Installing Basement Window Well Covers

I hadn’t planned on window well cover installation being the first actual task in my basement remodel, but we were at Home Depot and it was a nice day, so I figured it was about time.

We’ve got two window wells in the backyard that I’ve been meaning to cover to keep out toys (and kids). I originally had planned to buy the plastic bubble covers, but changed my mind after seeing how they install. I wasn’t sure if they would be up to code since you can’t quickly remove them to escape from the basement. I was also afraid that they wouldn’t hold any weight if someone stepped or fell onto them.

Also, the fact that each of the covers at my local Home Depot were cracked in various places, nudged me to buy the more expensive ($144) Adjust-A-Grate Aluminum window well covers. I also bought a ladder to put in the window well.

This is one of those things where you should probably read the directions through at least once before you start.

The directions say to put the cardboard box over the well and trace it from the inside. I didn’t do that and it probably would have saved some time as I had to put the grate in place a few times, adjust the loops, and tighten and re-tighten the bolts numerous times. Using the template would definitely save you from doing that.

Also, the cross beams have to be placed in strategic spots on the grate to ensure that it can hold 400 pounds. So, again, follow the directions.

The install took about 30 minutes. I tested it by standing on it and I didn’t fall through.

These won’t keep leaves and water out of your window wells, but if you’re worried about safety, the Adjust-A-Grates are the way to go.

I may still install one of the bubble covers on the window well on the side of the house as it looks like I’m only required to have one egress window.

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