glass area and may require occasional cleaning. However, regular maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating the hardware, is straightforward.