If you’re planning to cover your basement window wells, we’ve got some rectangular well cover ideas to help. Covering your window wells often isn’t on a homeowner’s mind until an accident happens.
Maybe it’s as innocent as some unwanted debris getting into the well. Or perhaps a heavy rainstorm caused water to flood into your basement through your open window wells. We’ve even known some homeowners who find wild animals trapped inside their open wells.
All of these problems and more can be avoided altogether by placing a cover over your window well. We know what you’re thinking. If I cover my window well, won’t that make my basement dark and dreary?
Never fear. We have plenty of ideas for window well covers that won’t decrease the amount of light that reaches your basement windows. Some might even enhance the light and make things seem even brighter and cheerier than before.
Check out our top ideas for rectangular window well covers below.
Prefabricated Flat Rectangular Well Cover
If your window wells are standard, you can easily find prefabricated flat window well covers from specialty companies. Most of these covers are sturdy enough for an adult to stand on. They are typically made of a sheet of transparent polycarbonate resin thermoplastic framed with a metal like steel or light-weight aluminum.
The polycarbonate material is similar to what’s used on airplane and racecar windows. It’s extremely strong, stays crystal clear, and is made to withstand the elements without yellowing or breaking.
The properties of polycarbonate make it ideal for a long-lasting window well cover. It would do just fine sitting perfectly flat on top of your window well.
Prefabricated Bubble Well Covers
Like the flat covers discussed above, you can also find bubble covers made of the same polycarbonate material. The benefits of a bubble shape are twofold:
1) they can be made tall enough for head clearance inside of the window well,
2) they push water runoff to the sides of the well rather than it pooling on top of the cover.
Bubble well covers can be made in many different styles to suit your preferences, and the clear polycarbonate still allows plenty of light into your basement.
Plexiglass could be an option if you’re into making your window well covers. It’s easy to work with and relatively inexpensive. Use caution with plexiglass, though – it’s not nearly as strong and durable as polycarbonate resin thermoplastics. We wouldn’t recommend standing on top of a homemade plexiglass cover, so if you choose to go this route, consider propping it up against the side of your home, so it sits at an angle, like this example here.
A cover like this is ideal for an egress window, which might need to be used as an emergency exit. Egress windows require finished basements that don’t have another basement exit.
Caution needs to be taken when placing window well covers over egress windows since you need to make sure it’s something that can easily be moved or escaped through in the event of an emergency.
Wooden Window Well Screen
A simple, rectangular window screen can be built with a wooden frame and a screening material like mesh or chicken wire. While this will still allow light in and help keep debris out, it will never be as sturdy as a solid polycarbonate cover and will still allow water inside.
The most significant benefit of the wood frame is that it can be painted to match your home or its surroundings, so it blends in better and is aesthetically pleasing.
Consider an adjustable grate if you’re thinking about going with a window well screen or something similar. Grates can still be strong enough to withhold someone standing on them, and they’ll keep children or adults from accidentally falling into the window well.
They can be adjusted to fit any window size well, and most of them will work for egress windows, too, since they can easily be lifted out of place. The downside? They won’t keep out leaves and other debris from cluttering up your window wells.
Custom Grates and Covers
Not all window wells are created equal, so if yours is bigger or smaller than the average, you might want to consider custom ordering grates or covers for a better fit. Custom grates can be made to sit flush with the ground or the top of the well for a better visual appearance.
With custom grates and covers, you won’t have to worry about adjusting them to fit the size of your window wells, so although you’ll pay a little bit more, it might be worth the ease and convenience.
Don’t Forget Drainage
Basement flooding due to water collecting in window wells is a common reason people purchase window well covers. And while covering the wells will undoubtedly help with the problem, it’s essential to address the underlying drainage issues to prevent further issues.
Clean out the leaves and debris in your window well since they might be clogging the drain pipe. Check that the soil surrounding the window well is appropriately graded to allow runoff to flow away from your home’s foundation. If you continue to have drainage issues, contact a professional for help.
Windowell Expressions Can Help
If you’re on the hunt for a rectangular well cover, Windowell Expressions is here to help. We offer high-quality window well covers of all shapes, sizes, and designs. We specialize in window well covers made of UV-treated Lexan polycarbonate supported by lightweight aluminum. This allows for a sturdy 250 lb weight capacity with a frame that will never rust.
We also offer decorative window well and foundation liners, adjustable window well grates, and more so you can make sure your window wells are up to par with the rest of your home. We’re always happy to customize well covers to fit your specific needs, but we offer standard sizes too. Contact Windowell Expressions today for all of your window well needs!