Home Selling in 55707>Question Details

Smppro, Home Seller in 55707

Legal bedroom definition

Asked by Smppro, 55707 Wed Aug 12, 2009

I was just curious to know what the legal description of a bedroom is. The room in question does not have a window, but has one door leading to/from a hallway and another door with full glass insert exiting the building, as well as a very large walkin closet. Any help would be greetly appreciated.

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Room has to have a certain ceiling height (I think it's 6'6"), a closet and most importantly an egress window or exit that is large enough and accessible enough for a fire fighter to get in to rescue someone. Makes sense, doesn't it? So, in the room you describe, if the "door with full glass insert exiting the building" would most likely meet the requirement of the egress opening to allow entrance.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
The room has to bee a certain amount of square footage and have a legal egress. The closet thing is a big misconception as a portable can be put in the room.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 6, 2014
Thanks for bringing up the closet. It does not need one and thank you again Chris!
Flag Mon Nov 3, 2014
To be legal bedroom anywhere it must have egress, which means it has to have an escape. This means a window to the outside. The height and size are variable by jurisdiction. A closet is not a requirement as a wardrobe can be added. Real estate sales people like to say it must have a closet but most are not versed in law or building codes. There is usually a minimun size also.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 6, 2014
Hi, I have always thought about it in Spanish.

A bedroom in Spanish is Cuarto (4th). So a bedroom to be "legal" needs:
1. - an "exit" window (as everyone mention)
2. - A door
3, - a closet
4. - a livable space (2x2 is not a livable space)

4 parts = Cuarto / bedroom.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
Cuarto is room, cuatro is 4 - there is a difference btw
Flag Mon Apr 14, 2014
RCI Chapter 3

R305.1 Minimum height.
Habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms, laundry rooms and portions of basements containing these spaces shall have a ceiling height of not less than 7 feet (2134 mm).


1. For rooms with sloped ceilings, at least 50 percent of the required floor area of the room must have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet (2134 mm) and no portion of the required floor area may have a ceiling height of less than 5 feet (1524 mm).
2. Bathrooms shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) at the center of the front clearance area for fixtures as shown in Figure R307.1. The ceiling height above fixtures shall be such that the fixture is capable of being used for its intended purpose. A shower or tub equipped with a showerhead shall have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) above a minimum area 30 inches (762 mm) by 30 inches (762 mm) at the showerhead.
R305.1.1 Basements.
Portions of basements that do not contain habitable space, hallways, bathrooms, toilet rooms and laundry rooms shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm).

Exception: Beams, girders, ducts or other obstructions may project to within 6 feet 4 inches (1931 mm) of the finished floor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 27, 2015
David Morris
St. Charles, Mo

Height must be 7 ft. over 50% of the room must have two exits. Min of 5.7 sq. ft. must be at least 70 sq. ft. and not smaller then 7 ft. in any direction. Does not require a window just two exits if there is a window min. opening 24 H and 20 w closets are optional. Hope this helps
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2015
I was showing property yesterday, and I am so annoyed. Half of all the homes I showed, were not accurately listed on the mls. This is such a waste of time; and makes us all look bad. "Dens", "laundry areas", and "dining rooms" are not bedrooms (sleeping quarters). MLS data integrity in my area is getting horrible and embarrassing.

A Bedroom Must:

1. Have a closet (except older homes).

2. Have a door .

3. Have a window, large enough for emergency exit.

4. Be large enough to hold a bed.

Please treat others as you would want to be treated yourself. Do not waste our time and gas posting condos as single family, over counting bedrooms, and other "creative marketing" to cause the property to appear as something different than it actually is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 7, 2014
A bedroom without any windows is not an ideal place to stay. I have experienced living in such kind of place and I feel like being suffocated. Aside from that, make sure to check if your room has exits just in case of calamities.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 6, 2014
Begin by checking with the local municipality. They generally have guidelines as to what constitutes a legal bedroom. Typically - it must have minimum amount of square footage, a closet, and egress window (if below grade level).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 6, 2014
Hi All,

I did exactlly what Patti suggested, as well as what just about every body else suggested. I did talk to Barnum and Carlton, and they thave nothing specific regarding legal bedroom definition, or if there needs to be a window, or size. As for the MLS, I was told that there generally has to be 2 entrances to the room, one which must be accessable in case of fire, such as a window, even if it is locked. Becasue the door insert is glass and can be broken for entrance, it falls into that catagory. I have checked this with 3 different appraisers about this, and they all said the identical thing.

Thanks for all the information - it led me in the right direction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 19, 2011
It is amazing how many wrong answers are offered here.

The definition of a legal bedroom varies from city ot city and a closet is generally not a part of the definition. However the fact that there is no window is a major concern. The building codes most likely specifies a window of at least a certain size for egress in the event of a fire.

Check with the city of Barnum and if they do not have a specific building code, then check with Carleton County. Or ask you agent to check for you.

Generally they are concerned about egress windows, floorspace, and ceiling height.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 18, 2011
NO! if any room does NOT have a window which CAN and MUST BE openable, then it CANNOT be considered a legal description of a bedroom in America!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 16, 2011
A bed room is any room you may decide to put a bed in. Most fire codes require the room to have a window large enough for a fire rescue (see your local code and ordinances). However, you can in most juridictions avoid that requirement if there is not a wall seperating the "area" (without a wall its not a room) from a part of the house with a window or door that meets the code. Most real estate agents will tell you its not a "legal bedroom" without a closet. That is not a legal issue but a MLS requirment (private entity). Lots of homes have no closets. Older homes used wardrobes and not closets. In some cases this was done to avoid paying taxes on square footage in closet. Closets actually had been taxed in some juridictions in the olden days as luxury item.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 27, 2010

In the end however there is no "legal definition" of what constitutes a bedroom.

The MLS governing body determines what they consider a bedroom and thusly what can be listed in the MLS as a bedroom.

The County determines what they will tax as a bedroom.

The folks who write the building codes define what the code says a bedroom is.

In the end because their is no actual statutory definition on the books there will always be debate on the subject. Ultimately the MLS usually has the greatest credence because they dictate what we are allowed to list in their database and therefore how we are allowed to market a given property.

Cameron Piper
#1 Trulia Agent in MN
Web Reference: http://www.campiper.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
The city that has jurisdiction regarding building permits will tell you.
Normally the rules are:
1. door
2. Window large enough for a fireman to enter. Usually 32" off the floor.
3. Closet
4. Dimensions 8 ' x 8' x 8'

I would go to the local dept. of building and safety and ask them for the permits of this property. The permits will tell you what is legal and approved. It is possible that modifications have been completed AFTER the permits were approved (I.E. unpermitted work)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
Buyers agent should be able to assist you.

Confer with tax county records most include bedroom and bath count

If a home has a closet it can in most circumstance be considered as a bedroom, not all rooms are used as a bedroom can be misleading when you preview a home.

National Featured Realtor and Consultant, Mortgage Loan Officer, Credit Repair Lecturer
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Lynn911
Web Reference: http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
I shouldn't have been so vague. If the room can be private enough to sleep in, it can be considered a bedroom. In many older homes closets are obsolete, so technically it does not need a closet if its older. In building codes, they will not consider it a bedroom if it doesn't have a closet though.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
Bedroom: Any room with a closet. (Typically)

Good Luck!
Web Reference: http://www.abemills.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
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