What are Arched Windows?

Arched windows have a semicircular arch at the top and a rectangle bottom. They can be tall or short and are also known as half-moon or radius windows.

Arched Window

Windows with arches first debuted in Roman architecture and now grace the facades of many modern homes. Since they are specialty windows, they cost more than a standard single or double-hung option.

If you’re considering an arched window for your home, here are the types, costs, and features.

What are the Types of Arched Windows?

All arched windows have one thing in common: they arch at the top and are square or rectangular on the bottom. But, different designs incorporate different features.

Here are the most common types of arched windows:

Radius Window

The radius, or standard arched window, features a curved top and a straight rectangular body. You can find standard arched windows in sizes ranging from short to extra tall.

Designers often use radius windows to create a focal point in the home or accent other design elements. These windows can be one large piece or a standard rectangular with a semicircular section over the top.

Half Round/Half Moon Window

The half-round or half-moon is semicircular and often sits atop a rectangular window to create an arched design. 

While the half-moon is the standard half-circle, there are many takes on this window, including:

  • Elliptical – A wider semicircle, most common over large windows and patio doors.
  • Half-Elliptical – The elliptical design is cut in half and installed side by side over long rectangular windows.
  • Quarter Circle – The quarter circle is the half-round cut in half.
  • Full Chord – A shorter arch that looks like the top one-third of a circle.
  • Full Arch Head – This style has corners near the arch rather than a fully rounded shape. It looks more formal than the other styles.
  • Half Arch Head – A full arch head that’s cut in half.

You can find one of these arches to work atop any standard rectangular window.

Palladian Window

A Palladian, or Venetian, window features one large arched window with a sidelite on each side. 

These windows date back to the 16th century. They are decorative elements that many designers use as the focal point of a room. Palladian windows can be large statement makers or smaller and simple.

How Much Do Arched Windows Cost?

The material and installation cost to replace an arched window ranges from $275 – $875. The average price of an arch window is $200 to $800, and the average installation cost is $75.

The window’s type, size, and brand will influence the cost. For example, you can purchase a small half-moon window for as little as $115. But a tall single arched window can cost $800, depending on the features.

Do Arched Windows Open?

Since large one-piece arched windows serve a decorative purpose, they usually don’t open. While these fixed-style windows prohibit you from ventilating the room, they let in lots of natural light and are low-maintenance.

Windows with a separate arch on top and a double or single-hung window underneath are operable. The arch portion is fixed, but the window below works as usual. 

Arched Window Features

Not all arched windows are equal. You can choose a frame material, glass thickness, hardware, and design.

The most common frame materials include aluminum, vinyl, composite material, and wood. If you want an energy-efficient window, select an option with 2-3 glass panes with an Argon treatment between them.

Many arched windows have grids. There are many to choose from if you’re after a grid design. Some of the most popular are:

  • Diamond
  • Prairie
  • Fan
  • Thirds
  • Sixths
  • Quarters

You can get a grid design with a combination of these if you’d like. For instance, you can go with a fan on the arched portion and a more straightforward design on the rest.

How Do You Make Arched Windows Look Modern?

Arched windows grace the fronts of many types of homes, including modern. If you have arched windows or are looking to install them, there are two ways to ensure they look up-to-date: use a black frame and add simple grids.

Windows with black frames will give any house an updated look and pull your arched window into this century. Simple grids make a great addition to large arched windows that would otherwise look too bare. Avoid grids with intricate designs, like the diamond or fan style.

But, before you put a black-framed window on order, think about the rest of your house. If all of your other windows have white or wood frames, ensure your arched window matches.

Where Should You Place an Arched Window?

Are you having trouble picking the perfect spot for your new arched window? 

Designers often install arched windows where they’d like to create a focal point. The most popular places to put an arched window are the living room, dining room, over kitchen sink, and primary bedroom.

It’s essential to consider the interior and exterior of your home when choosing a placement, though. On the exterior, the window should be a well-placed accent or focal point, depending on its size.

What are the Pros and Cons of Arched Windows?

If you’re considering adding or removing an arched window from your home, here’s a look at the pros and cons.


  • Add elegance to a home
  • Allow more natural light in
  • Fixed arched windows are low-maintenance


  • More expensive than a standard window
  • Harder to install
  • Often fixed

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Can you replace arched windows with square windows?

Yes, you can replace arch windows with square ones, but there is one consideration to make – proportions. First, decide if replacing the arch with a taller square or rectangle window will look right. If not, and you still want to get rid of the arch, you’ll need to eliminate it, which will require siding work on the exterior and drywall work on the interior.

Are there arched windows that open?

There are arched windows that open. While many of the older large arched windows are in a fixed position, you can find newer versions that open. Also, instead of using one large arched window, you can place a half-round over an operable rectangular window.

What kind of curtains do you use for arched windows?

Most people use a standard straight curtain rod over their arched windows. If you don’t like that look, you can find arched curtain rods to go over your window that you can use with a standard set of curtains. Your last option is to leave the arch bare and place the curtain rod over the rectangular portion of the window.

Are arched windows outdated?

Arched windows are not outdated. They are a timeless style. If your windows make your room feel outdated, consider painting your trim a different color (black is popular) or switching out your window treatments.

Final Thoughts

Arched windows often serve a decorative purpose, creating a focal point in the room and allowing natural light to flood into the home. There are several types of arch windows that include tall one-piece options and smaller half-rounds you can install over a rectangular window.

The price of arch windows varies since there are large variations in size and types. On average, expect to pay $200-$800 per window and an installation cost of $75.