Basements are a great thing to have in your home; they are cool during the summer, they increase the amount livable space you have without increasing your above ground profile. But having part of your residence underground can lead to some problems. If you already have a basement or you are preparing to finish it there are a a few thing you should consider.
Because they are underground, most basements are dark and dank. The surrounding earth and lack of airflow traps moisture and the resulting dampness can make your basement rooms musty and uncomfortable. Most basement windows are tiny head-level rectangles which don’t allow for much light or airflow. Thews problems can be easily fixed by installing basement window well. These windows are full size and provide much more natural light and fresh air. This simple change can turn your basement into a bright relaxing area.
Many times when basements are remodeled, it is so more habitable rooms can be added. Often times these rooms are turned into bedrooms. Having bedrooms in the basement creates some unique problems. In case of a fire or other emergency the house needs to be vacated quickly. Even if your home has a walk-in basement you should still install a window well. If the fire starts in you basement then the bedrooms could be blocked off from the exit. Windows wells should be large enough for people to get out and firefighters to get it.
Building code requires that any basement bedroom must have a window well. Many people don’t realize this when they are remodeling their old home. This doesn’t really make a difference if you aren’t planning on selling your home. The only problem is if you do sell and the inspector notices these code violations, then all the remodeling you did trying to increase the value of your home will be wasted.
Do the best thing for your basement, play it safe and get window wells for your basement today.