Bay Window Problems

Written by jennifer gittins
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Bay Window Problems
Bay windows on a multiple story building (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Bay windows are defined as windows in groups of three or more that jut outward from the exterior of the home. These windows are ideal for adding more light to a space or taking advantage of a beautiful view. However, they can also cause problems both inside and out, especially if they are not properly installed.

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In yards with limited space, a bay window can take up precious outdoor space or cause a hazard. For example, if the bay window protrudes over a walkway, it can create a hazard for people who are walking by, as they may bump into the bay window. This is especially true if the window overlooks a public walkway, such as a sidewalk. The city may require the window to be removed, or a passer-by could even sue over injury.

Improper Support

Bay windows need to be supported properly with heavy-duty support systems. When these support systems are not properly installed or utilised, it can result in the slow sagging of the bay window and eventually the collapse of the entire bay window system. Plastic supports are not adequate to support the load of a bay window, especially if a window seat will be regularly used or other items are adding extra weight to the window. Furthermore, as the bay window begins to sag, it can result in leaks, which can cause mould.


Since these windows stick outward from the building, they tend to allow in more light and therefore, heat the home more quickly. In multiple-story buildings, bay windows can create an unnecessary amount of additional heat. For example, if located on the 40th floor of a building, the apartment would stay cooler if it had flat windows rather than bay windows. The bay window creates more of a greenhouse effect due to its design, thus resulting in a warmer living space.

Deteriorating Supports

Improper supports can still deteriorate over time, especially when composed of wood. Wood supports that have deteriorated will result in a sagging bay window, which can make it difficult to open the windows. Deteriorated supports can develop mould or rot, which can transfer to the house and be invisible beneath vinyl siding. Therefore, when replacing old supports, it is important to inspect beneath the siding to ensure that rot or mould has not occurred there.

Interior Design Problems: Curtains

For some people, it can be difficult to find the right curtains or blinds for a bay window. Bay windows are often custom-made, so finding the right size blinds can be difficult. Futhermore, even with the right-size blinds, the blinds can constantly knock each other on the ends, as each end of a set of blinds will meet in the corner. This can result in damage to any decorative trim around the windows as well as damage to the blinds themselves, resulting in the need for regular replacement.

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