Bay and bow windows

Most bungalows have a bay or bow window facing the street.

Bungalows typically had at least one bay window facing the street. These could be in the form of:

  • a curved or bow window
  • a square or rectangular bay window
  • a faceted bay window (Figure 1)
  • a corner bay window (Figure 2)
  • a combination of the above shapes.

Oriel windows

Oriel windows were also common. 

They were generally flat roofed and clad with different a material such as bell-cast shingles or stucco, giving an overall impression of a separate element projecting from the house. Inside they often included a built-in window seat.

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Bay window cladding

Bay and bow windows were typically clad in a different material to the rest of the house. 

Shingles were popular as they were particularly suitable for the curved face of a bow window, but bevel-back weatherboards, asbestos-cement sheets or a stucco finish – all to provide a contrast – were not uncommon. Internally, bow and bay windows often had a built-in window seat.

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Bay window roofs

Bow, bay and projecting windows generally had their own roof, making it look as if the window unit had been projected out from the façade of the house. 

The roof was often flat (but may have been conical, sloped or domed), typically with 4 x 2” (100 x 50 mm) or 3 x 2” (75 x 50 mm) externally exposed rafters. Inside, the rafters were lined with plasterboard sheets and battens or with TG&V match lining.

The flat roof was covered with 1” (25 mm) thick boards and galvanised sheet steel that was folded and shaped to fit. As they were very small roofs and generally almost entirely underneath the eaves of the main roof, they seldom required or were fitted with spouting or downpipes. 

Occasionally, a bow window had a domed or conical shingle roof, but this was rare.

The early bungalows, like the transitional villas, tended to feature small, sloping ‘eyebrow’ roofs over the windows, often supported by brackets on either side. If there was any flashing, it was at the junction between the wall of the house and roof only.

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Other variations

Another variation on the bay or bow window was for several window units to be arranged together, either flush with the wall or projected between 6”–8” (150–200 mm) beyond the face of the wall.