Think about the things that make your home safer for your family to live in. Maybe fire extinguishers come to mind, or smoke or carbon monoxide detectors—but window wells? It’s true! Your home’s windows can serve many purposes in the event of an emergency, such as a source of fresh air, or as means of escape, even in your basement.
And, if you are preparing to finish the basement and add a bedroom in your Grand Rapids, Holland, Grand Haven, Kalamazoo, or Lansing, Michigan home, you might be surprised to learn that unless you already have egress windows with basement window wells installed, you’ll be required to upgrade at least one window to an egress window with a well to meet building code requirements.
First Thing’s First—What is an Egress Window?
An egress window might look like a regular window, but it’s designed with safety in mind. These types of windows are mostly found in fully below-grade basements, not walk-out basements where at least one wall is above-grade.
Egress windows are large enough and easy to operate to allow you to escape from your home in the event of an emergency. Egress windows are also large and sturdy enough that a fully outfitted firefighter would be able to enter and exit your home via an egress window.
What Does a Basement Window Well Do?
The purpose of a basement window well is to help keep the ground outside your home’s foundation away from basement egress windows because they are below-grade.
Oftentimes, basement windows are small and installed high up on your basement walls to allow sunlight to filter through. Egress windows must be installed at the same height as a window would be on your first or second floor, which in most basements would be at least partially underground. So without a window well, your egress window would be covered by dirt and completely unusable.
The Benefits of Window Wells and Egress Windows
Beyond making your home a safer place to live, there are many additional benefits of installing window wells for your basement windows, including:
More Light for your Basement
Basements are notoriously dark. If you’re finishing your basement to enjoy more living space, it’s a huge added bonus to have more light to brighten up your environment! Brighter spaces tend to feel bigger, airier, and require you to turn on the lights less often, which can save you in monthly energy costs.
Fewer Leaks and Window Problems
Basement windows in close or direct contact with the ground outside can quickly develop a host of problems, like deterioration as a result of moisture, mold, or leaks as a result of collecting water from rain or melting snow. A window well will keep the ground away from your window, meaning less troublesome moisture for you to deal with.
Better Basement Ventilation
Traditional basement windows are typically hard to open, or are not worth opening at all, given how small they are. With a basement window well, you can open full size windows to achieve meaningful ventilation, helping you air out or freshen up your basement living space more quickly and easily.
WMGB Can Help You Install and Maintain Your Window Wells
Now that you know why window wells are worth it for your Lansing area home, WMGB Home Improvement is here to help you install and maintain your basement egress windows and window wells for maximum home comfort and safety. Ready to get started? Learn more about us and the areas we serve.