If you’re thinking of DIY Window Well Cover Projects, you’re in the right place. I have created a guide that walks through steps on how to create a Window Well Cover. From decision-making to planning, equipment needs, and supplies with step-by-step instructions and designs.
Why Should You Build A Window Well Cover?
A basement in a house adds much-needed square footage. Regrettably, not every house has them. But for those that do, the extra room can be put into storage or changed into more living space, depending on the owner’s preferences.
But there are some possible issues with that extra room. Animals may enter basements and they may flood. Like any other area in a house, the basement needs to be properly maintained.
The windows in basements are one issue area. Egress windows must be provided in basements as fire escapes, especially in basement bedrooms, according to the building code. Window well covers are available in a number of forms and are mostly made of clear plastic, which makes them unobtrusive, and appealing, and doesn’t significantly change the appearance of your home.
Building A Window Well Cover – Before You Begin
Building or installing a window well in your home will involve dealing with tools and equipment that can cause injury to you if used incorrectly, remember to wear safety gear such as gloves, goggles and boots to protect yourself from harm.
We made it easier for you to decide which project to build by including an estimated cost of the entire project. You should consider this before building. There are many cost saving projects as well as expensive ones, choose one that suits your budget.
For some projects, you might not be skilled enough to handle some tasking like cutting wood or concrete. Ask a professional for help to be on the safe side, they’ll get the job done for you quicker and faster. You can continue the rest of the project by yourself.
If you decide to replace your window well covers, you’ll quickly realize that off-the-shelf solutions can be costly! This post will teach you how to make your personal DIY window well cover out of timber for a small amount of money.
You must measure your window wells as the initial step. You must walk outside and determine the dimensions of your window wells to know precisely how many boards are required for the project. Since there may be more than one size of window well in a home, be sure to measure each and everyone that needs a new cover.
Now, to prevent losing your measures and having to re-measure, be careful to write them down in a secure location.
Once you’ve gathered all your measurements, you’ll need to quickly calculate how much wood you’ll need to buy in raw form. Because each window well cover features two vertical runners, you must multiply each window well’s depth by two and then sum the results.
Go ahead and trim all the 1/4s and 2/4s to the corresponding measurements based on your prior measurements. Since you will be trimming several of the 14’s later on, the cuts just need to be somewhat close in length rather than exact.
Build the window well frame by laying two 2x4s parallel to each other and spaced half as far apart as the window well’s width apart. Place a 1/4 across one end, followed by a second 1/4. To check that the frame will fit into the well, take it there and give it a brief test fit. Once the window well cover fits snugly, secure it in place by adding the final set of screws to the existing end boards. For added security, I inserted four screws into each board.
By this time, your window well cover ought to be prepared for use and fully operational. Trimming the extra corners off will improve the appearance of the items if you wish to tidy them up a bit.
- 2″ x 4″ pressure treated board
- 1″ x 4″ pressure treated board
- 2″ outdoor wood screws
- Drill or impact driver
- Tape measure
The majority of window well covers are too difficult to construct and too expensive to purchase. Here’s one you can put together quickly by using pre-cut, uniformly-sized fence pickets that can withstand the elements. You can also use a nail gun.
Measuring the Well’s outer dimensions is the first step in the manufacturing process. Write down the well’s exterior width after measuring it. After that, take the outside left and right measurements and mark the maximum value on the other hand. To each, add an additional half inch to allow for movement. You can estimate the width and length directly on a fence picket if your tape measures are less accurate and don’t work very well.
Three pickets were reduced in size to meet the well’s dimensions.
Prop and align the cut pickets with a brick or other square, hefty object, then glue and fire! Double-check the frame’s attachment to the well.
Mark a couple of pickets, then cut them in half. You will be left with about six lengthy pieces after this. These will be the grate’s long-wise parts. Set out all the long pickets with almost the same (precise) space between them. Then, you’ll want to use the following fundamental formula to obtain a more precise inter-picket distance: Inter-picket distance = frame width / desired number of holes
At the inter-picket marks, glue, and nail the lengthy pickets. Put them across and then let them overhang without cutting them to size. Again for short cross pieces, cut a few pickets in thirds. Based on the number of cross pieces you want, place them, decide where they should go, and mark those places. Place the frame over the window well. Continue with other wells.
- Nail gun nails (or screws, or nails)
- Sharpie marker
- Exterior wood glue
- 5 inch x 6 ft fence pickets
- Tape measure
- jig saw
3. How To Build A Large Window Well Cover
This tutorial will show you how to make a well cover for a large window. The video features a window that needs a 70-by-48-inch window cover. The window well cover is removable at any time for maintenance purposes.
For this build, you will need a material called Coverlite, which is clear acrylic and measures 12 feet by 24 inches. You will also need some screws to fasten the acrylic two by two’s after cutting.
Using a tin snip, cut the 12-foot acrylic into 2, 3, and 4-foot lengths that are 24 inches wide. Create the first frame using wood and your cut-out acrylic. Sit the first frame against the wall where you have the window well.
Next up, build a triangular support that will give the first frame some balance. Two-by-fours are perfect for this. Lay down the base, and make a triangular base support for the first frame. The hole in the base needs to be covered up with some acrylic. Using a jigsaw, cut out the exact measurement that would fit into the triangle. (Using cardboard first should help with accuracy).
After the support is finished and the plexiglass is installed in it, make another support for the other side. Fasten the supports to the wall of the house using a large screw. Also, make a hole for the leg screw which is going to serve as a pivot point. Cut some aluminum plates and screw them on both sides.
Attach the first frame to the triangular frame and your large window well is set!
- Covellite clear acrylic 12 feet by 24 inches
- 2×4 Wood
- Rotary tool
|Material||Plastic Window Well Cover|
To keep water and soil from entering ground-level windows, window wells are attached to the foundation of your home. Another method is to drill holes all around windows for the well and a drain before installing the window well to prevent water buildup.
To determine the size of the well you require, take a measurement of your window. You may determine the size of your window by using a tape measure to measure its height and width. For the well to fit around the exterior of the window, multiply the height by 8 inches (20 cm) and the width by 6 inches (15 cm).
To accommodate your window, locate a premade well. Choose a window well that complements the rest of your house from the many different styles available. The most durable materials are window wells made of steel or plastic. Get a corresponding well for the new window you’re installing if you already have wells on some other ground-level windows.
The well should be slightly broader and deeper than the hole you dig. Approximately 6 inches (15 cm) from the side of your window, start your hole adjacent to the foundation of your house.
To ensure levelness, place the window against your base. Place the window well into the hole you created and firmly press it up against the foundation walls. Check that the top of the well rises 2-3 inches (5.1-7.6 cm) above the ground and that the borders of the well’s sides are approximately 3 inches (7.6 cm) from either side of the window.
Gravel should be inserted into the window well’s bottom 2-3 in (5.1-7.6 cm). With the bottom of your shovel, compact the gravel that has been poured around the interior and exterior of your window well.
To keep things out of the well, fasten a cover over the top. Place a window well cover over the opening that is the same size as your window well. If you want the cover to be put permanently, drill holes into your foundation with a masonry bit and a hammer drill before anchoring the cover.
- Window Well Cover (one that fits)
- Drain Cap
- Tape Measure
- Caulking Gun/Caulk
5. DIY Custom Window Well Cover
|Material||Wood, Plastic Roofing|
This video demonstrates a simple DIY project for creating a child- and water-resistant window well cover. Simply construct a frame that fits (slope it downward with a small overhang), cut clear roofing sheets to fit, and screw them in place. Before undertaking a DIY renovation like this, you may need to consult your HOA or municipality for safety and/or aesthetic reasons.
This is one of the easiest tips on how to make a custom window well cover, the making process starts with building a frame with 2x4s. That can be gotten from your local hardwell store. Using a measuring tape, take the measurement of your window well, and be sure to measure the area where the wood will sit.
Using a saw, cut the wood to your desired measurements, nail the wood together and you have a frame for the window well. You can attach the frame you just built to the ground or wall of your window well. How you build the frame will vary based on how your window well is.
The next thing is attaching plastic roofing to the frame. First cut the metal roof panels (plastic) with tin snips to your desired size then use screws to attach the plastic roofing to the frame, and you can double the roofing for best results.
Cut out all sharp edges from the plastic roofing to avoid injury, and that’s how easy you can make a custom window well cover for your home.
- Desk screws
- Metal roof panels but plastic
- Sealing screws for roof
|Material||Window Well Cover|
This tutorial is for people who have purchased a window well cover and want tips on how to install it. This guide will take you through the complete installation process.
The diameter of the window well where it contacts the house at the front and back should be measured. Observe the largest width. Next, take at least two measurements from the side of the building to the window well’s exterior edge.
The back border of the cover should be snug against the house as it is placed over the window well. Nearly the entire cover should rest on the window well’s edges.
Measure around 4 to 6 inches from the edge of the cover that is up against the house on both sides, and mark those areas with painter’s tape. When the window-well edge hits the cover, mark the area with tape. If the cover employs more than two clips, measure, tape, and label the covers at the sides and in the front of non-egress windows.
Take off the window well’s cover. Make a hole slightly bigger than that of the width of the screws included with the cover into a 2-inch by 4-inch scrap of material placed underneath the plastic and beneath one of the specified pieces of tape. As you drill, the scrap wood helps keep the plastic from being harmed.
In order for the prongs to grasp the edges, firmly fasten the clips to the cover. Test-fit the window well cover. When it is installed, check sure the lid is not buckled and the clips are not bent.
- Window Well Cover
- Painter’s Tape
- Adjustable Wrench
- Tape Measure
7. How To Make A Durable Well Cover
|Material||Polycarbonate, PVC pipe|
Here’s another method that features different materials. This is a durable well cover that was built using Polycarbonate and some PVC piping. To create a window well cover that is made of quality plastic, use poly-carbonate and PVC. It won’t get brittle, cloud over, or crack from icicles dropping on it.
Others frequently use commercial plastic covers, however, these tend to fog up after being in the sun, then turn brittle and break. Polycarbonate would be a superior substance. The covers may be cleaned with a soft sponge, soap, and water, and they will appear as good as new.
It is important to cut the PVC pipe precisely, if you are not accurate in cutting, the frame won’t be squared and the poly-carbonate won’t line up on top of the frame. How you cut your PVC piping will be dependent on the size of your window well.
Create holes in the poly-carbonate, these holes need to be 2/16 to 3/16 of an inch larger than the diameter of the screws you are using, this will allow for expansion and extraction due to season change. Clamp the polycarbonate down onto the frame of the PVC pipe and drill holes through the PVC, take out the polycarbonate and drill the larger size.
After building the frame with PVC based on how large or small your window well is, attach the polycarbonate to the PVC frame and pin it on the wall. For a well-detailed guide, see the video tutorial above.
- 12 ft by 28 inch Sheets of poly-carbonate
- 3 quarter inch nail
- Number 8 premium washers
- PVC pipe
- PVC Cutter
- Grease pencil
- Tin Snips
|Material||Window Well Cover|
It’s a smart option to measure the window well before going to the neighborhood home improvement store to purchase the window well coverings. The width of the window well where it contacts the wall, which will be its broadest point, and how far out the window well protrudes, are the two key measurements that need to be taken into consideration.
Measure the height of the window as well if the top of the window is higher than the top of the window well. Additionally, not all window wells have the same shape. They used to almost invariably be semi-circular, but now they are more commonly squared off with rounded corners.
With the help of the measurements, the ideal window well cover may be chosen to fit those window wells. The two fundamental styles are flat and domed. Any home’s windows can use either type of cover, but those that protrude more than a few inches just above the edge of the window well will definitely need the domed covers.
Both types of window well covers must be fixed to the wall; however, some flat coverings may additionally need to be fastened to the window well’s edge to prevent children and animals from elevating it.
To ensure a proper fit, position the window well cover over the window well. This could or might not come with pre-drilled holes in the flange for mounting to the wall, however, this is not always the case. Mark the flange’s center and a distance of four to six inches on either side. Markings should be added on both sides, close to the bottom of the flange, for domed window well coverings.
Drill the hole with a 3/16″ drill bit where the markings were just made. Drilling should be done slowly to avoid breaking the plastic. While drilling, a block of scrap wood can be used to hold the flange and assist keep it from splitting.
Some window well coverings use clips to fasten to the window well’s edge in addition to being screw-mounted. These frequently have movable covers and are utilized as egress windows. In that scenario, the cover has to have clips added to it so that it will be secured to the top of the window well.
Use a 3/16″ drill bit to create these three holes, being careful to prevent fracturing the plastic, as was indicated previously. After that, attach the clips to the flange’s underside. The screw should first pass through the flange before passing through the clip from the bottom. Use a cap, an acorn nut, or ash to secure it on the top side. To ensure that it won’t come free, tighten the nut and screw.
- Window Well Cover
- Drill bit
- Magnetic Catch
|Material||Wood, Plastic Roofing|
If you are like this creator and you have a pet that is inquisitive, or kids that are playful, a plastic window well cover might not do the trick for you. In this tutorial, you will learn how to build a sturdy window well cover that’s almost indestructible.
Take an accurate measurement of the window well and transfer it to a piece of plywood. Next, cut out each one and mark the inner cut with a pencil. Apply a few coats of polyurethane to each one once it has been cut. Hopefully, this will enable them to continue throughout the seasons.
Take a piece of plexiglass and cut it out just like the plywood, leaving the middle uncut. Cut out the vinyl lattice to match using the material. The lattice and plexiglass were screwed into the plywood after being pre-drilled holes (so the plexi glass wouldn’t shatter) and voilà! DIY cover for window well.
When the builder cut strips from some leftover siding that was lying around in the basement and put them into the plywood, he took this project to a completely new level of customization.
- 3/4 inch plywood
- Vinyl lattice
10. Egress Basement Window Installation
|Material||Window Well Cover, Window, Wood|
The first thing to do is to get the dimensions of the Egress window you want to use as well as the egress well to make layouts for the hole you will need to dig for this project. Remember to seek permission before digging up any holes to avoid the destruction of power or water lines that may be buried in the ground. Make room for a drainage pipe that would come in handy later.
A standard-size egress window is usually 4ft by 4ft and most standard wells are made to fit that measurement. Use a shovel to create a hole for the well. You want to lay out your hole so it would be at least 12 inches wider and deeper than the new window.
Next step is using a concrete cutter on the wall of your house. This process might be difficult for you if you aren’t skilled in this field, you can hire professionals to get the job done. After cutting through the concrete, use a sledge hammer to break the wall.
Use concrete sealant on the cut out concrete area then place the wood, this should make it firm. Get some aluminum nails and shoot them through the wood and concrete. You might need to drill a power hole for the nail.
After the frame is in place, install the window by nailing it to the wall, using expanding insulating spray foam to seal in between the window and the frame. Add some trim to the outside of the window.
Attach the Egress well to the foundation, using the hammer shot, nail the Egress well to the wall. Add the dirt back into the previously dug foundation. Add some gravel inside the Egress.
- Window Well Cover From Lowes
- Expanding Insulating Spray Foam
- Concrete sealant
- Aluminum nail
- Hammer Shot
- Measuring Tape
- Mitre Saw
- Concrete Cutter
|Material||Acrylic sheet, Aluminum Angle|
Due to the requirement to remove dirt and debris from the window wells, the first portion of the job was somewhat hard. After cleaning up the wells, the designers put a layer of landscaping stones to the well’s base to increase drainage and give it a neat appearance.
They removed both windows and screens after finishing the wells themselves. The screens needed to be entirely replaced, and the windows needed a thorough cleaning. In reality, you can easily fix screens by yourself, at least for tiny windows. Here is how they went about it.
With at least 2 inches of extra material on each of the four sides, place the screen over the frame and cut it roughly to size with a utility knife. Ensure that the screen is centered on the frame.
The convex side of the spline tool should be used to gently roll the screen into the frame’s groove while the screen is being held in place. Starting at one corner, carefully roll the spline into the groove on top of the screen using the concave side of the spline tool, completing all four sides. With a utility knife, remove any extra screen at the outer border of the spline groove.
Make a cardboard template of the window well shapes. To make room for the spring clips, add an inch of overhang to every side but the foundation side. After cutting out the final pattern from the cardboard, trace it onto the acrylic sheet.
Cut the acrylic along the drawn line using a jigsaw and a fresh blade with a steady hand. Mark three locations along the well’s outline where spring clips would attach after making sure the wells fit.
On those three marks, drill 3/16′′ holes in accordance with the spring clips’ directions, then fasten the spring clips. Cut a piece of aluminum angle to the length of the cover’s foundation side in order to provide support for the acrylic cover. Drill holes through the acrylic and the aluminum angle at regular intervals. The acrylic should be bolted to the metal angle.
- 1/4″ clear acrylic sheet
- Aluminum angle
- Replacement screen
- Window well spring clips
- Spline tool
- Utility knife
- Jig Saw
- Safety glasses and gloves
Whether it’s a DIY project on a budget, you’re a contractor looking for ideas, or if you just like a creative alternative to the standard window well cover, these DIY options are sure to inspire. As there are virtually no two window wells that are exactly alike in size and shape, there aren’t any one-size-fits-all solutions. So, the next time you find yourself looking at your window well and thinking “that’s just ugly,” look no further than this guide to get some inspiration and ideas to help you get building.