How to Install Basement Window Wells

Lead Image
  • 40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 1000
What You'll Need
Drill bits
Prefabricated basement window well
Drain pipes

Basement window wells let extra light into dark basements. You can install basement window wells by following the directions below.

Step 1 - Plan Your Basement Window Well

Basement window wells come in various sizes and materials. The size and material of your window well depend on where you want to build it.

If you're not sure how to plan basement window wells, look around your local area. Take notice of their installation in other buildings.

Ensure that the top lip of the basement window well is well above the ground. That will prevent water from collecting and running inside the window well. Make sure that the well is large enough for you to safely open the window.

Step 2 - Order the Materials

After you have planned, you should be able to know which materials you need to order. Make sure that you order the correct materials to prevent any delays in the project. If you don't order enough material, the entire project will be slowed.

Step 3 - Stake Out the Area

Now that you know the look and position of your basement window well, you will need to stake-out the area. Use wooden stakes and string to mark the area in question. Using a prefabricated unit will make this project much easier. You can use this prefab unit as a guide to mark the area.

Step 4 - Dig the Hole

Dig the hole for the prefabricated window well. Make sure you have enough drainage material to prevent water from being a problem. Lack of proper drainage will cause water to pool inside the well and run into your basement.

You will need to either fit new drainage lines or connect to existing drainage systems.

Step 5 - Add Gravel

Once you have dug the hole, place some gravel at the bottom. Add a 5-inch thick layer of gravel; however, the depth may vary depending on your local building standards.

Consult local building standards and regulations to ensure that the window well is constructed safely and meets the relevant standards.

Step 6 - Fit the Window

Fit the window if it hasn’t been already. Make sure that the window is watertight. Use caulking to seal any gaps between the window and the window frame. You need to fit draft excluders around any small gaps in the window frame.