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Install a Window-Well Cover

Keep rain, leaves and animals out of your window wells using covers that look custom-made for your house.

Window-well covering.

Tools & Materials

Materials

Product costs, availability and item numbers may vary online or by market.

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Know Before You Shop for Your Window Well

Measure window well.
  • Carefully measure your window well. Use the instructions below. 
  • There are basically two kinds of below-ground window wells: models that allow sunlight through small- or medium-size windows—usually mounted high at the top of the basement wall—and oversize “egress” wells with windows large enough to use as an emergency escape.
  • If you’re concerned that small children may fall on and through a lightweight window-well cover, choose a model capable of supporting more than 100 pounds.

Measure the Window Well for a Cover

Measure the window well.

Measure the width of the window well at both the front and back, where it touches the house. Note the widest width. Then measure from the side of the house to the outside edge of the window well in at least two places.

Note the shape of the window well. Most are either rounded, have square (or nearly square) corners, or form a U shape with gently rounded corners. Also, check to see if the back edge of the cover needs to slip into the window opening in the foundation and below the siding.

Good to Know

The shape of some window-well covers helps keep them from bending, so make any cuts as small as possible. We trimmed only the back flange by drilling 1/4-inch holes at the corners of the notches and using a hacksaw to trim the flange so it slides into the window recess.

Install Your Window-Well Cover

Step 1

Center the cover over the window well with the back edge snug against the house. The edges of the window well should support nearly all of the cover.

Step 2

Measure window well.

On both sides of the cover, measure about 4 in. to 6 in. from the edge that’s against the house and mark those locations with painter’s tape. Then mark the tape where the window-well edge touches the cover. For non-egress windows, measure, tape, and mark the covers at the sides and in the front if the cover uses more than two clips.

Good to Know

For an egress window to nudge the cover out of the way as it’s opened, install only one clip on each side and none in the front.

Step 3

Drill window well cover.

Remove the cover from the window well. Place a 2 inch x 4 inch scrap beneath the plastic under one of the marked pieces of tape and drill a hole slightly larger than the diameter of the screws supplied with the cover. The scrap wood helps prevent damage to the plastic as you drill.

Caution

Old or worn drill bits can mar plastic as they break through the underside. Use new or sharpened bits, and press the plastic firmly against the scrap wood underneath.

Step 4

Fasten the clips firmly to the cover so that the prongs can grab the edges.

Step 5

Attach window-well cover.

Test-fit the cover on the window well. Check to make sure there’s no buckling of the cover or bends in the clips when it’s in place.