window sills or not
October 29, 2013
finishing the interior of a new home and builder says that no one uses sills anymore on the interior of the house. He also says that you cannot have a sill if you have a crank-open window. Is this true? I was under the impression that you could purchase smaller cranks for this reason.
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Scott Design, Inc.
Don't know where you are located but I use window sills (really called window "stool" when on the interior) with casement windows 95% of the time and have never had a problem with either lever cranks or "butterfly" cranks.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by rgiambrone    October 29, 2013 at 4:21PM
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He's full of it! People still use sills & I rented a little house years ago with the crank windows & every window had a sill.

He's just lazy...'re 100% correct. They are called stools & just below is the apron. I am restoring every sash in my home & stripping & reapplying shellac to every nook & cranny! Spent some time learning all about the parts of a double hung sash.
    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 5:08PM
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Kaplan Architects, AIA
Window sills ("stools") are still used especially in a more traditional style home.
    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 5:13PM
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ReSquare Architecture + Construction
Be careful, the stool *should* not conflict with the crank handle, but if the R.O. was tight and/or the stool set too high, there can be issues. This happens especially in re-models where the R.O. may ave been for a different window manufacturer and the new one needed a slightly larger one.
1 Like    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 5:21PM
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Scott Design, Inc.
@ ReSquare...I agree with the "stool set too high" (above the wood piece that the crank base is affixed to) but I'm having a problem understanding why the rough opening would have an impact on the crank clearance. Please explain.

In any event, with this being new construction, I would hope the GC followed the mfr's installation instructions for RO (allowing enough room to adjust for level and plumb, insulation and crank clearance).
    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 6:21PM
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Window sills are so nice! I wish I had them in my new home, as I'm used to much older homes that all had them...I have nowhere to put my Christmas candles in the window now! Kidding aside, they just look so much nicer!
    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 6:39PM
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Sounds like the builder is trying to talk you out of doing a more labor intensive window sill.
2 Likes    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 6:43PM
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Fred S
At least I am not the only one confused by ReSquare's comment. I have 1" between the crank and the stool when the crank is at the lowest point on an Anderson casement. And the crank handle points up at a 45 degree angle. You would need to have gorilla hands for it to be a problem.
    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 7:26PM
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ReSquare Architecture + Construction
If the window is squeezed in a RO that's maybe 1/2" smaller than it needs to be, you lose maybe 1/4" between the RO and the inside (top) face of the window frame. If a stock thickness stool is installed on the RO as a jamb extension without planing it sits higher on the frame than where it was designed. In a Pro install, the extension would get planed down to make for a flush stool. I've seen DIYs where the stock piece is not planed and sits higher than the frame and it interferes with the handle.
    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 7:15AM
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Fred S
??? The stool doesn't sit lower than the outside dimensions of the window. There is only 1/2" total extra width for R.O. in either direction in the first place. Without it, you just don't install the window. It will break with any shifting.
    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 7:25AM
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ReSquare Architecture + Construction
Can't fully explain why or how it got the way it did: I can only say I've seen it and guess at how it got that way.

DIY is like the ultimate beta tester: someone will *always* find a way to do it a way you've never thought of.
    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Coastal Group
Your builder either hasn't got his head screwed on correctly or he is just trying to avoid a bit of labour. Stools or sills/cills are perfectly normal.
1 Like    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 4:20PM
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I grew up in a home with casement windows and they all had a sill. If your house is modern style, then yes you wouldn't want a sill. But that's a design consideration and not based on anything mechanical/structural.
    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 5:55PM
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