Bedrooms are one of the most important selling features in a home, so it is important as a home seller or home buyer that you understand what you can call a bedroom and what you can’t.
According to a recent article by Cathie Ericson published on August 15, 2020 on Realtor.com titled: “What is a Bedroom? Make Sure You Know the Legal Requirements”, Cathie states that although laws vary state by state, there are Six features related to size and egress that define a bedroom.
- Minimum square footage: Even though sized can vary state to state, 70 to 80 square feet is typically the accepted minimum.
- Minimum horizontal footage: As its not only square footage that matters, a bedroom must also measure at least 7 feet in any horizontal direction. You have to be able to fit a bed.
- Two means of egress: Typically this would be a door and a window. You need to be able to get out in case of a fire or some other type of emergency.
- Minimum ceiling height: At least half of the bedroom ceiling must measure at least 7 feet high.
- Minimum window size: Window opening must measure at least 5.7 square feet. In an emergency, such as a fire you would need to be able to escape through the window, in case you were not able to use the door.
- A heating and cooling element: A bedroom would need some type of heating element, whether it be forced hot air, hot water radiator, electric radiator, radiant floor heating system, to name a few. A portable space heater would not qualify. It also needs a way to cool it down, whether by AC or opening a window.
So there you have it. Oh wait? Did I miss something? Oh, right a closet. Guess what? Contrary to what is believed, a bedroom does not have to have a closet to be considered a legal bedroom in most states. Many older homes, such as older Victorians do not have closets in bedrooms, as they were not originally built that way. That being said, most newer homes are expected to have closets in bedrooms, and having them is definitely a big selling feature.