What is a Window Well?

If you are building or moving into a house with a basement, put windows wells on top of your to-do list. Window wells are those structures installed just outside basement windows to improve lighting and to keep water and soil from moving in.
Although they can be self-installed, asking a professional is a better idea.

The Purpose of Window Wells
Wells outside windows serve several purposes. When installed properly, they can:

Allow More Light
If your basement is a little dark, you can lighten it up with a window well. Because they create space between the window and earth outside, natural light enters more easily. Improved lighting can improve visibility and comfort.

Drain Water
Installing a window well is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep water from leaking into your basement and home. It creates a waterproofing barrier that allows water from rain and snow to collect in the well instead of seeping through the windows.

Keep Soil Out
Basement and ground-level windows are in close proximity to soil. Fitting window wells can keep the soil out and your home clean, dry and bug-free.

Types of Window Well Covers
With a range of wells available, you can choose the type suited to your property. A common type of well is the classic cover. Classic covers feature a durable iron frame that can handle up to 750 lbs. if they are fitted using the InnerFIT system.

Another popular type is the mesh cover, which features a metal top for keeping out debris. It is usually used for enhancing basement safety for kids and pets. Polycarbonate covers are designed to provide protection for windows taller than the well.

Installing a Window Well
The best way to install a window well is to hire a specialist. Professionals not only have the advantage of expertise, but also have the certification required by municipal laws to work on large projects.

If you choose to install your wells at home, you can follow these steps:

  1. Place the well against your window from inside your home. This is to measure how deep the hole you are going to dig needs to be.
  2. Go outside and dig the hole, filling it with about 4 inches of gravel.
  3. Placing the well against the foundation, drill in the bolts to secure it.
  4. Fill any gaps and holes with some of the soil you dug out.

Unless you are on an extremely tight budget, calling a professional to install a window well is still the best option.