Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How to Build a Crawl Space Cover

The least expensive material to use when building a crawl space cover is plywood, this can be easily purchased at home improvement stores.

You will need to determine if you can build a flat cover or if the cover needs to be built on a slope.  It is important that the cover fully enclose the area well and crawl space door. If your crawl space door is above the area well a sloped style cover will work best.

You will also need to secure this cover or build it using thick enough plywood that it will stay in place during storms.

The drawbacks to building a crawl space cover using plywood are:

1.    Lifespan:  you will need to replace often, plywood rots & warps, but for a short term solution plywood does work.

2.    Weight: Wood covers are heavy to lift off and homes that require a sloped design, this style of cover is very heavy to remove when needing to access the crawl space.

3.    Construction time:  Someone experienced in building projects will have less difficulty than most and the tools required to complete the project efficiently.

The most common crawl space cover we remove and replace at  
Custom Covers Inc. with a permanent solution is a crawl space cover built using wood.

So before you tackle this project using wood consider letting a professional construct your cover using higher grade materials that do not deteriorate, are lightweight, and are easily installed using minimal tools.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Metal or Steel Grates

Metal or Steel Grates for Basement Window Wells

These grates are typically provided with new home construction by the builder when installing Egress Basement area walls.  The grates are put in place to prevent a person from accidently falling into the well.  This is the least expensive way for a builder to pass building code requirements. 
The drawback for homeowners with these grates is they are heavy and not easy for a small person to remove in an emergency.  Over time they will rust and become a bigger eye sore. They also require continued maintenance of the well to keep it free of leaves, debris and occasionally small animals that can easily enter this open style cover.   They offer no security.

 Most homeowners spend time and money planting landscaping around the exterior foundation to beautify their home only to be left looking at an ugly metal grate over their window well.  A simple solution is to purchase a window well cover.

The first function you should consider when purchasing a basement window well cover is strength. 
The cover needs to be able to support weight and disallow a person to fall through the cover and into the well. 
Consider the materials being used to fabricate the cover.  This is a home improvement and you will want a cover made with high quality materials giving you years of service. 
The cover should allow for air ventilation as you don’t want to create a greenhouse effect and the ventilation will prevent condensation building up on the cover. 
Light transmission is also a factor; you will want a cover that allows light but will also hold up in UV conditions. 
You may also want to consider security features, since this is a large and out of site entry point that could be easily targeted by an unwanted intruder into your home. 
Now consider the looks of the cover.  Do you want the cover to be bubble like in shape and stick up for everyone to see?  Of course not, a more aesthetically appealing window well cover will be low profile and not easily visible by the neighbors or persons passing by on your front sidewalk or street.

For more information and to view window well covers, please visit:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What do you call the hole in the ground on the outside of my house at the foundation?

This hole is typically present to provide access into the crawl space located underneath your house or around a window located in the basement area of your home that allows light to enter and is sometimes large enough to allow escape from the basement in emergency situations.

After the hole is created builders will typically place a metal ring to keep the dirt from re-entering the hole. This metal ring is referred to as an area wall.  Area walls come in several shapes, sizes, and depths and are best when constructed out of galvanized metal.  Galvanized metal area walls will come in different gauged metal for durability. 

Crawl space area walls that have a metal ring can generally be replaced easily due to the smaller depth of wells used to retain the soil in this area.  Homeowners generally decide to replace these area walls when deterioration of the well occurs or when the homeowner wishes to create a larger access opening to allow easier entrance into the crawl space area.

Basement area wall replacement however sometimes is more involved. When looking to increase the size or depth of the area wall to allow for an egress well system that provides emergency escape you may have to seek the help from a licensed contractor.  Smaller basement area walls that have smaller depths can be easily removed and replaced.

If you are looking to replace this area wall with an area wall similar in size you will need to take some measurements. 


1.) Determine if you have a Semi-Round or Elongated well.
2.) Measure (A) length and (B) width
3.) Measure from outside well edge to outside well edge (A)
     and from the foundation or house wall to the outside
     well edge (B)
4.) To determine the depth you will need measure from the top of the well
      edge straight down to bottom of hole

Visit www.customcoversinc.com for area wall replacement products available in a variety of shapes, sizes and depths.