Does a Bedroom Have to Have a Closet?

  • By: Promise
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Since it was not stated in the International Residential Codes (IRC) and in the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a bedroom does not need to have a closet to be called a bedroom. As long as the bedroom has a door that can be closed and a window, it is legally a bedroom.

A closet is an enclosed place in a house where you store and keep your clothes. It can be built in the wall or it can be a whole room. This is called a walk-in closet.

There are different types of closets in general. They are the walk-in closet, the reach-in closet, and the wardrobe. These closets are very important as you will have a place to store your stuff. If your house has a closet, you won’t have to think about building a wardrobe in the house.

In the real estate world, many buyers are now requesting houses with built-in closets that they have now become so popular that people don’t know if a closet is a requirement for a bedroom to be called a bedroom. If you are someone that is really concerned about the codes of building, you might be asking: Does a bedroom have to have a closet?

What Should a Bedroom Have to be Called a Bedroom?

The requirements of the house are determined by the IRC and additional guidelines by each state. A bedroom must have the following before they are called a bedroom.

1. Space

The bedroom must be spacious having a floor area of 70 square feet. This should be able to accommodate your bed, dressers, tables, and other furniture and there should still be space to move around.

2. Means of Exit

A bedroom should have two means of exit. One of the exits must lead outside the house. Many houses owners that are converting other rooms to bedrooms have made the door and egress window the means of exit out of the room. The means of exit is for escape during fire outbreaks and for ventilation except you want to rely mostly on the AC.

There are basic requirements for the egress window.

  • The bottom of the window opening shouldn’t be less than 44 inches.
  • The window opening height shouldn’t be less than 24 inches while the opening width should not be less than 20 inches.
  • The opening area of the window shouldn’t be less than 5.7 square feet.
  • The opening area of the egress window must not be less than 4% of the floor area of the room. This is for ventilation. Multiple windows can serve this purpose.
  • The opening area of the egress window must not be less than 8% of the floor area of the room. This is for natural light. Multiple windows can also serve this purpose.

3. Height and Width

The height of the room should not be less than 7 feet while for sloppy areas the height must not be less than 5 feet. When measuring the width horizontally from anywhere in the room, it must be 7 feet.

4. Safety

Provisions must be made for safety during a fire outbreak. Smoke detectors should be installed in the room so that they would detect smoke. Rules concerning safety should be followed. This is the main reason why two exits are required in a bedroom.

Does a Bedroom Have to Have a Closet to be a Bedroom?

It is not listed in the IRC codes that the bedroom must have a closet before it is being called a bedroom. Even states that modified their building codes did not add closets as a requirement for bedrooms. They are more concerned about safety than where you keep your clothes.

Many old houses don’t have closets and the bedrooms are still proven to be a bedroom based on the requirements of IRC.

Can You List a Bedroom Without Closet?

You can list a bedroom without a closet. This is because there are old houses that don’t have closets and are being sold to date.

When it comes to the real estate business, you have to know the new wave. Houses with closets are becoming popular and your house listings must be houses with closets unless you won’t sell those houses if your buyers are demanding houses with closets. Your house listing is dependent on the buyers.

Many people these days prefer a room with a closet because they won’t have to be spending time on building a wardrobe. They’ll just keep their clothes in there.

Houses that are before 1950 don’t have closets but there can still be an armoire in them. Some people don’t mind about the closet.

Once the house is comfortable, they will buy it. So you can still get buyers for the bedroom without a closet. Also, the requirement for a bedroom to be called a bedroom is not having a closet.

Once the bedroom meets the requirements of the IRC, you can list the house. So you can list a bedroom without a closet, you just have to be conversant with the changes happening in the building world.

Assuming its window, it would be different because a bedroom must have a window to be called a bedroom. Therefore, while a window is one of the requirements, a closet is not.

Final Thoughts

A bedroom with a closet is becoming the norm this day. However, don’t be discouraged if your house is an old one that doesn’t have a closet. A bedroom not having a closet can’t cause a reduction in the sale price; only if it doesn’t meet the bedroom requirements of the IRC. Also, there are different kinds of closets. You can get some to fix in your house and you can decide to turn a room into a walk-in closet.

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