Let me show you my bedroom......! Hold on it's another re-blog

Reblogger Cheryl Willis
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI

I am a total fan of RE-BLOGGING!  Especially since my favorite peers always have such interesting/informative posts to share.  I know what you are thinking: "The TITLE of Charles's post is enough to want to read more" but you would be wrong---the content is a great read for clients/customers of all of us.  What better way to help educate the public (isn't that what we are about?) AND clear up the misconceptions on what is a BEDROOM!   *Special note of thanks to Charles for keeping his clothes on for this presentation!

Enjoy--Everything you EVER wanted to know about.......

Original content by Charles Buell

     Every listing that I have ever seen lists the number of bedrooms present in the home.  The number of bedrooms seems to be a big selling point.  What is to be done when it is discovered that for "technical" reasons one or more of these rooms is not really a bedroom?  Are there any liability issues, if some one declares that a room is a bedroom and the buyer uses that room as a bedroom but can't get out of the room in an emergency----and someone dies?  Are buyers aware that the "sales" definition of "bedroom" may not have anything to do with the "real" definition of a bedroom?

     First of all----I thought I would make a list of some of the things that are required by "today's standards" regarding bedrooms.  After all wouldn't that ultimately define whether a room is a bedroom or not----for it to have all the elements that they are "required" to have for the particular jurisdiction?

     Based on modern standards, here is a partial list of what is required (with some variations by jurisdiction).  If any of these elements are not present----it is "technically" not a bedroom (or living space).  This list is not an attempt to list every possible scenario but is designed to overwhelm the reader with just how much is actually involved in getting a room to be a "bedroom."  I hope some of the other inspectors will chime in with other "qualifications" and "requirements" to extend this already large list.

1.  Natural light glazing greater than 8 percent of floor area (unless approved artificial)

     a. Safety glass where required

2.  Natural ventilation (unless approved mechanical type)

3.  A Door (some jurisdictions)

4.  Sleeping rooms have to have at least one openable emergency escape and rescue opening.

     a.   Sill height of not more than 44 inches above the floor.

     b.   Window well necessary for egress at below grade bedrooms. (minimum 9 sq ft horizontally in well---36" minimum width away from window)

     c.   Egress openings of 5.7 square feet (5 feet for rooms at grade)

     d.   Minimum height of 24 inches

     e.   Minimum width of 20 inches 

     f.   Grilles/bars/screens must be easily removable from the inside without special tools

5.  Bedroom size must be at least 70 sq ft

6.  Bedrooms not less than 7 feet in any horizontal dimension.

7.  Areas of the space that are less than 7' high don't count in sq footage.

8.  Minimum ceiling height of 7'

9.  Smoke alarm/detector----hard wired and battery backup

     a.   In each sleeping room.

     b.   Outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.

10.  AFCI protected 120 volt outlets:

     a.   Receptacles

     b.   Light fixtures

     c.   Switches

     d.   120 volt wall heaters and fans

     e.   Smoke alarm detectors

     (with any of these components not AFCI protected the room would no longer be in compliance and loose its designation as a bedroom----technically).

11.  No open flame appliances (with exceptions):  Fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters

12.  Source of heat.

      Listings seem to use a "sales-shorthand" definition of bedrooms based on selectively choosing some of the things on this list of required conditions.  At some point the space becomes a "bedroom with defects," and placing a clear-cut line on when the space is not a bedroom and a "bedroom with defects" is not always easy.  This is the result of the large number of older homes built prior to modern standards or built at times of no standards, or built without permits.

     Interestingly enough the code does not actually address the presence of a closet----yet most assume they are required and is typically part of the "sales-shorthand" definition of a bedroom.

     Do these listings have the potential of misleading buyers regarding the use of these spaces----creating not only liability but potentially reduced value later on?  In some cases I would think so.

     Let's take the room in the following picture.

 The Bedroom that isn't a Bedroom

 

    This is newer (eight years old) construction----and is the Master "Bedroom."

     No smoke alarm/detector.

     No means of egress (note the very high undersized window). The lower windows on the right (one is out of the picture) are both fixed panes.

     No heat.

     It does have a closet and a bed.

     In good conscience can we call this a bedroom?  If it would not pass inspection as a "habitable" room and does not meet code requirements for bedrooms----how can we call it a bedroom?

     In my inspection report I like to state the number of bedrooms.  Sometimes I can not make that number the same as the listing information.  Sometimes instead of the "Upper SE Bedroom," it becomes the "Upper SE Room."  It is my feeble attempt to truly inform the buyer of what they are getting themselves into.  If the fixes to make it a real bedroom are simple, that would be a different story.

 

Charles Buell

 PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmileall pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

sign me up

Raven DeCroeDeCroe, is my "certiflied" home inspector assistant and occasionally flies into my blog to offer assistance. To find out more about her beginnings just click on Raven.

picture logo

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Missouri
Groups:
Home Inspector's Corner
AR My Name is Cheryl
Club Chaos
Blogs Happen...
AR in SW Missouri
Tags:
home inspector
charles buell
cheryl willis
mt vernon mo

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ambassador
1,334,402
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Cheryl, thanks for the re-blog---I do my very best to keep my clothes on at all times during the inspectionI have enough opportunities to embarrass myself as it is:)

Jan 08, 2009 09:01 AM #1
Rainmaker
197,582
Cheryl Willis
RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI - Mount Vernon, MO
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

If I could just train you guys to get me more of these good client pieces, I wouldn't have to make up stuff about family getting run over for the holidays.  thanks for sharing, I love you a lot-  be good cw

Jan 08, 2009 10:23 AM #2
Rainer
140,489
c m
Colorado Springs, CO

I really like this re-blog, and glad you did it, because I missed it the first time around!  Good information, especially about the closets.  Even though I am not a Realtor, I have moved over 20 times in the last 35 years, and I have lived in a few houses that "claimed" X number of bedrooms, because of a closet, that should not have qualified by Charles standard.  I like his standard!

Jan 08, 2009 04:20 PM #3
Ambassador
1,334,402
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Cheryl, keep in mind that my list covers only the newest construction, and applies to only jurisdictions that have adopted these part of the IRC.  The real point of the post was to convey that it just is not very easy to accurately "define" a bedroom.  For me some of the safety concerns outweight some of the things that "traditionally" define a bedroom.

Jan 08, 2009 04:34 PM #4
Rainer
413,903
Terry Miller
Miller Homes Group - Tyler, TX
Miller Homes Group and Tyler Apartment Locator

Great re-post, I did not see it the first time so it's a great first time to me as well. Have a great 2009.

Terry Miller

Jan 09, 2009 03:48 AM #5
Rainmaker
197,582
Cheryl Willis
RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI - Mount Vernon, MO
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

Thanks, Terry, glad you share a few of my favorites-  have a great 09 back at ya. cw

Jan 09, 2009 03:52 AM #6
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Using these standards, I don't have any bedrooms in my 1952 built cape style house. And I would bet that Charles doesn't have any bedrooms in his house either. (I could be wrong). My bedrooms all fail the AFCI test, as would most older construction.

I guess I'll just start telling everone that I sleep in a "utility room".  :))

Jan 09, 2009 04:28 AM #7
Ambassador
1,334,402
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Kevin, when I moved into my house you would be correct:)  Currently though, since new windows and rewiring----it actually does meet all current requirements----even AFCI.  Don't yours meet requirements of bedrooms at the time of construction?

Jan 09, 2009 04:40 AM #8
Rainmaker
197,582
Cheryl Willis
RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI - Mount Vernon, MO
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

Kevin & Charles, are you aware that you are using my RE-BLOG for your conversation?  Another thing I just saw- my comments are in blue back ground.- how cool.   Don't know what I would do without your banter.  Thanks for sharing your wisdom.  cw

Jan 09, 2009 04:45 AM #9
Ambassador
1,334,402
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Hey Cheryl, we would rather hang out at your place than ours:)

Jan 09, 2009 04:56 AM #10
Rainmaker
197,582
Cheryl Willis
RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI - Mount Vernon, MO
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

youre the best- thanks for being supportive.

Jan 09, 2009 05:20 AM #11
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
197,582

Cheryl Willis

MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law
Ask me a question
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information