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Casement Windows: Cranks, Depth and Side Tracks

Posted on: November 6, 2011

Thursday, I spoke to a woman who had installed the ComforTracks side-tracks, but was unable to pull the shade down over the crank.

She was adamant that the depth required for the side tracks — a minimum of 1 1/2 inches, but a flush mount requires 1 7/8 inches — was available on her window, yet was curious that the shade could not be pulled completely down, because of the crank handle.

Take a look at this window – its flat surface depth – its crank.

If we assume the flat surface depth is 2-inches, one can concede that tracks could be applied to this window. But look closely at the handle: it is the full depth of that flat surface! So for this window to fully accommodate a cellular window shade with side tracks, it would require the depth of 1 1/2 to 2-inches as measured from the furthest point beyond that handle.

The greatest hint I can give about measuring is NOT to measure depth with the idea of where is the point of greatest depth (for even sash windows have more depth on the upper sash than the lower sash), but where is the point of least-greatest depth.

This user could have side tracks on their window – but the shade will never clear that crank at the bottom. If the molding were straight out for another couple inches, the story would be quite different. Always remember: it is flat surface depth beyond any window obstructions like cranks, handles and locks.

For more information, see our measuring guide.

I am reminded to say that long-handled CRANKS are a thing of the past: check out our supply of T-Handles. NOTE: This will help your profile, but not solve all lack-of-depth problems.

4 Responses to "Casement Windows: Cranks, Depth and Side Tracks"

Thanks for the write up

Thanks for visiting the site, Rolland!

I was trying to figure out how to deal with my casement windows. This helped immensely! Thanks!

Hi, Heather —

Glad this helped.

Everyone will have a slightly different “case” — this particular one involved side tracks, which are among the less-forgiving: you can’t do much other than just leave the shade up a bit. In most models you can pull the shade out, and down past the obstruction. If you have a LARGE, jutting-out crank, a T-Handle may help the situation. You can also “shallow” mount the shade — which means that some of the shade stands out past the opening of the window (or its molding).

The amount of space required differs with the different lift options (different headrails = different brackets):

Standard Lift Option OR Top Down Bottom Up Option:
minimum shallow (inside) mounting: 3/4-inch
minimum flush (inside) mounting: 2-inches
minimum outside mounting: 3/4-inch

Smoothy Lift Option OR Cordless Option:
minimum shallow (inside) mounting: 1/2-inch
minimum flush (inside) mounting: 2 1/4 inches
minimum outside mounting: 7/8-inch

Side tracks automatically mean a minimum inside mount depth of 1 1/2 inches

More info online these lines can be found on our PRODUCTS page:

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