Monday, September 15, 2014

DIY Window Well Covers

Our dog loves frogs.  Tiny ones, larger ones, bright green, dark green.  She is obsessed.  For weeks she would stalk the side of our house, looking in every window well for the frogs that likes to sit in them.  Most of the time they were filled with old leaves that if they moved June bug thought they were frogs. 
 
There was one night we had a bon fire and we had her outside.  Well, she would not leave this one frog alone that was trapped in our window well.  I told June to leave the frog alone.  By the way did I mention she is GREAT at listening. (NOT!!)  Well about five minutes after telling her to stay away from the window well, she was running from it, with a frog leg flopping out of her mouth.  Disgusting to say the least and we never found the body. 
 
That night was the last straw for us.  The next morning we went to Home Depot, Menards and Lowes looking for window well covers.  They all carried two similar styles.
 
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OR

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Frankly for our situation, with a VERY motivated springer spaniel, we knew that neither would do the trick.  The last thing we need is for June to be able to see into the window well, she would probably end up breaking the cover.  The blue ones weren't terrible, but they did not have the size that we needed.  Instead we took things into our own hands and DIY'd some of our own and LOVE the way they turned out!
 
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Here is what you will need if you want to tackle this:
  • 3/4 inch plywood
  • Vinyl lattice
  • Polyurethane
  • Screws
  • Siding
 
The hubs measured each window well and transferred that to a piece of plywood.  From there he cut out each one, and penciled in for the interior cut.  After he was done with both this is what he was left with.
 
After each one was cut I went and applied a few coats of polyurethane to them.  As you can tell the left one isn't and the right one is.  This will hopefully keep them going strong through all the beautiful weather Wisconsin gets throughout the year. 
 
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Once they were dry, or almost dry, the hubs took the plexi glass that we purchased and cut out an identical piece to match the ply wood (without cutting out the middle). 

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After the plexi glass was sitting on the frame, the hubs took the vinyl lattice and cut it out to match.

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He then pre-drilled holes (so the plexi glass wouldn't crack) and screwed the lattice and plexi glass into the plywood and bam, we had custom, DIY window well covers.

We did run into a predicament when we placed the window well cover on.  June came over, sniffed it and nudged it off.  Fail.

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The hubs had a brought this project to a whole different level of custom when he grabbed some of the extra siding that was laying around in the basement and cut strips and screwed them into the plywood.

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We had Project: DIY Window Well Cover completed and June bug, although she was a little upset about losing her areas to snoop around in for frogs, she has survived, and no other frogs have perished.  The frogs can thank us!
 
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8 comments:

  1. Really Really nice. And I'm sure the frogs do thank you.

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  2. How extremely well done! You are blessed with a man like him. :)
    It's also very kind to the animals. You are lovely people, both of you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Katerine! The frogs and June are both happy campers now!

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  3. Has this held up over time? We're also in Wisconsin, not thrilled about the cover options available, and having trouble justifying $350+ for each of two non-custom covers (since our wells are kind of gigantic). I'm sure we'd need more wood/metal reinforcement for our size cover (about 3'x5') but this seems to make a heck of a lot more sense than paying so much for a piece of plastic that isn't even the right size!

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    Replies
    1. We kept them on all winter and have had no problems! They are great! You can always reinforce them with a thicker grade plexi glass. Once our kiddos come and start running around outside more, we will probably make reinforced ones as well. it is crazy how expensive they can be in the store, so why not DIY some!

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    2. Thanks so much for the reply! We're checking into metal fabrication to see how much grates would cost, but if that's also cost prohibitive we might go this route. It really is crazy how much it costs for something that seems so common and simple.

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    3. When I was a kid (a million years ago), my parents covered our window wells with a steel mesh, apparently it was expanded steel diamond mesh--something like this: http://www.topnetting.com/products/mild-steel-expanded-wire-mesh.html
      And, without any sealant, paint,, etc., I'd say it lasted at least 50 years.

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  4. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon
    custom window well grates centennial

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