I have a Casement Window installed that, as the new building has begun to settle, now has to be forced closed. It is on the verge of breaking the crank off now because it is so difficult. While wood is easy to shave to help fit, the window and its frame are made of metal.

Can I shave the metal to make the window close properly or any other method? I think 1/8" - 1/4" is all the needs to be taken back. The option to reseat the pivot point is not available, outside of a contractor doing it.

  • You may want to post a picture of the lower part of the window structure. Focus on the means by which the lower part of the window and the frame are constructed and designed to seal when the window is closed. This will help experts here determine if it is feasible to "shave off" the bottom of the window and still have it offer the functional behaviors that it was originally designed for.
    – Michael Karas
    Oct 20, 2012 at 18:58

3 Answers 3


Rather than attack the window itself, I'd re-install it. Usually there's a gap around the frame filled with spray foam insulation. Take the trim off the inside to see it. You'll also see a bunch of screws that hold the window frame to the house frame. See if you can take them out. Once this is done, you can scrape off the spray foam with a stiff knife.

Stuff the screw holes with toothpicks or matchsticks (take off the heads with nail clippers), and remount the window, making sure it's square. In most situations, the settling is transferred to the window via the screws and or spray foam -- That is, the house hasn't settled enough to close the gap completely. Remounting the frame will solve the problem and leave your window intact.

If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, it shouldn't cost a whole lot to get someone to do it for you. On the order of $100, Less if you can make it an add on to another job you're having done.

  • 1/4" probably exceeds the thickness of the metal available to remove. The window will need to be replaced anyway. This basically is what's available to repair the problem. Dec 19, 2012 at 15:20

Sure, why not. But it may seem easier that it is.

If you are able to remove the window to work on it, the job may be not too bad. If you need to do it in place, it may be much more of a challenge.

A hand grinder is probably the best way to cut away the excess. Score a line to mark the diagonal you want to trim or else you will have no way of gauging how close you are to done. Obviously you should keep checking to see if you have gone far enough. Then take just a bit more to allow for thermal expansion and random shifting.

Wear goggles, gloves and work slowly. Too much heat (from friction) in an area can crack glass. Grind away!


Do you actually have 1/4" of material to remove? Given the thickness of the extrusions from older ones I've worked with, you'll probably find, given modern, more efficient manufacturing technique, that you have even less material there to work with.

Did someone by chance use standard expansion Urethane foam around the window frame? Sounds like it warped the frame and you'll be getting more mileage for your money cutting out the foam to release the pressure.

Otherwise, @Chris Cudmore's recommendation to remove the window and reinstall it properly is indicated.

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