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Specialty Windows: What are Bay, Picture & Egress Windows

What Are Bay Windows?

Bay windows are a distinctive window style that projects outward from the exterior wall, creating an interior bay or nook area. Bay windows for homes typically consist of three individual window panels – a large center window framed by two angled side windows. This unique angled design allows the bay windows to extend beyond the home’s outer wall, providing extra interior living space.

A related yet slightly different option is bay vinyl windows. Like traditional bay windows, bay vinyl windows protrude outwards in an angled or curved shape. However, they are constructed from durable vinyl framing rather than wood. Bay vinyl windows offer low maintenance and energy efficiency benefits.

Wood or vinyl bay windows provide ample natural light and an architectural design feature. The expanded glass area maximizes sunlight exposure, cultivating a bright and open ambiance. The interior nook space created by the protruding bay can serve as a cozy window seat, reading nook, or display area.

Adding bay windows can truly transform a room, but the installation requires extensive structural modifications. It involves cutting openings in the exterior walls, framing out the bay area, securing the windows, and ensuring proper waterproofing. While theoretically a DIY project, most homeowners opt to hire professional window contractors who have the specialized skills to properly install bay windows and ensure a seamless, weather-tight final product.

Source: Pella Windows

What Are Picture Windows?

Picture windows are a type of window designed primarily to allow an unobstructed view and bring in lots of natural light. Unlike traditional windows that open and close, picture windows consist of one large glass pane that is permanently fixed and does not open. The simple design has no moving parts.

While picture windows themselves don’t open, they are often combined with other operational window styles installed on the sides. This allows you to get ventilation when needed while still having that great picture view in the center.

One of the major benefits of picture windows is the gorgeous panoramic vista they provide of the outdoors. The large glass area frames external views like a picture, making them ideal for rooms with nice scenery. Picture windows also help brighten up interior spaces by allowing an abundance of sunlight to stream in.

From a cost standpoint, picture windows are generally more affordable options compared to many other window styles. Their fixed, non-opening design requires less materials and hardware. Typically, the larger the picture window, the cheaper the cost per square foot.

While experienced DIYers can install picture windows themselves, it is a relatively involved project requiring precise measurements and proper sealing. Many homeowners opt to hire professional window installers to ensure the job is completed correctly for long-lasting performance.

What Are Egress Window?

An egress window is a special type of window designed to allow for an emergency exit from a building, especially in basement areas. The word “egress” means an exit or way out.

The main purpose of an egress window is to provide a safe escape route in case of fire or other dangerous situations. That’s why egress windows are required in basements, as they offer a way to get outside if the main entry is blocked.

Egress windows have to meet certain size requirements to allow easy exit. They must have a minimum opening area, height, and width to allow an average person to crawl through without getting stuck. The window opening also can’t be too high off the ground outside.

For basement egress windows, there are additional rules. They need an adjacent window well – a pit dug out from the ground to provide open space for getting in and out. The well must be large enough and may require a permanent ladder if very deep.

Egress windows can be different styles like awning, sliding, or double-hung windows, as long as they meet the size codes. Choosing the right style depends on the basement’s layout and space available.

Installing egress windows is not a typical DIY project. It involves precise measurements, excavation work for the well, and following local safety codes. Most homeowners hire professional contractors to ensure the egress window is installed properly for maximum safety.

Source: ID Systems

Benefits Of Bay Vs. Picture Vs. Egress Windows 

Bay Windows:

  • Provide extra interior space and seating area in the window nook
  • Allow lots of natural light from multiple angled window panes
  • Create an architectural feature that adds beauty and dimension
  • Offer panoramic views of the outdoors

Picture Windows:

  • Give an unobstructed, wide-open view like a picture frame
  • Maximize natural light with large glass areas
  • Don’t open and close, so increased energy efficiency
  • Simple, affordable design compared to other window styles

Egress Windows:

  • Required for basements to allow emergency exit
  • Must meet size requirements for easy escape
  • Often have a window well dug for exit accessibility
  • Can let natural light into a dark basement space
  • Provide safety and peace of mind
Source: Angie’s List

Window Styles To Choose From for Different Home Types

Picture Windows:
Houses with beautiful outdoor views are perfect for picture windows. If your home looks out over nice scenery like mountains, the ocean, or pretty gardens, big picture windows let you enjoy those views. They are also good for homes with lots of open wall space since picture windows don’t need room to open and close. Picture windows allow tons of natural light inside too, making rooms brighter.

Bay Windows:
Bay windows are ideal for houses that need some extra living space. The bay area sticking out creates a cozy nook perfect for a window seat, reading corner, or displaying decorations. Traditional or cottage-style homes look great with bay windows because they add architectural interest. The angled design allows more natural light from multiple directions.

Egress Windows:
Egress windows are a must-have for any house with basements or below-ground living areas. Building codes say bigger egress windows are required in basements to allow an emergency exit if there’s a fire or disaster. The egress window well provides a path to get outside quickly and safely. So homes with finished basements need properly installed egress windows.


No matter if you need egress windows for basement safety, bay windows for extra living space, or picture windows to showcase beautiful views, Window Liquidators has you covered. As a leading supplier of specialty windows, they offer an extensive selection to fit any home’s unique needs and style preferences.

For unbeatable quality, variety, and customer service when purchasing egress, bay, picture, or any other specialty window, look no further than the professionals at Window Liquidators. They make achieving your dream windows simple, affordable, and stress-free. Upgrade your home’s safety, style, and functionality today with Window Liquidators.


Q: How do Bay Windows enhance a home’s interior space?
A: Bay windows create a charming nook inside, perfect for a cozy reading spot or extra seating area, while also allowing more natural light to enter from different angles.

Q: Why are Picture Windows ideal for scenic views?
A: Picture windows feature a large, fixed glass pane that frames beautiful outdoor vistas like a picture, providing an unobstructed view and brightening the room with natural light.

Q: What makes Egress Windows essential for basement safety?
A: Egress windows are crucial for basements because they provide a safe exit in emergencies, meeting specific size requirements to ensure easy escape in case of fire or other dangers.

Q: Can Bay, Picture, and Egress Windows be combined in home design?
A: Yes, combining these windows can enhance a home’s aesthetics and functionality by providing extra space and light with bay windows, stunning views with picture windows, and safety with egress windows.

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