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Crawl Space Access – Window Wells

Window Wells and Crawl Space Access breakdown.

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Crawl spaces aren’t exactly cozy hangout spots for humans. They typically serve as dim, cramped nooks with nothing but dirt beneath your feet. And if you’re unlucky, you might find unwanted inhabitants in there—creepy crawlies, pests, or critters. The good news is there’s a fantastic solution: encapsulation can transform your crawl space into a pristine, dry storage area, completely free of those icky creatures.

If you’re concerned about keeping unwanted guests away, or just want a better look for your home, encapsulation might seem like an investment. However, it’s crucial for every homeowner to prioritize preventing infestations. Critters in your crawl space can bring waste and the risk of disease, impacting your home’s air quality. They also damage insulation, cause erosion around your foundation, and can even infiltrate your ductwork, creating a direct path into your living space.

Enter Higher Hands Handyman, a trusted company with over two decades of experience in home repairs and upgrades. Our experience has shown that a secure entry door can often deter animals from residing beneath your home. We offer two distinct door options, and we’ll explore the details of each to help you choose the one that suits your needs best.


The Pros of Opting for a Steel Access Window Well

So, what’s the alternative? Enter steel panels, the robust and reliable choice for fortifying your crawl space entry:

Steel Access Window Well

Durability and Soundness: Steel doors are far more durable and sturdier compared to their wooden counterparts.

· Insulation: The steel doors we install at Higher Hands Handyman come equipped with interior insulation, effectively blocking out drafts and maintaining a controlled environment within your crawl space.

· Secure Attachment: These doors can be securely fastened to your foundation and even padlocked closed, ensuring that unwanted intruders stay out.

· Pest-Proof: Steel doors are not on the menu for any pests. They are impervious to gnawing, chewing, or being pulled loose.

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The Cons of a Steel Door

While steel doors offer many advantages, there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind:

· Rusting: Over time, steel doors may rust, which can make them difficult to open or close. As metal rusts, it expands, potentially causing a poor fit or even creating holes in the door, rendering it ineffective as a barrier.

· Accessibility: If your crawl space entrance is positioned below ground level, you’ll also need to invest in a window well for proper access.

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Cost Breakdown

Opting for an insulated steel door will set you back approximately $525. If a window well is also required, anticipate an additional investment of $700-725. At Higher Hands Handyman, we exclusively install galvanized metal window wells, and the prices we provide include both labor and materials.

OPTION 2: Custom Molded Access Window Well or “CMAW”

The product is a molded vinyl entryway that can be used to cover and lock a crawl space entrance. This is a product that is simply THE BEST, and it’s made in America.

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CMAW

The Pros of a CMAW

· Because the CMAW is made entirely of vinyl, it will not rust like steel or decay like wood.

· Being impervious to the outside elements makes it a long-term and eco-friendly solution.

· The lid can be padlocked for security.

· It seals tightly against the foundation, to keep out pests, water, and drafts.

· By preventing drafts, it can reduce your utility bills.

· It comes in three colors, to complement or fit in with existing home design.

· The height can be easily adjusted by adding 6” extension rings, so an entrance below grade is not an issue.

The Cons of a CMAW

The CMAW doesn’t really have drawbacks. We highly recommend it. CMAWs are particularly useful for homeowners who are considering encapsulation, either now or down the road. A CMAW seals the exit of a crawl space in a way that maintains the integrity of the encapsulation, while still allowing you easy access. Frankly, the only drawback to this entry cover is its initial cost: a CMAW with installation costs approximately $2700.

WHICH IS BETTER: A STEEL DOOR OR CMAW?

If money is not a deciding factor, then a CMAW is the best option. It will last longer, keep out both pests and water, and protect against drafts. But if you don’t have $2700 to invest into a CMAW right now, then a good steel door with insulation is a smart choice. Either of them is far superior to a wooden cover (or a deteriorated steel door) and provide better security for your home.

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