Snuggle-Up! and Blog

head_left_image

What's a Bedroom to You???

What defines a bedroom? Is it a room with a closet? A room with a window? A room with both? Or is it a room with two points of egress?

I've been taught that it's a room with two points of egress. That the room does not need a closet to be a bedroom. Many people have "wardrobes," you know, free standing pieces of furniture, some call them armories, that can be brought in.

So, what's a bedroom to you? Tell me what defination your board uses. I think there's a lot of controversy on this topic.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marianne Snygg, GRI, ABR, ASP
Broker Associate
ERA Herman Group Real Estate

ERA Logo 

Colorado Springs and Monument Real Estate

Comment balloon 30 commentsMarianne Snygg • December 26 2008 12:57PM

Comments

2 entry/exit points

A door

A closet...I guess an ATTACHED wardrobe may be used

We note in comment section if there is a non-conforming bedroom

Posted by Chuck Capan, REALTOR Licensed In IL. - Moline Homes Quad Citie (REMAX River Cities) over 10 years ago

In our market it has to have a closet. The counties use this to determine size of septic systems

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) over 10 years ago

Dear Marianne,

I am with you on the two forms of egress, as the primary qualifyer. If you can't get out of the room in case of fire, it shouldn't be called a bedroom.

I sell a lot of historic homes. Some would have to be listed as 0 bedrooms, if we required a built-in closet. I understand that our MLS had some discussions about this. To the best of my knowlege, it is not a requirement here.

Posted by Barbara Delaney (Park Place REALTORS, Inc.) over 10 years ago

In my market it has to have a closet...either inside the room or directly outside the door in a hallway.   If no closet; it's considered a bonus room.

Posted by Linda Pitts (Sue Wilkinson Real Estate, LLC) over 10 years ago

And don't forget that the bedroom needs to have heating of some sort, a vent or a baseboard, or radiator etc.

Posted by Maggie Baumbach (Search Homes for Sale in Maryland at HelpShop.com) over 10 years ago

Marianne, I think this is going to vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and depending on any codes in place at the time of construction.  In modern construction to qualify as a bedroom there are many other things that would be required that might not initially be considered, such as:  Lighting, ventilation, sq footage, ceiling height, means of egress, built in closet, smoke alarm/detectors, AFCI protected outlets, heat source and other things.  I find that the MLS listing often calls things bedrooms that I would not in good conscience be able to call a bedroom.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

My understanding is that to qualify as a bedroom the space must have a closet, a window and a door separating the space from the rest of the home.

Posted by AJ Garlichs, Long and Foster Northern VA (Long and Foster) over 10 years ago

Marianne, I'm sure the definitions vary from one local to another, but generally, for a room to be qualified as a bedroom it must have a closet and must have both a door and at least one window with at least 5.7 square feet of net clear opening width. The window must also not be more than 44" above the floor. Of course you'll have the other requirements such as heating and electrical service including on overhead light and receptacles, but these too, can vary by jurisdiction.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 10 years ago

Most of the homes in Del Ray and old town Alexandria do not have always have closets. If they do have a closet.But the room it is in would, even; without the doors if there is a window. Truly it comes down to common sense. 

Posted by Carol Lynne Bull (Keller Williams) over 10 years ago

I consider a bedroom to have a closet, a window and a door usually, but in some older homes you may find a bedroom without a closet since they used to use wardrobes.

Posted by Thomas Tolbert (Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Legacy ) over 10 years ago

Chuck: Interesting. So, you board requires 3 items to qualify?

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Charlie: Why does a closet made a difference to a septic system? Wouldn't just the bedroom qualify?

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Barbara: That's exactly our definition. Thanks for your comment.

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Linda: Wow. I thought this topic would find a lot of differences thoughout AR. Thanks.

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Maggie: That's a new one to me...I think I'll check with our board and get back to you on that one. I'll bet you're right though.

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Charles: Really???

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

AJ: That's interesting as an earlier VA Realtor left a comment that the closet wasn't necessary.

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

John: I've heard about the size of the window being an issue. But, some of the homes in our area have windows that are smaller and still get qualified as a bedroom...I think they are "grandfather'd in." But, technically won't pass code.

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Carol: There is a lot of controversy on the issue, but, our Assn is clear about the two points of egress. However, for new construction, there are many, many more regulations, as noted by others on this post. Perhaps that's is what causes the confusion. Thanks for leaving a comment!

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Thomas: There's a house in Manitou Springs where to get to the second bedroom, you have to walk thru the Master bedroom. The Master bedroom has an attached bathroom, and a no door, as the spiral staircase takes you directly into the bedroom. The second bedroom is not connected to a bath, but it does have a door. Are they both bedrooms? Or only one bedroom?

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

I believe Pikes Peak Regional says a bedroom must have a closet in order to be a bedroom.

Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE) over 10 years ago

Patricia: Gary Eisenbraum does classes at Prudential, mostly on appraisals. He's also been the President of the local appraisers organization. He defines a bedroom as having two points of egress. One to the outside and one to the inside. He says it doesn't have to have a closet. However, I'll bet there are other requirements that I haven't outlined here...like heat, and perhaps window size, although he has said that some windows have been "grandfathered-in" I think another issue is that you can't walk thru one bedroom to get to the other bedroom. We'll have to double check with him next time he does a class.

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Bedrooms are defined by the city not by the agent. In most cities arund here you have to have a door and a window. Some require closets, but not all. San Francisco is an example of a city that does not require a closet.

Marcy

Posted by Marcy Moyer, Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist (eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales) over 10 years ago

Marcy: Thanks for the info. Long ago, homes didn't have closets. People just didn't have enough clothes to need one and a simple 4' wide wardrobe would do. I know SF has many old homes that don't have closets.

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Every area has different standards. I personally consider a bedroom to have a closet. The one I looked at the other day in the basement looked like a closet, but it opened up to the furnace and water heater-ugh!

Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) over 10 years ago

I know when i'm working with the section 8 renters, the county defines a bedroom as having a closet, a door and a window large enough (and low enough) to allow exit.

Posted by Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls. (Century 21 New Millennium) over 10 years ago

Marianne - I believe it is defined by your local jurisdiction, usually the county. I most places that I have lived a bedroom has to have a closet, an armoire doesn't make a room a bedroom. There also may be minimum sq. footage requirements, as well as ingress/egress. The requirements are not common from state to state or even county to county. Some cities may even have requirements that are more stringent than the county. Many counties use the number of bedrooms to help assess sewer connection charges.

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) over 10 years ago

Kristi: How funny! Basement can be quite peculiar.

Stacey-Ann: How interesting. Do you have any old, really old homes in your area? Do they have closets in the bedrooms? If they don't, does the county then have trouble with Section 8 folks?

Mike: I have found, through this post, that it does vary from place to place, and even from Realtor to Realtor. Perhaps our buyers determine what a bedroom is. If it works for them, then it's a bedroom! LOL

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 10 years ago

We are located in Georgia. If we have a room in our finished basement that has a door, a window and a closet, but doesn't have a bathroom in the basement. Can we consider this a bedroom?

Posted by Debra about 10 years ago

Debra: I've found that definitions of bedrooms can vary, depending on your state and even local ordinances. In Colorado, all you need are two points of egress, or exits. A closet doesn't define a bedroom, because some homes are old enough to not have closets, where instead a Wardrobe was typically used. So, a bathroom on the same level, in Colorado, is not necessary to define a bedroom.

However, you should check with a local appraiser, as they would best be able to tell you if your bedroom, in your community, qualifies.

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) about 10 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments