Bay Window Exterior Design Facelift

This home’s bay window exterior got a significant design facelift with the help of Carlton Fieldstone panels.

Just last week we wrote about the design philosophy of ‘less is more’ – and here is a wonderful example of that concept in action.

If you remember, ‘less is more’ doesn’t necessarily mean using less of a particular material – our panels, for example.  We’ve shared pictures from incredible whole-house projects that have used dozens of faux panels to completely transform a home’s exterior. The ‘less’ actually refers to how homeowners successfully incorporate the panels into their design vision – with the emphasis being on a seamless integration that is so subtle and stylish that people ‘don’t notice’ that faux stone or brick is being used at all.

A home's bay window exterior design enhanced with Carlton Fieldstone panels.
AFTER: New bay windows surrounded by Carlton Fieldstone

In plain English – when you’ve finished installing the panels, you don’t want people to look at the finished product and see the “faux” first, but rather the beautiful results it accomplishes.

This recent project is a great demonstration of that philosophy. FauxPanels.com customer Olga was struggling with how to update and smarten up the bay windows of her beautiful home. As you can see from the ‘BEFORE’ picture, the exterior was faded, cracked and peeling and definitely needed some work.

Olga loved the look of stone, and wanted to use a material that would make it look original to the house. Unfortunately, using real stone siding would have been prodigiously expensive and impractical – not least of which because the weight of real stone would have been impossible to support on such a tall, narrow building feature.

This is where we came in. After discovering our website, Olga realized that she could get the realistic look of stone for a fraction of the price and chose Carlton Fieldstone panels in Limestone color.

Bay window before photo
BEFORE: With cracked and peeling siding, and inefficient wood-framed windows, you can see why the facelift was necessary.

The Fieldstone style is made using molds taken from genuine fieldstone walls – hand-laid walls made from large, irregular lumps of stone dug from the soil of local farmland. It’s a style of construction that was once very common in the region Olga lives in, and her vision was to resurface her bay windows with a finish similar to that you’d find on genuine historic homes in her area.

First Olga needed to measure the coverage area, and order enough panels to fit. This is where she was able to lean on the support of our world-class customer service team, who have over 40 years of design experience. Customer service advised her to order drainage mats to lay underneath the panels, preventing the accumulation of water. These are important in exterior installations.

Olga was also taking the opportunity to install new windows at the same time as replacing the siding. The first step was to measure out the panels and trim them to fit flush with the new window space. This is actually very straightforward, since our panels can be trimmed using a regular wood saw.

Then the installation began! Our panels are best installed starting from the bottom-left hand corner of a surface, and built on row-by-row. The biggest challenge in this project was mitering the corners of the panels so that they folded over the 45 degree bends of the bay window. You can find full instructions on how to do that here. Finally, the last panel in the row had to be trimmed to fit flush with the opposite end of the bay window, and the first row was completed.

From that point, the second row was installed directly on top – using exactly the same method. The exciting thing here is how Carlton panels are designed. The top row ‘slots’ onto the bottom row almost like an over-sized jigsaw puzzle – ensuring a totally seamless stone pattern that has no visible beginning or end.

Aside from trimming the top of the last row of panels to fit flush with the top of the bay window, the rest of the installation was textbook simple. It’s the sort of process that can be completed over the course of a weekend, and as the AFTER picture demonstrates, the finished result looks fantastic.

But, more than that, it looks ‘less.’ People look at Olga’s bay window and don’t think: “Wow, look at that fake stone!” They look at it and see the bay window blending seamlessly into the style and decor of her beautiful home – making her vision a true success, and proving once again that the most notable thing about our panels is when you don’t notice them at all.

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