What are the requirements of a legal bedroom? When thinking of selling or buying a house you might wonder if a house can be marketed as a 2, 3, or 4 bedroom house. Let’s talk about what make a bedroom a bedroom. I know I for one did not know exactly what the requirements where until I look up the legal requirements.
When marketing a home, it makes sense to get your bedroom count correct. The last thing you want is an angry home buyer suing you somewhere down the road for bedroom count misrepresentation!
There are 4 main things that are required in order for a room to be able to be considered a bedroom.
1.) Ceiling Height: A bedroom ceiling needs to be at least 7 ft tall. It okay if the entire ceiling height is not 7 feet high as long as at least 50% of the ceiling is 7 feet high. Most homes now a days are at least 8 feet high so this is not a big problem unless you are looking at an older built home.
2.) Egress: A bedroom must have one other method of egress beyond the entrance point. A door to the exterior works as an exit point, and so does a window. According to the International Residential Code, a bedroom window can be between 24 and 44 inches from the floor, it needs at least 5.7 square feet for the opening, and it must measure no less than 24 inches high and 20 inches wide. But local codes may be different so you will want to check to make sure your windows meet code requirements.
3.) Size: The room should be at least 70 sq ft, and more specifically the room cannot be smaller than 7 feet in any horizontal direction. 7 feet wide, 7 feet long, and 7 feet high (at least 50% of room).
4.) Temperature Control: Any room to be considered living space it is supposed to have a source of heat. This includes bedrooms. Air conditioning is not a requirement but will more than likely be a deterrent to future buyers if there is no air conditioning in a room.
IS A CLOSET A REQUIREMENT? When buyers and sellers ask me what can be considered a bedroom, closets are one of the first things that they are thinking about. Closets are not a requirement for a room to be considered a bedroom. Most buyers today are going to expect a bedroom to include a closet, but the law is not as specific. With older homes, a closet may not be included in a bedroom.