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As a window covering dealer, there are three things I have to pay attention to; what window covering treatments are available, what the customer wants for treatment, and what the customer’s window will allow for treatments because windows limit window covering options.

Window coverings are often the last consideration for a homeowner to factor into their décor. Window coverings are often not a consideration at all for a builder since it’s not their problem to solve. In most cases, everything else is chosen and installed before window coverings are even thought about as a necessity. The windows are built, the walls are painted, the flooring’s installed, the lighting and other fixtures are installed, there’s food in the refrigerator before a realization that window coverings are suddenly necessary.

There are two main obstacles built into a homeowner’s window preventing their first choice in window coverings, and they are shallow window recesses (the depth of the window opening) and window cranks. A window recess which is too shallow prevents a blind or shade being mounted inside the recess (or frame opening). When I explain this to my customers and offer them the option of mounting their desired treatment outside the window recess or frame, they express disappointment that the treatment will cover up their decorative window frame molding (which is a visual feature they would like to retain). Window cranks interfere with the blind or shade to reach the bottom of the window opening, so both form and function are compromised.

When a manufacturer promotes their window covering product in a glossy or other promotional, they showcase their product mounted inside a perfect window. It’s a window that has a deep enough recess to accommodate their blind or shade perfectly, and there are no window cranks on the bottom of the windows to interfere with the form or function of their product. I’m not knocking such practices, that’s how I would do it if I were a manufacturer, but there’s the suggestion that if such a product fits in their window, then the same blind or shade is going to fit in your window, which may have a shallow recess and or window cranks in them.

The standards of the market have changed to a preference for a more streamline treatment in window coverings. In most cases, inside window frame or recess mounted treatments are preferred over the alternative. Windows limit the options in what treatments will fit inside their recesses, so the deeper the recesses, the more options are available to a customer for mounting a product inside the recess. A good 4” recess allows for a lot of blind or shade options. Window cranks in a window with a 4” recess will still be interference for a blind or shade.

My suggestion is for anyone building or remodeling a house or other project, to consult with a window covering specialist on what their first choice in window coverings will require in recess depth, then build the window to accommodate that option. To my knowledge, window cranks have never been an enhancement for window coverings. If window cranks are necessary for such a window, either a very deep recess will have to be built or an outside window recess treatment will have to be settled upon (which in turn may require other considerations to factor in the build).

I don’t think the manufacturers of windows or window coverings want to make their job more difficult to move their product by informing the public about this issue. It’s fallen upon us dealers to address this factor, which tends to be after the windows are already built, so please consult your window covering dealer before building your windows to ensure you can have your first choice of window covering treatment.

Thank you for your consideration,
Andrew Becker, Coast Window Fashions

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