What Makes A Bedroom A Bedroom?

What Makes a Bedroom a Bedroom?

October 15, 2015
In the Bedroom

Having another bedroom would really be great, but where would you put it? It could be that guest room you’ve always wanted; it can give the older kid who hates sharing a room his/her own space; and, perhaps really important, it will increase the value of your home for re-sale. Maybe you just need a quiet space to escape snoring or find peace when your significant other gets sick or catches a cold. Whatever you decide to use it for you first have to build it.

Finding a Location for the Extra Bedroom

Get a little creative with this as you look at your home.

  • Do you have an older home with a large attic?
  • Do you have a large rec room in the basement that could be divided?
  • Do you have a sun-porch that no one uses?
  • Do you have a really large bedroom that could be made into two?
  • Do you have a deck that is the entire length of the house and you could easily make do with one half that size?
  • You can rob space from multiple areas like a living room, closet, and bigger bedroom

Obviously, your budget and where the new living space will come from will determine what you can really do, but there are other considerations as well. You have to know what you can really call a bedroom and what you cannot. For example, you can just divide up a basement and say that you now have 2 or 3 more bedrooms. However there are code requirements wherever you may live, and while you may get away with extra sleeping space this way, you will not get away with calling any of those rooms bedrooms when you get ready to sell your home and safety should be of real concern.

Know the Requirements

There are requirements for everything, nowadays. Make sure that you know the code requirements, and the realtor requirements of your house before you start to create your new bedroom. Breaking these rules can turn your idea of a new bedroom into something worse. Make sure you read through this carefully and have all the necessary requirements before you start creating that new bedroom space.

Code RequirementsWhat Makes A Bedroom A Bedroom?

Every city or town is a bit different so without a doubt, contact your local government for what you and cannot do. In general, though, here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

  1. Anything you call a bedroom must have at least one window. If it does not have a window, then it must have a door that goes directly to the outside. So, if you have a basement space that has a door to the outside, you can actually consider that space for a bedroom.
  2. The room must have an interior door that closes and opens up into another part of the home. If you are turning an attic into a bedroom you will be fine if there is an interior door going up to that attic. However, that attic must have a window and a means of escape in case of fire. A permanently installed ladder would count.
  3. Even though your current bedrooms may not all have smoke detectors, new code requirements almost universally require a smoke detector in the bedroom and another one on the ceiling right outside that bedroom.
  4. You will need a GFI switch on an outlet that is wired into all of the electricity in that room.

Realtor Requirements

While realtors often want to “stage” as many rooms as bedrooms as possible, there is one requirement that most agents will have, and that is for a closet. No one looking at your home will consider a room a bedroom without one, and here is what you need to do:

  1. The closet should be of a decent size. Really old homes have tiny closets in bedrooms, but for a new bedroom, put in a good-sized one.
  2. That closet must have a door. Simply “carving” out a space and putting a curtain over the opening will really not constitute a closet to a potential buyer.

It’s great to have another bedroom – just do it right so you don’t end up re-fixing it later on.