Window Well Covers: What to Know and How to Install

Window Well Cover | Home InspectorsIf you live in the Milwaukee area, and have a basement, chances are you have basement windows and window wells. While these basement windows provide much needed light in your basement, they often cause problems by making your home vulnerable to nature and intruders, and can even be a safety hazard.

Don’t fear! Your answer to all of these concerns is simple: window well covers. By making this easy home improvement, you can protect your home and its occupants from a range of issues.

Common Window Well Problems:

  • Window wells collect debris such as leaves, twigs, mulch, rain, and snow that can cause rot or mildew when held close to your home’s siding or foundation. Ice can even cause foundational cracks. Window wells are also the perfect hiding and nesting place for animals and insects. A well-fitted window well cover keeps all of the elements away from the foundation of your home.
  • Window wells present a tripping or falling hazard, especially if edged with bushes or rocks. You must be especially careful to watch children or pets running and playing near window wells. Most window well covers have traction to prevent tripping and can even hold up to several hundred pounds of weight.
  • Even though they are meant to increase the safety of your home, because of their proximity to the ground, egress windows can be tempting to burglars or intruders. Many window well covers come with safety features such as locks that are accessible only from inside the window. Window wells are also the perfect hiding and nesting place for animals and insects.


DIY Window Well Cover Installation

A professional handyman in Milwaukee can help you find and install window well covers. However, if you’re feeling confident, window well covers are also an easy DIY project. Just gather your materials and follow these steps.


  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Tape Measure
  • Painter’s Tape
  • New Window Well Cover


How to Install

  1. Measure the width of the window well at both the front and back, where it makes contact with the house. Then, measure from the house to the outside edge of the window well in at least two places. Be sure to measure each window well to make sure they are all the same size.
  2. Look at the shape of your window well. Some window wells are rounded, squared off, or come together in a gentle U shape. Check to see if the back of the window well cover should fit into an opening between the window and siding.
  3. Place the new window well cover over the window well with the back side flush against the house.
  4. Measure 4-6 inches in front the house wall on both sides of the cover where it meets the window well edge and mark with painters tape.
  5. Remove the new cover and place the taped section of the cover on top of a piece of 2’x4’ wood. Drill a hole through the marked section of the tape and into the cover that is slightly larger than the screws supplied with the new cover.
  6. Install the window well cover clips (they should have come with the cover) so they will fit snugly over the edge of the window well.
  7. Fit the cover on the window well. Make sure there is no bends in the clips or buckling in the cover.
  8. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

If you have any questions about window wells, protecting your home, or new a home inspection in the Milwaukee area, give us a call today!