Bedroom Yes or No ?

Inspecting a house today with a contractor friend of the buyers. I told him that the basement room that he referred to as a bedroom was NOT a bedroom that I was listing it as an office. He wanted to know why and I told him the room has the secondary egress needed (main door & exterior door) but, lacked the natural sunlight because it had no window (room had outlets, lighting, heat, closet and 2 doors-one going to outside-No smoke detector) Who is correct ?

1 Like

He is. You’re not there to argue over room designations.

If he says it’s a bedroom, inspect it as a bedroom and list the ways it’s deficient as a bedroom.

What Chuck said.
As long as there’s a closet it can be considered a bedroom.

I can do that, either way works (basement bedroom -no window (no natural lighting or ventilation present)

Let the AHJ decide what it is. Also I am in Tucson and last year when I called our AHJ about rooms with out closets or the bedroom /closet debate, they said it is just an old wives tale. They said it makes sense to have a closet and Realtors keep the myth going, but if someone wants to sleep in a room without a closet - they can.

Agreed. There is nothing in the current code that says a bedroom requires a closet. More than 70sf, natural light, fresh air ventilation, and emergency escape means are required.


In Wisconsin you can borrow light from somewhere else with a window in the door sometimes they allow for louvers in the door. We need 8% of natural light for bedrooms.

In days gone by… closets were a luxury, as they were deemed ‘wasted space’ when constructing a farmhome with local lumber.

Ever hear of, or see, an “Armoire”?

Habersham Edwardian Armoire | HA177470

Very nice. :mrgreen: :slight_smile:

“402.1 Habitable spaces.
Every habitable space shall have not less than one window of approved size facing directly to the outdoors or to a court. The minimum total glazed area for every habitable space shall be 8 percent of the floor area of such room.”


Show me where it says a closet is required.

Unless you are sizing a septic system its a non issue except for tradition and marketing.


P.S. yes I note the lack of a closet with legal egress that could be used as a bedroom.

I agree with Chuck. If they want to call it a bed room. Let them. Inspect it as one.

To further muddy the waters, I will bring up the local Board of Realtors (MLS) rules regarding listing a room as a “bedroom”. According to the DFW board, to be listed as a bedroom, a room must have a closet and a window that opens to the exterior. It is assumed it will have a door.

This is the standard that I have become accustomed to and apply when deciding whether a room is a “sleeping room”. I’m not inclined to research the listing or to try to decide which room they are calling a bedroom.

We did a few homes in NJ at the beach, bedrooms did not get closets built in. Eliminating closets from the beginning design stage allowed for greater floor space within a room. Plane from the very beginning was to put armoire in each bedroom.

I do older row homes in the city built 100 years ago. None of these houses had closets in the bedrooms. Back then people used wardrobes to hang their clothes. A separate piece of bedroom furniture.

Since many of these homes were built before house wiring was common an interesting side note is when you find an outlet in a closet that was obviously added to the room after the electric was added.

The only basement bedrooms I call out are the ones lacking secondary egress. The Realtors should know better than to list them as bedrooms.

Yes, it is called (Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings)

R310.1 Emergency Escape and Rescue Opening Required

Basements, habitable attics and every sleeping room shall have not less than one operable emergency escape and rescue opening. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, an emergency escape and rescue opening shall be required in each sleeping room. Emergency escape and rescue openings shall open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.

Its a room only .If not a Bedroom by code then conflict from listing can help Client recover from paying original price IMO /One less Bedroom can effect purchase price .