Basement window well protection

09160801-039.JPGCan not find what the requirement is in regards to handrails / protection around basement window wells. Basements are very abnormal in my inspection area and this is the first one that the windows didn’t open out onto grade but were below grade. The bottom of the well is aprox 28 inch below grade adjacent to a patio… Currently they have a 1/2 angle bar frame about 20inch high around it (not to sturdy). Any help would be great

I will see what i can find… but it brings up an interesting point… Here i have one from the other day at a former funeral home… check out these wells… wasted away…

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what is it that bothers You about it Sam…it looks ok to me…jim

A patio is right beside window wells, current barrier would’nt stop a person from falling or a person sitting on a chair from going over lip and getting injured.

Go ahead and make a recommendation “for enhanced safety”.

Not a bad idea…


Your well looks good to me.

Looks good to me also. Remember, the more stuff they put up to prevent someone from falling IN, the more a person has to work around in an emergency to get OUT. Just a thought.

this is an interesting point…My last inspection was a 90 year old house with large egress windows in the basement and the wells were covered with steel grates You could drive a truck over…they were indeed designed to be lifted
in case of emergency but were so heavy and with additional rust from age it is doubtful an elderly person or small child could find them of any use…so which is the worse evil ???


The rare times I see a window wells here they have covers.

Good point. I guess they will have to pray that those grates will never have to be utilized in an emergency.

Most basement windows aren’t large enough to be considered egress windows anyway. Thus the restriction of using many basements as bedrooms. No difference between having a heavy grate over it, than having no window at all. Ideally they would be larger and suitable for egress, but reality isn’t always ideal. I would simply note it for what it is, and go on.

Up here there are no requirements for protection around window wells. If there is a grate over the well it is mostly to prevent garbage from accumulating in the well.