landscaping a window well

by Dan
(Lapel, IN USA)

I put a window in my basement this winter. My backyard looks like a disaster area.

I did it myself and tore out all the landscaping and patio I originally had. I created the window well out of block....5' on either side and in front I only went up 4' because we liked being able to see the sky from the basement.

I want to incorporate my window well into my landscaping in my back yard with a gradual grade up to ground level. I want to add a stamped concrete patio, a stamped concrete firepit, pergola, sidewalk and landscaping stone for stepping up out of the well with ornamental trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping lighting.

Have you ever seen anything similar to this done? If so, do you have any photos or tips of how to go about the stepping up out of the window well?

Thanks for any tips you can think of,
Dan from Indiana

I sent you an email. Please send me some photos via email of this area extending into the rest of your yard. Or you can upload a single photo here.

Basically, you can either slope up from the window wells to a higher level (if that is your situation), or you can step it up with a retaining wall or a few for a terraced look. How it is done all depends on how your ground slopes and how high. Also important is what the distance is to this other area. You need to create a level area for a patio, pergola, etc., so you need to get up to that level.

Once the level area is created, all or some of the amenities you want can be part of the design.

Comments for landscaping a window well

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Aug 01, 2011
Drainage at a Window Well
by: Susan

Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for your informative post. I totally agree with what you said.

Typically the land should grade away from the house. I like to do this for a distance of at least five feet...more is better if there is room. The slope should be at 2% or 1/4" per foot. Where it goes from there depends on many factors, which any of the visitors on this page can read about on my page Landscape Grading

In this homeowner's particular situation, since the land might be graded towards the house instead of away, your drainage pipe will address any water problems. Again, thanks for pointing this out.

Jul 31, 2011
Window Well Design Advice
by: Anonymous

I am a professional home builder and remodeler, as I was reading this post I couldn't help but to think that you should be careful to consider water drainage into your window well design. Egress windows are commonly aflicted with the problem of allowing access for water to penetrate into your basement. A properly biult home will take into account proper positive drainage of water away from the foundation. Oversized and terraced window wells can have the opposite affect by allowing water easy access to your foundation and thus the likely possibility for that water to penetrate into your home. My suggestion would be to have an underground drainage system such as a french drain or similar to have any water that enters the window well to be redirected away from the foundation. Any competent contractor can design such a system for you. Hope this information is helpful and happy landscaping.

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