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What is the purpose of a window well?

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You might have seen a lot of homes with window wells around their basement windows, and you might wonder why you really need window well installation, especially as a homeowner. Maybe you’ve never seen any before, and might be curious what the purpose of a window well installation might be and what they mean for a building. 

A window well is essentially a semi-circular excavation surrounding a basement window. Typically, a window well is a sturdy barrier and can be made from corrugated galvanized metal, pressure-treated wood or plastic.

In some countries, homeowners are required by law to install egress windows in basement bedrooms for the safety of residents by serving an accessible exit or entry in case of emergency. Hence, window well installation should be up to code. By law, the egress window and window well should be designed to be wide enough to allow a fireman with a backpack through.

However, since many basements are fully underground, this demands a window well installation together with the basement window. So, here are some important advantages of window well installation.

  1. Safety

The most important purpose of having a window well in your basement is to serve as an escape, exit, or entrance for you, your family or rescue personnel during emergencies like a fire or burglary.

  1. Ventilation

Since basement rooms are usually damp and musty, having a window well can save you money on utilities by allowing outside air into your basement. This helps to keep the basement fresh and dry and can even increase your home’s overall value.

  1. Structural security

Another important purpose of window well installation is for the prevention of water penetration through the window and water damage to the window frames. Without a window well some basement windows will deteriorate quicker and become a source of water leakage, wood rot and insect damage. Out of its many functions, window wells also act as a support for the dig-out and prevents sand or dirt from collapsing onto the basement window.

  1. Source of natural light

Essentially, basement windows and window wells serve as an entrance for sunlight into your home. Natural light opens up your space, provides beautiful views and makes your basement brighter and inviting. Typically, this also helps to down your electric bill.

  1. Aesthetics

Today, window well can be constructed from different such as masonry and metal finishes, which can even add some exterior glamor to your home. 

In summary, window well installation is to allow emergency egress, and to protect windows from dirt and damp soil. Additionally, window wells also serve as a portal for sunshine and can provide charm to your exterior.

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