Installing basement window wells can not only brighten up your subterranean level, it can significantly raise your property values.
Many homeowners have finished basements, but many of these are not up to code for using as bedrooms, and they therefore cannot be counted as such when listing a home for sale. Fire codes mandate windows have a minimum area and not be higher from the floor than a particular preset number.
These laws help protect you, should a fire break out. The window has to be large enough to climb out of, and it can’t be so high that you aren’t able to climb up and get through it. Some areas allow you to get around rule by installing steps underneath the window, but these have to be permanent — a stool or a chair isn’t good enough.
Basement Window Well Retrofit
If you want to use part of your finished basement as an extra bedroom for guests, a room for a teenager who wants his or her own space, or as a rental, you’ll need to bring it up to code. One way to do this is to install basement window wells.
No doubt you already have some windows in your basement. Depending on the slope of your land, you might even have sliding glass doors in the back too. If so, this will work in your favor, as less of your structure will need modifications.
Many basements are built with small, narrow, oblong-shaped windows that tilt open. The purpose of these is merely to allow air to circulate so the area doesn’t become dank or musty. But if you want to use the space as a bedroom, you need windows that slide open and pop out for easy escape.
If your current window’s footprint is not big enough to meet code and you need to enlarge the opening, you might as well go whole hog and put a large window in there. Even if you only have a foot or two of basement above ground, you can have the area dug out and put a basement window well in.
Basement Window Wells Can Be Beautiful Too
Many people’s idea of a basement window well is a tiny hole in the ground lined with corrugated metal for opossums to fall into, but that’s hardly what you want. Today’s window wells are nothing less than stunning. You can have several feet dug out and then beautify your window well with an attractive liner, plants or other decorations.
You don’t want to get crazy though — code says you have to be able to get out there and climb out in case of fire, so you can’t have a lot of items in your way.
Basement window wells can be constructed with stone or wood and have a ladder built right in. Or, you can opt to graduate your well with stairs. Less elaborate options include a standard-sized opening lined with plastic or metal and capped with a clear cover for maximum light and minimum maintenance.
The most important part of a basement window well is that it be constructed with proper drainage so that there aren’t any leaks, and the best way to be assured of this is to hire a longstanding, reputable construction company to do the work.
If you want to increase your living space quickly and easily, call Falk Construction to install basement window wells for you. You won’t believe how different your basement looks and feels with this extra light, and you’ll feel happier using the space, knowing that anyone down there has a good, safe escape route in case of emergency.
Call Falk Construction today if you want to install basement window wells.