US 3703791 A
A window well cover of the type having a light-transmitting sheet selectively sized to cover an open top of a window well is characterized by an elongated, reinforcing, metal strip extending parallel to, and disposed near, a foundation wall. The metal strip has a horizontal portion formed with an elongated slot receiving and firmly supporting the adjoining sheet edge, which is tightly clamped in the slot. An upstanding portion of the rigidifying strip enhances the vertical rigidity of the window well cover and forms a base for supporting an upstanding sheet of light-transmitting material which serves as a storm window for that portion of a basement window projecting above the window well.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Slade 1 51 Nov. 28, 1972 1 WINDOW WELL COVER FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Inventor: Herbert J- Slade, RR Harv 16,177 7/1910 Great Britain 160/88 Ill. 60033 OTHER PUBLICATION  Filed: Jan. 6, 1971 S Po ular Science, Ma 1958, 164, Plastic Dome for 211 App]. No.: 104,278 Bafemem window y p  US. Cl ..52/107, 52/ 169 EmWnerFfa-nk Abbott  Int. Cl. ..E04f 17/06 Assistant Exam n r-L lie A. Braun  Field of Search ..52/107, 273, 169, 287, 716; w y h rm n. r ni. Gross & imp n 160/88  ABSTRACT  References Clted A window well cover of the type having a light-trans- UNITED STATES PATENTS mitting sheet selectively sized to cover an open top of a window well is characterized by an elongated, rein- 3,046,613 7/ 1962 Smith ..52/ 107 forcing metal Strip extending parallel to, and disposed 3,048,897 8/ 1962 Slade ..52/107 near a foundation n The metal strip has a horizom 1,8l7,494 8/1931 McMann 160/88 tal portion formed with an elongated slot receiving 739,592 9/ i903 Elmendorf ..160/88 and firmly supporting the adjoining sheet edge which 3,274,739 9/ 1966 Gregoire ..52/287 is tightly clamped in the Slot. An upstanding portion of 3,262,487 7/1966 Gustafson et a1 ..52/107 the rigidifying Strip enhances the vertical rigidity of 3,048,900 8/1962 Slade ...52/ 107 the window well cover andlforms a base for Supporting an h tf t i l 2,793,688 5/1957 Robey v .....52/107 which Serves as a storm window for that portion of 8 3,128,508 4/ 1964 Bumham ..52/107 basement window projecting above the window n 1,112,590 10/1914 Backstrom ..160/381 3,294,353 12/1966 Rowe ..52/716 2 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures a fi a 1 1, 6 h p/0'10 1' 0 a',o /Z
WINDOW WELL COVER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention generally relates to light transmitting covers for basement window wells and the like. Particularly, this invention relates to a Window well cover having a rigid strip for reinforcing a plastic cover sheet which serves as a storm window for that portion of a' basement window projecting above the window well.
While the present invention will be specifically described in conjunction with window well casings of the semi-cylindrical metal type attached at opposite edges to a building foundation and spanning the window well opening of the foundation, it should be understood that the principles of this invention are generally applicable to window wells of any construction or shape, and, therefore the covers of this invention are not limited for use with the specifically described and illustrated type of window wells.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART Examples of prior art window well covers are contained in my U. S. Pat. Nos. 3,048,897 and 3,048,900, both issued on Aug. 14, 1962.
Covers for basement Window wells must'have sufficient rigidity and strength to support expected loads from snow, small children and the like, while at the same time being sufficiently translucent, and preferably transparent, to transmit light to a basement window. For the winter months, the window well cover should function as a storm Window for the basement window. Since some basement windows include a portion which projects above the open top of the window well, it is preferable to provide a window well cover having a universal configuration capable of being adapted to include a light transmitting sheet or slab selectively sized and configured to cover the exposed or upwardly projecting portion of the window.
It will also be appreciated that rough handling and building irregularities will result in a variation in the contour and shape of window well casings so that the window wells will not be identical in size and shape and may vary considerably at different window openings of the same foundation. For that reason, the window well cover should be capable of being universally fitted to conventional window wells Without requiring special installation tools.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A window well cover constructed in accordance with the present invention includes a sheet or slab of lighttransmitting plastic material, such as for example, clear polyethylene or polypropylene plastic, and a reinforcing metal strip extending parallel to and disposed near a foundation wall for firmly supporting and reinforcing the plastic material. One or more metal clips are attached to the plastic sheet adjacent its peripheral edge at positions to engage a top wall of the window well for cooperating with the reinforcing strip to hold the cover in position.
In order to firmly support and reinforce the plastic sheet along its entire width, the reinforcing strip has a horizontal portion formed with an elongated slot selectively sized to closely receive the adjoining edge portions of the sheet. The strip is united with the plastic sheet by deforming portions thereof in a manner to close the slot onto the adjoining edge of the sheet.
Another important feature of the present invention is the provision of a base portion on the reinforcing strip for supporting an upstanding plastic sheet, which serves as a storm window for that portion of a basement window projecting above the window well. The strip therefore includes an upstanding portion extending along its entire length and disposed near the foundation wall containing the window opening Appropriate fastening means, such as nut and bolt assemblies, secure the upstanding plastic sheet to the base. Thus, the window well cover has a generally L-shaped configuration with the horizontal, light-transmitting sheet closing the open top of the window well casing and with the upstanding sheet covering that portion of the basement window which projects above the open top of the window well. The entire Window opening is closed by the window well cover, and an insulating air mass is entrapped between the basement window and the window well cover, thereby inhibiting the loss of heat through the basement window.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an inexpensive window well cover that may be universally adapted to form a storm window for basement windows which terminate below the window well casing or for windows having a portion that projects above the top of the casing.
Another object of this invention is to provide a window well cover having a reinforcing metal strip firmly supporting and rigidifying a light-transmitting sheet along its entire width.
Another object of this invention is to provide a reinforcing strip for a plastic sheet-form window well cover, wherein the reinforcing strip has an elongated slot receiving and clampingly engaging a light-transmitting sheet sized to cover the Window well.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a reinforcing strip for window well covers, wherein the strip includes a first portion configured to receive and firmly support a plastic sheet along its entire width and having another portion for enhancing the rigidity of the strip and for providing a base to support an upstanding plastic sheet which serves as a storm window for that portion of a basement Window projecting above the window well. Another object of this invention is to provide a universal window well cover which may be easily adapted to fit window wells of various sizes, shapes and configurations.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects, features and advantages of this invention will be readily apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment thereof, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, although variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the novel concepts of the disclosure, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a window well equipped with a cover constructed in accordance with this invention and illustrates in a horizontal cross section a foundation to which the window well is attached;
FIG. 2 is a vertical cross sectional view taken substantially along line lI-II of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a front elevational view, partially in section, of a window well casing equipped with a window well cover of the present invention; and
FIG. 4 is an isometric,,fragmentary view illustrating a universal, reinforcing strip for window well covers con structed in accordance with this invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A IREFERRED Y EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawing, a basement foundation of a building has a windowopening 11 therethrough with a conventional basement window frame 12 secured in the opening. A metal window well casing 13 in the form of a semi-cylindrical open end drum is mounted on the foundation 10 to span the window opening 11. The casing 13 extends below the bottom of is secured to the is secured to the foundation at its edges by means of appropriate brackets 14. The upper edge of the casing 13 has an out-turned, rounded bead 15 formed therearound. An open bottom of the casing 13 extends below the bottom of the window opening 11 and is'partially covered with dirt or gravel 16 to a level below the sill 17 of the window frame 12.
As illustrated in the drawing, the open top of the casing 13 is above ground level, indicated at 18, and terminates below the top of the window opening 11. Thus, the casing 13 is partially exposed above the ground level 18, and the basement window opening 11 has an upper portion projecting above the top of the window well casing. It will be noted that some window wells are constructed with the top of the casing 13 projecting above the window well opening 11.
To rigidify the casing 13, beads as at 19, may be embossed around the casing. While the window casings 13 initially have identical semi-cylindrical configurations, rough handling and building irregularities may vary the contour and shape of the casing so that actually installed casings may vary considerably in size and shape at different window openings in the same foundation.
It is contemplated by this invention to provide a window well cover, generally indicated at 20, sized and configured to close the open top of the casing 13 for preventing the accumulation of leaves and other debris in a window well fonned by the casingand to completely enclose or cover the window opening 11 in a manner to form a storm window during the winter months.
The window well cover 20 includes a covering sheet 21 cut or molded in the shape of a half disc of a large enough diameter to overlie the head 15 of the casing 13, thereby closing the open top of the casing. The covering sheet 21 is preferably composed of a relatively rigid sheet or slab of light-transmitting, preferably transparent, plastic, such as polyethylene I or polypropylene. The plastic covering sheet 21 should be rigid enough to support small children, snow and other expected loads. Also, if desired, the plastic material forming the sheet or slab 21 may be tinted to filter sunlight.
In accordance with this invention, the plastic covering sheet 21 is reinforced along it diametral edge by a reinforcing strip 22 disposed near the foundation wall 10 and having its opposite end portions overlapping and seated on the casing bead 15 near the end edges of the casing 13. The reinforcing strip 22 includes an extruded or otherwise formed strip or rail member having a generally L-shaped configuration in transverse cross section. An upstanding or vertical leg 23 of the reinforcing strip is disposed substantially parallel to the foundation wall 10 and enhances the vertical rigidity of the reinforcing strip and thus the covering sheet 21. A horizontal leg 24 of the strip 22 underlies the adjoining, diametral edge 26 of the sheet 21 to support the sheet across its entire width. I j
A flange 27 projecting from the vertical leg 23 and disposed parallel to, and spaced from the horizontal leg 24, cooperates with the horizontal leg to form a slot 28. The slot 28 is sized to closely receive the adjoining, diametral edge 26 of the covering sheet 21.
In order to firmly join or unite the covering sheet 21 with the reinforcing strip 22, the flange 27 is punched at longitudinally spaced positions, as at 29, along its length in a manner to deform the flange, at the punched positions, into clamping engagement with the adjoining edge 26 of the sheet 21. The flange 27 has a lesser thickness than that of the horizontal leg 24 of the strip 22 so that the punching operation only deforms or dimples the flange and does not effect the configuration of the horizontal leg. Also, the flange 27 is of such a thickness that it may be deformed or dimpled into clamping engagement with the sheet 21 without materially injuring or fracturing the sheet.
The window well cover 20 including the covering sheet 21 and the reinforcing strip 22 provides a rigidified cover for the open top of the window well casing 13. For a basement window that does not project above the open top of the casing 13, the rearwardly projecting surface 31 of the reinforcing strip 22 is abutted against the foundation wall 10, and one or more clips as at 32 are selectively positioned around a peripheral edge of the sheet 21 to engage the inner wall 33 of the casing 13 to hold the window well cover in position. The clips 32 are secured to an underneath side of the covering sheet 21 by suitable fasteners 34, such as rivets or nut and bolt assemblies. The installation of the clips 32 may be performed at the job site so that variations in the size and contour of the casings may be taken into consideration.
Also, in accordance with the present invention, the upstanding or vertical leg 23 of the reinforcing strip 22 forms a base for supporting a vertical sheet 36 of lighttransmitting, preferably transparent, plastic, The vertical or upstanding sheet 36 is cut or molded to a size for covering that portion of a basement window which projects above the open top of the casing 13. If desired, the plastic sheets 36 may be cut to a standard width for extending beyond the basement window opening 11 and overlapping the foundation 10 at the side edges of the window opening. The sheet 36 may then be cut to an appropriate height at the installation site, that height being selected so that an upper edge 37 of the sheet projects beyond a top of the window opening and overlaps the foundation 10 along the upper edge of the window opening.
The vertical sheet 36 is attached to the base formed by the vertical leg 23 by appropriate fasteners, such as nut and bolt assemblies, as at 38, which pass through aligned apertures drilled in the base and the lower portion of the plastic sheet 36. If desired, the drilling operation may be performed at the installation site to take into consideration variations in the size and shape of the window opening 11 and the casings 13. To assure that the upstanding plastic sheet 36 abuts the foundation wall at the periphery of the window opening 11 the sheet is attached to the rearwardly facing wall 31 of the reinforcing strip 22.
The window well cover 20, including the vertical or upstanding sheet 36, provides a generally L-shaped cover for both closing the open top of the casing 13 and for covering the'exposed portion of the window ll that projects above the top of the casing. In that manner, the window well cover prevents the accumulation of debris in the window. well and provides an efficient storm window covering that portion of a window projecting above the window well.
From the above description it should be noted that the present invention provides a universal, inexpensive window well cover that may be conveniently adapted to fit various configurations of windows and window wells and may be easily installed by the home owner.
Although those versed in the art might suggest various minor modifications, it should be understood that I wish to embody within the patent warranted hereon all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of my contribution to the art.
I CLAIM AS MY INVENTION:
1. A cover for a window well of the type formed by a building foundation wall and a casing secured at its ends to the foundation wall and extending therefrom to provide an open top well which comprises a horizontally disposed rigid sheet of light-transmitting material selectively sized to cover an open top of a window well casing and to seat on the top edge of the casing, said sheet having an edge disposed near and extending substantially parallel to the foundation wall, an L-shaped metal reinforcing strip having a vertically disposed leg extending upwardly from said edge of said rigid sheet and a slotted horizontal leg extending forwardly from said vertical leg receiving said edge of the sheet in the slot thereof, said slotted horizontal leg of said strip having a rigid portion underlying said sheet and a deformable portion overlying said sheet with a plurality of punched portions pressed into the sheet to lock the strip to the sheet, and said strip spanning said sheet at said edge and having end portions of said horizontal leg seated on the top edge of said casing whereby said sheet is supported against deformation under load by said strip and said top edge of the casing. I
2. A cover for a window well of the type formed by a foundation wall having a window opening formed therein and a casing secured at its ends to the foundation wall and extending therefrom to provide an open top well for the window opening which comprises a horizontally disposed rigid sheet of light-transmitting material selectively sized to cover an open top of a window well casing and to seat on a top edge of the casing with a rear edge spanning the open top of the window well casing adjacent the foundation wall, means depending from said sheet engaging the inner wall of the window well casing to hold said rear edge closely adjacent the foundation wall, an L-shaped metal strip having a slotted horizontal leg receiving said edge of the sheet in the slot thereof and a vertical leg extending upwardly from said rear edge of the sheet, means clamping said sheet in said slot to secure the sheet to the horizontal leg of said strip with the bottom of the leg underlying the sheet and the top of the leg overlying the sheet forming a rigid support for the sheet, an upstanding sheet of light-transmitting material sized to cover and close that portion of a window opening formed in the foundation wall which projects above the top of the window well casing, said upstanding sheet having a base portion overlapping said vertical leg of said strip, means fastening said overlapping base portion of said sheet to said vertical leg of said strip, and said strip spanning the entire length of said rear edge of the horizontal rigid sheet with end portions of the bottom of said horizontal leg thereof resting on the top edge of said window well casing whereby both said horizontal and upstanding sheets are held against deformation under loads by said strip.