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A Bedroom Is Not Just A Space For A Bed


Following up on last night's blog "what is a bedroom?" this  topic was a discussion on today's radio show. 


all about real estate

What defines a bedroom?


It would be nice if the real estate community could decide exactly what makes a bedroom and stick to it.

Here are some of the pointers. Remember different regions have different rules so check your area and see if any of these apply.


-The room must have a minimum square footage, usually 70-80.

-The room must have a minimum ceiling height...usually 7'.

-The room needs at least a 7' x 7' space  with  7' high ceiling.  You cannot finish  a room with lower ceilings and call it a kid's bedroom. You cannot call a hallway a bedroom.

-The room needs to have a door and a window for an emergency escape. However there are plenty of homes that were built with small high windows, especially ranchers. I have not seen these home homes listed with zero bedrooms.

-The room must have a permanent heating source. A space heater  does not count.

-The room that is adjacent and opens to a garage is not acceptable.

-Smoke detectors are required and some areas have a code that requires hard wiring.

- Closets. What we have all been taught is that a bedroom must have one. Even though most do I did not find that code requirement.

 -The number of bedrooms has to match the septic system capacity.


How do you define a bedroom?

A bed does not a bedroom make!



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Comment balloon 7 commentsMargaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400 • September 18 2017 01:17AM


Hi Margaret

Yep that pretty much agrees with what I have learned. Having a closet does NOT make it a bedroom. And the requirements for egress through a window are pretty clear. No window, no bedroom.  bedroom accessed from the garage is non-conforming. The SF issue was a new one for me but I have an inspector who knows the building code. And do appraisers pay attention to these requirmements?


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) almost 3 years ago

A few days ago I noticed on our  Arizona Regional ARMLS website there was a category "Bedroom Definition".  The answer was that there is no official definition of a bedroom. I am not sure why a permanent source of heating is a requirement - a space heater may be just fine, if all other requirements are present.

Posted by Steffy Hristova, Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work! (HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353) almost 3 years ago

I pretty much agree with your definition of a bedroom.  Closets and doors, are an important component.  The first house I owned didn't have central heating. We had two wall heaters.  One in the living room, and another in the hall.  In 1200 square feet it was all we needed.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 3 years ago

Myrl Jeffcoat Sounds like a very cozy place to call home!

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 3 years ago

Hi Margaret - In our market, a conforming bedroom must have a closet and an escape window - and that's about it. If it doesn't have those two items, we can still call it a bedroom as long as we identify it as non-conforming - so we often see very, um, interesting, yes, that's the word, interesting bedrooms.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 3 years ago

 Hi Margaret - A bedroom here has a closet and a window that one can get out if there is an emergency. I do on occasion find people taking liberty with what is actually a real bedroom. I saw a photo today with a room that was maybe 6x6 and I looked at it twice....and thought that's no bedroom. NEXT.....

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) almost 3 years ago

Dick Greenberg So do you list the home as a five bedroom or 3 bedrooms and 2 non conforming bedrooms??

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) almost 3 years ago