You can purchase most size window well covers at your local home improvement store, most, but not all. In this article I will show you a quick and easy way to make your own covers, allowing plenty of light to enter the space, and allowing for the all important emergency exit.
Through the years I have found that making a template saves money in the long run. I strongly suggest you make yourself a cardboard template of the window well. You can square the shape off, as if it was a rectangle or square when you order the piece of Plexiglas.
It’s been my experience that the local big box stores don’t carry sheets of Plexiglas, so you will need to call your local glass company and order the piece of Plexiglas or Lexan, you will need for this project. Be sure to order ¼” thick Plexiglas or Lexan, at a minimum. The difference in price will be substantial, with Lexan being shatter resistant. I went the Plexiglas route, but you will have to decide for yourself. Cutting the Plexiglas is pretty simple and straight forward. Install a plywood blade in your circular saw and a fine tooth blade in your jig saw. If you are not comfortable cutting it yourself, most glass companies will do it for you, for an additional charge. If you have them cut the Plexiglas, remember to bring your template for them to use, and don’t forget to ask for the cutoff pieces. You can use them for smaller fun projects like coasters and picture frames.
Next measure the distance across the back of the window well, the straight edge, against the house and buy a length of angled strut, to fit. You know the kind I am talking about, the metal angle that is commonly used to hang garage door tracks and openers. Anchor that angle to the back wall, so it will serve as a place for the new cover to sit on, making sure the top of it is level with the top of the window well. If the front edge is straight you can do the same to it. If you have a continuous curve then cut 2 or 3 pieces of strut about 1″ to 2″ long and attach them to the inside of the front edge, spacing them evenly, making sure you have at least 1 solid hole in each one.
Lay the newly cut Plexiglas cover on your new framed opening, carefully centering it into position, and making sure to keep it firmly against the back wall. You can drill down through the Plexiglas into the front edge angled strut a 5/16″ drill bit. When you’re done drilling drop a ¼” clevis pin into each hole. You can secure each pin in place by slipping the locking clips into a hole in the clevis pin, from the inside. Now place a liberal bead of silicone (100% pure silicone) along the back edge and onto the siding or brick. When this dries it will serve as a hinge when you open the cover.
Well there you have it, a quick and easy window well cover that allows plenty of light into the space while keeping the rain, snow, and leaves out, while allowing easy exit in the event of an emergency.