Just because you have a bed in a room does not necessarily make it a bedroom. Technically, any room to be considered as a bedroom has to have 2 methods of egress.
Meaning, there has to be a window and a door. The regulations are there simply to protect you in case of a fire emergency.
You can still consider a room without a window as a bedroom if it has a second door to the outside. There are specific building codes and local municipality rules and regulations for this.
So, the requirements may vary from state to state or municipal to municipal.
Why A Window Is A Must For A Bedroom?
Not just in the U.S.A., even all the major countries in the EU made it mandatory to have a window in the room to consider it as a bedroom.
Landlords are legally bound to ensure that any non-compliance with this legal requirement may result in fines and other punitive measures.
Though rules and regulations may vary from state to state, the rules set by the IRC (International Residential Code) clearly dictates what there has to be to call a room a bedroom.
As per their regulations, an egress window is a must to call a window so that the occupant can get out of the room in case of fire or other disasters.
Now, having just a window in the room is not enough. You can’t just make a window to call it a bedroom. There are set rules regarding the window and you must follow them.
Rules & Regulations Regarding Window
Though the rules for the window differ from state to state, the basic is pretty much the same. The window has to be of a certain size so that any adult can get out of the room through it easily.
And he/she should not need any special knowledge to use the window during an emergency. Again, for the exact size, check your local municipal affairs department.
It gets more complicated when the window has a security bar on it. If there is such a security bar, that has to be openable from the inside without requiring any special tools or key.
If there is a window well, make sure it is large enough so that any adult can get out easily through the window.
Without the window that does not meet such regulations is nothing but a den and you can still live in there at your own risk. But before you put anyone there as a landlord without such a window and the building inspector finds out, you are in trouble!
It may sound I am trying to scare you, but I am not! You know a lot of people rent out the basement room without such a window. It’s totally illegal and a lot of bad things happened already to the tenants who lived there.
Do a google search and you will find out. If I were you I would use such a room in the basement as a storage room.
How Many Bedroom Window Should You Have?
Meeting the bare legal requirement is more than enough if you rent out it to someone. But if you want to live there personally, don’t just meet the legal requirement.
You can have multiple windows to make it a beautiful bedroom for yourself. Consider the following facts to decide how many windows should you have:
- A bedroom with a stunning view is everyone’s dream. So, have a walk outside of your home and pick that beautiful view to determine where and how many windows you should have.
- If you place more than one window, will it make it weird to look at your house from the outside? So take consideration of the exterior view of your home as well.
- More windows in your bedroom mean more natural sunlight as well. Do you want more natural sunlight?
- If your bedroom is very close to the street, limit the number of windows to minimize noise and sounds.
- If you want to sell it in the near future, you should add more windows because homebuyers just love to have more windows.
You can look at the egress window requirement from a lot of points of view. As a tenant, landlord, or home sellers. But to avoid punishment and to protect lives from deadly fire accidents, not having the egress window is nothing but foolish.