Most people assume that a bedroom without a closet is not worthy of being called a bedroom. Should this be the case? In this post, we discuss our findings on the prerequisites for a room to be legally regarded as a bedroom.
In most states, bedrooms do not need to have a closet to be considered as bedrooms. Here are some standard specifications that determine the eligibility of a room to be considered a bedroom:
- Spacious dimensions
- Adequate floor space
- Sizeable window
- Temperature control
Closets are mostly present in bedrooms (especially newer ones), but they’re not necessarily a legal requirement.
This post will shed some light on different states and their legal bedroom requirements. We’ll also touch on the impact of a closet in a room, and whether it adds value to a home or not. Keep reading to find out more about what makes a room qualify as a bedroom.
What Is Classed As A Bedroom?
Whether a room can be classified as a bedroom may be impacted by regulatory bodies such as Fannie Mae (FNMA), the International Building Code, among others. Here are some of the set requirements a room needs to meet before being classified as a bedroom by a home appraiser or a real estate agent:
Bedrooms should measure up to seven feet in all directions. This prevents real estate agents and landlords from listing skinny spaces as bedrooms. It also guarantees that residents will have enough space for their beds.
Adequate Floor Space
A typical room should have a floor space measuring at least 70 square feet. It should be enough to accommodate two persons, a bed along with other furniture such as a work desk or dresser.
Bedrooms need to have at least one window measuring 5.7 square feet that faces the outside. It should have an opening width and height of 20 inches and 24 inches, respectively. Local building codes may dictate further specifications.
A bedroom should have a standard way of regulating the temperature. Since the window may sort out the cooling needs, heating systems need to be installed for proper conditioning.
How Big Does A Bedroom Have To Be To Be Considered A Bedroom?
Depending on your state or country of residence, a typical bedroom should be between 70 and 80 square feet. This space should be enough to accommodate a bed, a wardrobe, a table/chair, and other essential furniture.
Additionally, it should be at least 7 feet from each horizontal standpoint. That’s why it’s impossible to categorize a hallway of 10 feet as a bedroom. You’d never fit any of the items mentioned above.
What Is Considered A Closet In A Bedroom?
A closet should have a depth of at least two feet and an overall height. The door should be approximately six feet and eight inches – but most closets are a little higher than that.
If you have a high ceiling, you can either finish it to enjoy a deep shelf at the top of your closet space, enclose it, and install cabinet doors for more accessible storage.
Closet measurements often change based on different factors, including your location and the guidelines put across by the governing bodies.
Does FHA Require A Bedroom To Have A Closet?
Currently, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) doesn’t list a closet as a bedroom requirement. The FHA covers homes that lack closets in their bedroom. If closets were a requirement, it would be challenging to list most homes built before 1950.
What it does require, however, is for the room to be at least 70 sq ft, have a 5.7 sq ft window (minimum), have steady temperature control, and measure at least seven feet in all directions.
If your bedroom meets any of these requirements, you’re good to go.
Does Fannie Mae Require A Bedroom To Have A Closet?
Likewise to the FHA, Fannie Mae (FNMA) does not list a closet as one of the qualifications for a habitable bedroom. Instead, they clearly state that there needs to be ingress or egress (exit and entrance points) in case of any emergencies.
The ingress or egress methods in the event of an emergency should be in the form of a window, but a door can work as well.
As a rule, all windows should be on ground-level and have an opening of at least 24 by 36 inches.
Does Adding A Bedroom Add Value?
Houses with an extra bedroom make a huge difference to the overall value of your property. They often sell for more compared to homes with a single bedroom. Although it’s impossible to put an exact figure on what you stand to gain from adding an extra bedroom, it’s assumed that there will be a positive impact.
Here are a couple of things to consider before deciding to add an extra bedroom to your home:
- If you’re going to sell your house later, you may want to consider the resale value. Be sure to add a room that will blend perfectly with your home’s original design.
- Consider the demographic that’s likely to buy or rent it. Understand what your potential buyers want and add an extra room that fits their needs.
- Do the math first. It may cost you approximately $80 to $200 per square foot. If you already have an extra room, say an attic or garage, you can convert them into additional bedrooms and save tremendously on costs.
Can A Living Room Be Used As A Bedroom?
Living rooms can also double up as bedrooms. This is a good idea, especially for those living in small homes.
Another scenario where living rooms are used as bedrooms is when the resident is not impressed with the apartment’s layout. Probably the living room area would serve better as a bedroom, and what was meant to be the bedroom can work as a game room or office.
Transforming your living room into a bedroom will largely depend on your personal décor ideas.
Does A Bedroom Have To Have A Closet In New York?
Bedrooms in New York need to meet specific requirements for them to be legal; a closet is not one of them.
The city’s Building Code dictates that bedrooms should measure a minimum of 80 sq ft, at least 8 feet in any dimension, and a ceiling height of at least eight feet.
Other requirements include a minimum of one window opening to an outdoor space and two exit (egress) points that do not need tools or keys for access.
Does A Bedroom Have To Have A Closet In Florida?
In Florida, if a room lacks a closet, potential buyers would easily classify it as a study, bonus room, library, den – anything else but a bedroom.
The bedroom should have a conditioned space of at least 70 sq ft., a floor area of at least 50 sq ft., a ceiling height of 7 feet, and a horizontal dimension of 7 feet. These are the minimum size requirements for a room to be classified as a ‘habitable room.’
The room should also have an emergency escape point, among other guidelines.
Does A Bedroom Have To Have A Closet In Pennsylvania?
To be considered official, a bedroom doesn’t need to have a closet. The IRA (Individual Retirement Account) doesn’t mandate bedrooms in Pennsylvania to be fitted with a closet.
Despite this, most buyers, lenders, and housing guidelines expect a bedroom to have a closet. If it doesn’t, it will be labeled as an office or something far from a bedroom.
The rest of the guidelines and measurements are pretty similar to what other states require of a bedroom.
Does A Bedroom Have To Have A Closet In California?
California’s Building Code does not require the bedrooms to have a closet. However, for any bedroom to be legally recognized in California, they need to have windows.
There should be at least one functional window for an emergency escape. The window must have a measurement of 5.7 sq. ft., a height of 24 inches, and a minimum width of 20 inches. It should be approximately 44 inches away from the floor.
There should also be a functional locking device on each window for added security.
Does a Bedroom Have to Have a Closet in Texas?
In Texas, no closet is required for a room to be legally recognized as a bedroom. If you feel you want to add a closet to avoid issues with realtors, consider its cost-effectiveness.
A bigger closet may have the same construction price as its smaller counterpart. Do some proper planning regarding the measurements and the cost involved to avoid further problems later on.
A typical closet should be constructed along the same wall as the door to the room. This will create a beautiful look for a dresser or a desk.
Closets are great for any bedroom, but they’re not considered a legal requirement in most states. If anything, more emphasis is placed on temperature control, egresses, windows, and dimensions.
However, if you’re looking for a home or putting your property up for sale, it’s essential to adhere to your state’s legal requirements to avoid legal troubles. Regulatory bodies in states such as Florida take their closets very seriously!