One of the most popular topics for homeowners these days are window wells. Most homes need them, some of them are even required by local laws and building codes. If you are wondering whether to install one in your home, here is what you should know:
What is a Window Well?
A window well is a structure that enables maximum comfort for living in your basement. Almost every basement that is fully furnished has a window well. They are u-shaped products, usually made from ribbed metal or plastic. Their function is to improve the basement area, by enabling natural light and ventilation and by creating a second entrance and extra outside space.
A 1-foot hole is dug up around the window and the window well is placed around it. This way the window well enables natural light and ventilation, but one might ask: what about rainwater? Because it is a hole, rainwater will fall in the well and accumulate.
However, a window well is also designed to drain excess water. This is accomplished by placing draining mechanisms such as weeping tiles, usually connected to sump pumps and basement waterproofing mechanisms. So, besides views and ventilation, window wells protect the window from water accumulation. This is why they are most commonly found around windows placed near the ground.
What are the Benefits of a Window Well?
Window wells offer many benefits. They are the ideal solution for wet and leaky basements. If you want to rent out your basement, you cannot do so without a window well since it offers maximum privacy as well. Here are the 3 main benefits:
Every room needs access to the outside, especially those with high humidity levels like basements and attics. A window well enhances the basement’s contact with the outside, while also keeping it protected from floods and leaks.
- Natural Light
Basements are usually dark and spooky places. By adding a window well, you will add natural light as well and create a whole new look for your downstairs. Some even decorate the well with bright flowers, unique décor and reflective tiles, which increases natural light even more.
- Emergency Exit
Having only one entrance to the basement can be limiting, especially in dangerous situations like fires and burglaries. By installing a window well, you create a second emergency exit which can be very beneficial in times of need.
Should I Invest in a Window Well?
If you want to renovate the basement and create an extra living space out of it, you must install a window well. Additionally, some areas require window well installation by law and building codes. The benefits of window wells are very important for the quality of your basement and overall home.
Besides the 3 main benefits, they also add aesthetical value and significantly improve energy efficiency. When it comes to durability,window wells can last a lifetime, but only if properly maintained. If you are planning on installing one, it is best to consult with experts who will give you advice based on your home’s characteristics.