How to make an Egress Window Well not look like a Window Well
As a first step in our egress window project, I excavated a 4 foot wide slot for the window well and planned to line it with 4×6 pressure treated. That would give me room for the code required 3 foot wide well, the 4×6 PT and gravel backfill.
After the window was in place, we sat down in the now brighter room and looked out the window, questioning whether a view of a window well was so desirable, no matter what material it was made of – wood, corrugated metal, concrete, fiberglass, etc. After all, outside there was a big lawn, a magnolia tree and lots of white pines along the property line. Why not take advantage of all that?
We decided to do something not in the book. Instead of making a window well, we graded out the excavation like a basement garage driveway and protected the slope with grass.
Egress window a few years after completion. (And the house has a new coat of paint, unlike in the other photos.)
Egress window shortly after completion. (To get immediate erosion protection, I sodded the slope with grass diggings from the excavation.)
Construction: The 4x6 pressure treated timbers are blocked on one end by the basement wall and at the free ends by rebar driven through them and into the ground. The cross pipe is perforated PVC that is in a vinyl sock to keep out the silt. The pea gravel next to the house is underlaid with a watertight membrane so as to form an underground gutter.
Inside before: Basement room with old basement window and varnished knotty pine paneling.
Inside after: With egress window and paneling painted white.