Window wells no longer have to be ugly things homeowners are trying to hide. There are some new ideas being used with window wells, so people can open their blinds and let the light into their basements.
"Instead of looking at a tin can, you can take your blinds off completely when you don't need privacy," said Bryan Buchi, owner of Windowell Expressions.
"You go down in people's basements and you hardly see a blind open, because everyone is hiding ugly," Buchi said of the tin surrounding window wells.
The cure is a rock wall look that lines the window well. Buchi said it obviously isn't a real rock wall, but it is the same sturdy material that is used to line truck beds.
"We make it look pretty," Buchi said. On the Windowells website, wehideugly.com, there are 13 different "rock wall" options with varying colors and styles to match the exterior of just about any home.
Buchi said he has been doing the rock walls for 15 years, and said it's hard to get the word out about the walls, because not everyone goes into their friends' basements to even know the walls exist. Many times when people are building homes, they will have it put in. But it can often be an afterthought.
Either way, Buchi said, the product can make a big difference in the lighting and ambience of a basement.
Window well covers are also a necessity for many homeowners -- and the variety of covers is a bonus. Want metal grates? Clear covers? Buchi said those are really popular because of the safety factor. The clear covers are the most popular, because they're the most functional; the metal grates are mostly for safety, so no one will fall into the window wells.
The clear, plastic covers work well because they are lighter in weight, let in maximum light and in the event of a fire, they are much easier to lift out.
They also "keep out little critters," Buchi said, which makes a big difference in areas where raccoons, skunks and other rodents are a problem. With a cover, you won't have to figure out how to get the wildlife out of the window well -- the cover eliminates the problem completely.