A bay window relates to an exterior wall in much the same way that a dormer relates to a primary roof. Like a dormer, a bay window captures extra space and daylight for the primary volume. Also like a dormer, it can enliven an exterior elevation. If formed, scaled, and positioned appropriately, it can contribute to a favorite interior space while creating a unique exterior feature.

There are essentially three types of bay windows — entrance bays, novelty accent bays, and expanded footprint bays. An entrance bay serves two primary purposes: providing cover for and calling attention to the entrance below. A novelty accent bay is generally trimmed underneath with brackets or corbels — rather than extending to the foundation —...

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