Saturday, September 8, 2012

You call this a bedroom?

Sometimes when I am showing homes to buyers, they are surprised at what sellers will call a bedroom.  Of course if a room can be called a bedroom, it increases the value of a home, since four bedroom homes generally are more appealing to buyers than three bedroom homes.  But can any room or closet be called a bedroom?  Are there any standards?  Well, yes, it turns out there are! 

1. According to  SRC 2009 R.304-305 & R.310 and the Client Assistant Memo prepared by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, the bedroom code requires 70 square feet as a minimum  for a bedroom.  The width of a room cannot be less than 7', so a 6'x12' room really cannot be called a bedroom.  Height of a room must also be a minimum of 7'.

2.  A bedroom must also have an egress window that fully opens and is no more than 44" off the ground with a minimum of 5.0 square feet net clear open area with 24" minimum clear opening height and 20" minimum clear opening width. 

3.  In the greater Seattle area, there is no requirement for a bedroom to have a closet, but real estate standards say there should be a closet as well as a door than can close.

In addition, Statutory law requires that all homes sold after April 1, 2012 must be equipped with carbon monoxide alarms at each floor and audible to sleeping areas, so sellers should get these installed prior to listing a home for sale.


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