Standard Building Codes for Bedrooms in Utah
Hello everyone, Caleb with Dansie Design Build here. Today, I want to discuss bedroom building code requirements and what constitutes a legal bedroom. This information could be helpful for you if you’re planning on remodeling your home or finishing your basement and want to know the requirements for a bedroom.
Minimum Square Footage Requirements for a Bedroom
The first requirement we will discuss is the minimum square footage. So a bedroom must be at least 70 square feet for a single occupant bedroom, and then you will need to add a minimum of 50 square feet for each additional occupant.
What are the Minimum Bedroom Dimensions for Building Code?
Another requirement is that the bedroom is seven feet in one direction, so the minimum size would be 7 x 10. Therefore, we recommend at least a 10 x 10.
Electrical and Ceiling Height Requirements
We will discuss the third requirement, ensuring the electrical is squared away and has a minimum of two electrical outlets per bedroom. Additionally, the ceiling height must be at least seven feet tall for a minimum of half the square footage of the bedroom.
What is the Most Important Building Code Requirement?
The most critical requirement is going to be the egress. So when submitting our plans to the city, they first check to ensure that we have windows in the bedrooms, especially in basements.
What are the Minimum Egress Window Measurements for a Bedroom?
The windows need at least a 24-inch opening in height and a 20-inch opening in width. So that would be when the window is open where the glass is, where you could exit from, and that area has to have a minimum of 5.7 square feet. So there are quite a few measurements regarding the specifics of the actual egress window.
Window Well Requirements
Your basement might need a window well if it’s not above grade, which is at least a 3×3 foot area where a person could stand and rescue, or a person could come in or exit a building in case of an emergency. That is measured from the face of the foundation to the closest part of the window well and then three feet wide.
When You Need a Permanent Ladder for a Basement Window
If the window well is deeper than 44-inches, we must install a permanent ladder. The steps can’t be smaller than three inches deep and can’t be spaced more than 18 inches apart in height; they also can’t be more than six inches deep into the nine-square foot area that’s three feet deep where you stand.
Summary of the Internation Building Code Bedroom Requirements
According to the International Residence Code (IRC), for a room to qualify as a bedroom, it needs to meet the following requirement.
- Minimum bedroom size 70 square feet (R304.2)
- Minimum horizontal dimension 7 feet (R304.3)
- Minimum ceiling height 7 feet (305.1)
- Heat source capable of maintaining 68 degree (R303.1).
- Meet ventilation and lighting requirements. (R303.1)
- Egress (R310, R311). 2 ways out, 1 to exterior. Usually an interior door and exterior window, but can also be a door to exterior.
- Smoke alarm in each sleeping room (R314.3)
How to Utilize Space That Doesn't Meet Bedroom Regulations
Those are the regulations for any bedrooms, including basement bedrooms, that must meet the requirements. For example, if you have a space that’s almost a bedroom, but you’re missing the window, we can consider a bonus room, office, or storage room; there are many ways to use space that don’t meet bedroom requirements. That could hurt the home’s resale value due to the number of bedrooms, but it’s still nice to have those spaces otherwise. Of course, we could also add a window, but generally, it’s nice to have an office space or a storage area.