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What Direction Should Casement Windows Open?

Casement windows open by pivoting rather than sliding. This unique operation makes it easy to open a casement window located behind the kitchen sink or in another hard-to-reach place. The fact that casements require a crank to open also means they contribute to better home security.

If you’re thinking of installing casement windows in your home, you may be unsure about what direction they should open. As a starting point, casement windows should pivot outward rather than inward. Keep in mind that this means the screen must be installed on the interior.

The next decision is whether to purchase casement windows with hinges on the left or right side. While the decision is ultimately up to you, this guide can help you make a functional and aesthetically pleasing choice.

Understanding Window Handing

Handing refers to the direction a window or door opens. When determining window handing, always envision the window from the exterior of your home.

Casement windows are labeled in one of two ways. FCL refers to a left-handed window, where the hinges are located on the left and the locking mechanism is on the right. FCR is a right-handed window with the hinges on the right and the locking mechanism on the left. Remember, these definitions apply to a window when looking at it from the exterior.

Diagrams of casement windows show a dashed triangle with the hinged side identified by the point of the triangle. FCL windows feature a triangle pointing to the left; FCR windows have a triangle pointing to the right.

Deciding Which Direction Your Casement Windows Should Open

There are no set rules to determine which side of a casement window should be hinged. These windows are available in both styles, so it’s up to you where and how to install them. Still, these general tips provide the best results:

  • Position hinges on the outside for casement windows pairs: If two casements are located side by side, choose an FCL casement for the left window and an FCR casement for the right window. This way, the windows open like double doors, not like the pages of a book. Use this tip for casements installed in bay windows and for those located on either side of a picture window.
  • Consider aesthetics: Most architects agree that for the best appearance, the hinged side of a casement window should be closest to the corner of the room. This ensures that all casements open toward the center of the living space for the nicest aesthetic.
  • Consider ventilation: The best cross breezes circulate through your home if FCR and FCL casement windows are located on opposite sides of the house. This orientation helps to catch the breeze and send fresh air blowing toward the other window more effectively, which improves ventilation when you need it.
  • Choose the direction that matches your dominant hand: When installing a single casement window, you’ll find it’s easier to open if the hinged side matches your handedness. FCR windows are ideal if you’re right-handed, and FCL windows are better for left-handed people. You can open both types of casement windows with either hand, but the crank spins in the opposite direction.

Install Casement Windows in MD, DC & VA

Quality Window & Door is a reliable window dealer serving the Maryland, DC, and Virginia metropolitan area. We can help you choose the right casement windows for your needs and ensure correct installation for the best appearance and functionality.

Casement Windows from Weather Shield

weather shield dealer in maryland

Weather Shield has been producing American made windows and doors since 1955. For more than 60 years, Weather Shield has been producing some of the highest quality windows and doors available on the market, including casement windows.

Call Quality Window & Door today at 1-800-370-8751 or visit one of our local Maryland or Virginia showrooms to see how professionally installed casement windows look.

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