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Landlords: Your Basement Dwelling Units Need Window Wells

window wells in basement dwelling

As a landlord, ensuring the safety and compliance of your rental properties is incredibly important. If you own or manage basement dwelling units, one crucial aspect you shouldn’t overlook is the installation of window wells. Not only are window wells often a legal requirement, but they also play a significant role in the safety and habitability of basement living spaces. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of window wells for basement dwelling units, particularly in Ontario and its laws, and discuss the process of installing them.

The Legal Requirements: Window Wells in Basement Dwelling Units

In many Canadian provinces, including Ontario, there are specific legal requirements regarding window wells for basement dwelling units. These requirements are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of tenants. In Ontario, some key regulations include:

  • Emergency Egress: One of the primary purposes of window wells is to provide a safe emergency exit in case of fire or other emergencies. Ontario’s building code states that basement dwelling units must have at least one window that meets specific size and accessibility requirements for safe egress.
  • Light and Ventilation: Window wells also serve to provide natural light and ventilation to basement units. They help create a more habitable and comfortable living space for tenants. The building code outlines requirements for the minimum window size to meet these requirements.
  • Preventing Water Intrusion: Properly installed window wells should also help prevent water infiltration, keeping the basement unit dry and free from moisture issues.

In order to begin the work of installing a window well, you’ll need permits and an inspection done. At Supreme, we help you get the permits you need and facilitate any correspondence with the city to ensure all the steps are required that they need.

The Process of Installing Window Wells

Installing window wells for basement dwelling units is a task that requires careful planning and adherence to building codes and regulations. Here’s a brief overview of the installation process:

  • Assessment: Begin by assessing the existing basement windows and determining where the window wells will be installed.
  • Choosing Window Wells: Select appropriate window wells that meet the size, material, and design requirements specified by the building code. The type of well you choose may depend on factors like the depth of the window, the conditions of the surrounding area of the window well, and the style you would like. We use Boman Kemp when we install window wells. We believe they are the best solution for window wells.
  • Excavation: The next step involves excavating the area around the basement window to create space for the window well. In the past we’ve partnered with Lombardo Trucking & Excavation to get the job done right.
  • Installation: The holes for the windows need to be cut and the windows properly installed. His step requires an exactness that can’t be overlooked. Measure twice cut once! We always install a window well cover to protect the well from debris and to enhance safety. Covers should be easily removable for emergency egress.

Inspection: Finally, it’s crucial to have the installation inspected to ensure compliance with local building codes and regulations.


For landlords in Ontario, providing safe and compliant living spaces for basement dwelling units is not just a legal requirement; it’s a responsibility. Window wells play a vital role in meeting these obligations by ensuring emergency escape. To ensure compliance and tenant safety, we advise working with professionals like Supreme Basement Solutions who are experienced. By doing so, you can maintain peace of mind, knowing that your rental properties meet all necessary legal requirements and offer safe, habitable spaces for your tenants.