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Cellular Window Shades

Crank handles, casement windows & window shades (Oh My!)


We often get the comment that customers have crank handles on their windows. They want to know if that will interfere with the shades. This is a valid question, especially when buying any kind of shade or blind.


We have a great blog post about crank handles and side tracks and how to measure to see if you have enough mounting space for an inside mount shade with tracks.

crank crank crank
Figure 1:
Crank Handle

Photo credit:
Figure 2:
Folding Crank Handle
Photo credit:
Figure 3:
T-Handle installed

The ideal way to mount a shade is to have an inside mount (within the window frame) and have the bottom rail of the shade sit on the window sill. Every shade has a minimum depth requirement for an inside mount (see link below). That means a flat depth all the way around the window frame so the shade can drop without interruption. The biggest culprits for interference are crank handles and window locks.


Figure 1 is a regular crank handle protruding into the window frame space. In this situation, there may be enough flat space in front of the handle to have the shade rest snugly against the sill. To find out if you have enough space, use a ruler or measuring tape and measure the sill from the front edge to the point where the handle begins. Make sure you have no other protrusions such as window locks and the top of the window frame needs to hang out equally as far.


There are low profile folding crank handles on newer windows as shown in figure 2. I think this one looks pretty slick!


If you want to replace your protruding handle, we offer T-Handles, (also called butterfly handles) to allow for window operation, but they do not take up as much space. Figure 3 is the T-Handle in my kitchen. As you can see I have no sill; below is my kitchen counter. Since I have old windows and no budget to replace them, I’ve installed outside mount shades that go over the T-Handle and rest on the counter top. Another feature I added is the Top Down/Bottom Up shade, so I do not have to operate the shade up over the crank every time I want a view. Not ideal, but it makes a huge difference in our cold Vermont winters! Replace cranks with T-Handles then check your depth before assuming that you will have enough room for inside mount shades!


Side tracks and crank handles can be a tricky combination, since shades on tracks cannot “go around” a handle or lock and need freedom of movement up and down. Our blog expands on this point!


If you have questions or are still unsure of your application, please take a photo of your window hardware and e-mail it to us. We will do our best to help you out!


More information:


Order T-Handles AKA butterfly handles


Our Blog Post: Casement Windows: Cranks, Depth and Side Tracks


Minimum mounting requirements (click Component Specifications & Stack Heights)

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