Hi my name is Tanya with Envy Property Management. In today’s video I want to talk about a topic that many landlords don’t ever consider and that is window well covers for your rental property. While this may seem like just another added expense for your investment, from a liability standpoint, window well covers can greatly increase the safety and security of your rental property.
So what exactly are window wells and why would a savvy landlord need to have window well covers installed? If you own a rental property with a basement, you likely have window wells. Window wells are designed to hold surrounding earth away from the windows so they can let in light, be opened for ventilation, and create safe exit points in case of an emergency. In fact, if you have a bedroom or living space in your basement, you’re required by law to install egress (or exit) windows for easy escape in cases of emergency.
Although window wells do create a safe exit from your basement, they can also pose a serious hazard and create an unfinished look to your property. The potential danger to children and animals falling into a window well is serious, and the concerns of wild animals taking shelter in a window well aren’t unheard of. Window well covers can not only help make your rental property and yard look finished but more importantly, they help prevent a number of unwanted accidents or problems.
The number one reason a landlord should install window well covers is:
Window well covers help keep children and pets safe
Large open holes around your house can be eyesores, so some landlords will attempt to hide them behind bushes or other landscaping to keep them out of sight. While this may seem like a great idea, hiding a steep-sided, deep hole can be a serious danger for passing children and animals. One good slip into a window well can do some serious damage, however, a good fitting window well cover can act as an extension of the ground and should hold up to several hundred pounds of weight to prevent any accidental falls. If there is ever any way to avoid liability as a landlord of a rental property, it’s always a good idea to take action and just make the investment.
Another great benefit of window well covers for your rental property is they
Provide increased security
Window wells are an opportune hiding spot for burglars or other prowlers to stay hidden out of sight while breaking into your rental property. With well covers in place would-be burglars will move on to another house that is an easier target.
What should I look for when Choosing a Window Well Cover?
There are three main considerations when choosing a window well cover including shape, material (plastic or metal) and strength.
First you want to confirm the shape you’ll need for your window well:
Be sure to take accurate measurements of your window well before shopping for a cover. Taking note of the width and length of the window well.
Next you’ll want to determine what material best fits your needs.
Typically window well covers come in plastic or metal.
- Plastic: While plastic covers are designed to let as much light as possible through your basement window, they are also the least durable. Plastic covers are typically made of polyethylene and polycarbonate. If you do choose a plastic window well cover, be sure to find one that’s polycarbonate. This material is much stronger than polyethylene and can handle extreme temperatures better.
- Metal: The second option is metal and also what we recommend to all our investment property owners at Envy Property Management. Metal covers are usually flat, horizontal grates that are meant to let in light and prevent falls. Metal covers are durable, strong and can hold hundreds of pounds of weight. Not only that, but they can also potentially last a lifetime. However, unless metal window well grates are combined with a plastic cover, they don’t keep precipitation out. So consider the circumstances of your rental property and if draining is an issue, you may want to consider purchasing a combined metal grate and plastic cover. Another option is to install a drain, or if your window well is sheltered by enough roof overhang then typically water won’t be a problem.
That’s it for today’s video, I hope this video about the importance of window well covers in your rental property was helpful. If window well covers and other liability issues surrounding being a landlord seem too overwhelming for you and you want help choosing a Northern Utah property management company with years of experience, please contact us at Envy Property Management. We are a wealth of information when it comes to professional property management of your investment property. You can always ask us for valuable tips and extra resources to make the choice simple and painless. Give us a call today, 801-337-4337 or visit our website at envypm.com where you can easily view our three-tiered pricing plan, so you can choose the package that best fits you and your needs.