The window well is always an interesting addition to any architectural design, and creating grates that fit the style of the building with purpose is always a fun challenge for us. At the residential building in Winnetka, Illinois we approached the tricky design features of window wells with a modern design that was practical and functional. We created a custom wrought iron window well cover with a hatch in an Industrial design for them incorporating mesh elements and finishing the piece with a cold galvanized gray finish.
Window well gratings can take on a variety of forms. Some maintain a fairly open design, with a few bars that run horizontally or vertically and are basically designed to keep humans and animals from ending up in the window well. An open design for a window well can be beneficial, but it does allow natural debris, likes leaves and other plant material, to get down there on a regular basis. Another design is a more closed metal grate, which can be seen on the window well cover we designed here. This creates a much smaller passage for materials to get through, which leads to less maintenance overall.
All window well covers should have some way of being opened, either with a trap door design that opens up, or a sliding design as can be seen here. This is an important feature not only for the aforementioned maintenance, but also for the ability to act as an exit in case of an emergency. Windows in basements and garden levels are often the only way to a quick exit from the lower floors, and therefore the covers would need to be pushed out of the way in a hurry.
Speaking of safety, these window wells were quite deep, so we decided to add another feature. We built custom ladders for each well that were permanently attached to the concrete sides. This would eliminate the need for a ladder to be located in case of an emergency and allow for an even quicker evacuation.
Both the ladders and the hatch are made of wrought iron steel. Wrought iron steel is commonly used for household and commercial designs because of its solidity and long-lasting qualities. You can look at a wrought iron installation which is over a hundred years old and it will still maintain its shape and quality, with just a bit of care and maintenance. Since the accents of this building were light colored, we finished the grate and ladder with a gray finish. This galvanized finish offers another protective layer over the metal, making it even more weatherproof.
These custom window well covers will do their functions perfectly for years to come, both to keep things out of the window well, and to allow for people inside to exit quickly if necessary. If you need a set of custom window well covers for your home or commercial property, please contact us! We do a variety of metalwork designs: everything from simple covers like these, to more complex artistic pieces. We are your Chicagoland metal fabrication shop that designs, fabricates and installs! Let’s put our heads together and make your dreams a reality!