Before you buy a bay window in your kitchen, consider the following installation questions.
What size should I get?
It’s easier and cheaper to install a bay that’s the same size or smaller than the old window. A wider bay requires a larger opening and a new header, which can add £300 to £500 to the cost. On the other hand, a larger window does offer the advantages of bringing in more light and creating a greater visual impact, both inside and out.
What style should I get?
There’s no set rule. A taller, narrower bay often looks better with an easement style, and a shorter unit tends to look better with a double-hung style. You can also match the style used on the other windows in your home. However, these are simply guidelines; pick the style that you like best. Although the center window of a bay is usually fixed, you can also order one with an operable easement or double-hung sash.
How will I support the window?
Most bay windows must be supported from below with braces or from above with steel cables bolted to the overhead framing. Both approaches work well, but support cables are less obtrusive because they’re hidden inside the window frame. Not all manufacturers offer support cables, but they can be bought separately and adapted for use on almost any bay window.
Will the window fit under an eave?
Bay windows are often tucked beneath an eave. Before choosing a window, measure the horizontal depth of the eave, and try to get a unit that’s shallow enough to fit beneath it. Most 30 degree bay windows are 12 to 14 in. deep; most 45 degree units are 16 to 22 in. deep; box bays and 60 degree bays are usually 18 to 24 in. deep. What if thereis no eave? If there’s no overhead eave above the window or if your bay will stick out beyond the eaves – you’ll need an angled roof over the window to keep out the weather. ln the past, these roofs had to be custom-cut by a specialist.
Fortunately, prefabricated roof kits are now available for most bay windows. These reduce installation time and can be installed by any remodeling professional. Matching skirt kits for finishing the underside of the window are also available.
Who should install the window?
An experienced remodeler or carpenter should have no trouble installing a bay window, but it’s not a job for everyone. The installation may require advanced skills from modifying a load-bearing wall to patching exterior trim. Not to mention installing and supporting the window, which is likely to be large and very heavy Considering the challenges of the job and the cost of the window, it’s worth it to pay for a quality installation.