What is the legal definition of a bedroom ?

Asked by Menudo Bongo, 94085 Sun Jul 14, 2013

Does a loft (with open area looking into dining/living area in lower floor) - be called bedroom ? I saw this townhome, and the "bedroom" looked like that. In fact, the most walls of that "bedroom" do not intersect at 90 degrees ? I feel somebody is stretching the definition of a bedroom here - so would like clarifications.

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Menudo Bongo, Home Buyer, 94085
Mon Jul 15, 2013
The townhome in question - with this "bedroom" - is being listed as a 3 br - I think it is fraudulent, it should actually qualify as a 2 Br townhome only.

Infact, it does not have a window - but a Vent Window (you would need a ladder to exit). does not have 4 walls (the rear is more like a ledge). It does have a large walk in closet and attached bath.

Wouldn't County records reflect the actual house configuration correctly - or can one modify the county records without getting house inspected ?

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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Mon Jul 15, 2013
The basic term for a bedroom is a room with 4 walls, a door that you do not have to go through another bedroom to get to, has at least 1 full window, has a closet with door and is heated. A town or city may have a different designation for a bedroom depending what their zoning says or if it is a septic system the system has to be big enough to handle the new designated bedroom. A loft is not a bedroom
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Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Jul 15, 2013
As pointed out below, you need to check with your local building department to find out what is code for your area. In San Francisco we have a lot of lofts and the open walled area that is usually above are almost always called bedrooms.
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allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Mon Jul 15, 2013
Would have to be to code of the area. In my area it would be an egress window & egress exit(2 total) as well as a closet.
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Nina Harris, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Mon Jul 15, 2013
In order for a room to be classified as a bedroom in New York it should be the minimum of a specific dimension (I think 7 x 10), have a closet and a window.
Some townhouses have a loft which is sometimes used as a bedroom, office, play area, etc. but it is called a loft for a reason.
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Jul 15, 2013
I have found this to vary from one location to another so checking with the local code enforcement office would be advisable. But generally the following are important:

1. room with a closet

2. a door on the room

3. a window as a secondary avenue of egress

4. it only entrance cannot be via another bedroom

If an area is referred to as a "loft" there likely a reason it isn't termed as a bedroom.

Hope this is helpful.

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June Jardin, Agent, San Ramon, CA
Mon Jul 15, 2013
A bedroom is a room with a closet. Did this room have a closet? That sounds like a loft and a bedroom again is a room with a closet. Hope this helps.
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Larry Galleg…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Jul 15, 2013
I helped an past client buy a townhome last year and the master bedroom was as you described.

I have also seen bedrooms with no closets, sometimes there is a space for closet doors to be put in or someone would put a portable closet in the room.

There have been warehouses made into homes with not your (typical bedrooms).

I think a city official told me one time that a bedroom officially needs a certain size bedroom window for escape purposes but I am sure each city has their own description.

I think what it really comes down to is do you see it as a usable bedroom?

I did see a bedroom being used in a garage with a water heater in the same room so I advised my client not to use this as a bedroom for safety sake unless he renovated the garage with permits to make sure it was safe to be used as a bedroom.

I hope this helps.
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Menudo Bongo, Home Buyer, 94085
Sun Jul 14, 2013
In fact, one side it is somewhat triangular room, and one of the side is not a wall, but a ledge from which you can look into the dining/living area ?
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