Metal window wells are easily the most popular choice for basement windows, and it’s for a good reason. Window wells are a staple for any basement and provide heightened safety and increased natural light. No more basements that feel like dungeons!
But if you’ve never gone through the process of installing window wells for your home, you might not be aware of how many different options there are when it comes to the material that you can use. Here’s a look at homeowners’ choices for window wells and why metal offers the most benefits.
What Are Window Wells and Why Are They Necessary?
A window well is a semicircle hole dug in front of a basement window. Its primary purpose is to keep the soil away from the window’s opening so that you can properly drain moisture away from the house.
They are also installed for emergency purposes. Egress windows are required in most basements for safety as an escape route during an emergency. These are windows with a big enough opening that a person can climb out of, and having a window well outside of that window is an essential part of making an egress window both legal and functional.
A third benefit and substantial reason for installing window wells are to allow natural light into the basement. This reduces the amount of artificial lighting required in rooms set below the grade of the property.
Common Window Well Materials
Window wells are typically constructed of these main materials:
- Plastic – It’s inexpensive and easy to install but doesn’t look the best and tends to fall apart quickly.
- Fiberglass – This material is lightweight and extremely convenient and comes in various designs. Its convenience comes with a cost, though, making these wells pricier than the other materials.
- Concrete – Poured concrete window wells last a long time and are very stable, but they’re heavy, challenging to install, and more expensive than many other options.
- Wood – Timber has been rising in popularity as a material for window wells in recent years because they can look very attractive, warm, and natural. Treated timber can be durable, but it’s still prone to rotting and water damage.
- Metal – Corrugated steel is the most commonly used material in window wells, and we’ll get into the benefits and reasons for that shortly.
7 Benefits of Metal Window Wells
While there are many options for window well materials, metal wells are easily the most common. Here’s a look at why that is.
1.Price and Accessibility
Two of the biggest reasons that metal window wells are so popular are their price and accessibility. They are inexpensive and easy to find in various shapes and sizes, so homeowners don’t typically have to wait weeks or even months to have window wells built just for them. The chances are that you could drive right to your nearest home improvement store and pick up a metal well that would work perfectly for your project.
Another benefit of metal is that it’s largely weatherproof. If it gets snowed on, it will drip right off. Rain? No problem. Even excessive heat and the intense sun won’t do much to phase a metal well.
Metal wells last a long time, especially if yours is made of galvanized steel or corrugated metal. Depending on environmental factors, most metal wells won’t need to be replaced for at least 30 years and possibly even longer.
4.Don’t Swell in Heat
Some materials are prone to swelling during the hot summers and then shrinking when it gets cold at night or in the cooler months. This can wreak havoc on your window wells and the soil around them. Metal doesn’t change size or shape. It won’t swell in the heat or shrink in the cold. It won’t sag, melt, or bow from changing temperatures. It holds its form very well, making it an ideal material for window wells.
5.Easy to Install
Unlike timber and cement, metal wells are extremely easy to install. They are pre-formed to fit the existing hole so you can slide them right in and then fill in the dirt around the edges. It’s not necessary to build forms or cut anything to size. You will need the proper tools to drill into the foundation and attach the window well with the fasteners. You can learn more about the process of installing a metal window well here.
6.Don’t Leak Water
Many of the common materials in window wells are prone to leaking water, which is a huge problem. Water leaking through window wells can turn into flooded basements in a hurry. Metal resists leaking better than any other material, so the water stays outside where it’s supposed to be.
7.Can Easily Be Decorated With Liners
One of the most common complaints about metal wells is their appearance. They can be dull and ugly. But metal is straightforward to cover with a window well liner to brighten up the view you see every time you look out your basement windows. Window well liners can come in various designs, so you can choose a look specific to your preferences rather than being stuck with boring old steel.
Windowell Expressions Can Help
Metal window wells are definitely the best choice for your home, but they’re not always easy on the eye. That’s why Windowell Expressions is here to help. We offer high-quality window well liners of all shapes, sizes, and designs. We also offer decorative foundation liners, adjustable window well grates, and more so that you can make sure your window wells are up to par with the rest of your home.
In addition to our decorative liners, we specialize in window well covers made of UV-treated Lexan polycarbonate supported by lightweight aluminum. This allows for a sturdy 250-pound weight capacity with a frame that will never rust. We’re always happy to customize well covers and liners to fit your specific needs, but we offer standard sizes too. Contact Windowell Expressions today for all of your window well needs!