Homeowners should choose bay windows according to style, energy efficiency and cost. Bay windows consist of three windows joined to make a bump out in a room.
Choosing the actual windows that make up the bay construction is no different than choosing windows for any other part of the house. One consideration is cost. Vinyl panes tend to be the least expensive, and wooden frames the most expensive. The grade of glass also adds to the cost, with high performance glass being the most expensive.
The type of material also drives future maintenance requirements. Wood needs to be scraped and repainted to prevent rot. Vinyl window frames don't require any maintenance.
High-performance glass is typically related to energy efficiency. Double-hung windows, which consists of two panes of glass, cost more than single-hung windows. Triple panes are even more expensive. For increased energy efficiency, some windows come with gas in between the frames. This is a consideration for climate control and for lowering utility bills.
Another consideration for bay windows is the home's style. The bump out usually features a wide center window flanked by narrower windows. The style depends on what kind of window contractors use for all three. For example, a large picture window flanked by narrow panes is suitable for modern homes. Adding multiple panes in the windows yields a more traditional style.