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  1. #1
    MaMa Mount's Avatar
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    Default Is a window required in a bedroom?

    is a window required in a bedroom even if there is a door to the exterior?

    Thanx in advance,
    Mama Mount

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Not for egress, but for ventilation and natural light on current IRC codes. Depends on the door. Sliding glass door, no window needed. Insulated exterior door with no window, then a window (or operable skylight, possibly) would be needed.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Yes & no according to IRC 303.1. Please note exceptions. I suspect this may turn into an interesting discussion?

    Jerry McCarthy
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Yes & no according to IRC 303.1. Please note exceptions. I suspect this may turn into an interesting discussion?
    "I suspect this may turn into an interesting discussion?"

    About the wording, or the intent?

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Both. You're a very observant guy JP.

    Jerry McCarthy
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    No window is required if egress (means of exit) requirements are met. This supposedly is met by your exterior door. As long as you meet lighting requirements (8% of your floor area) in glazing for natural light in any given habitable room and ventilation (4% of your floor area) operable you should meet modern standards.


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    IRC 2006
    R303.1 Habitable rooms. All habitable rooms shall have an aggregate glazing area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area of such rooms. Natural ventilation shall be through windows, doors, louvers or other approved openings to the outdoor air. Such openings shall be provided with ready access or shall otherwise be readily controllable by the building occupants. The minimum openable area to the outdoors shall be 4 percent of the floor area being ventilated.
    Exceptions:
    1. The glazed areas need not be openable where the opening is not required by Section R310 and an approved mechanical ventilation system capable of producing 0.35 air change per hour in the room is installed or a whole-house mechanical ventilation system is installed capable of supplying outdoor ventilation air of 15 cubic feet per minute (cfm)(78L/s) per occupant computed on the basis of two occupants for the first bedroom and one occupant for each additional bedroom.
    2. The glazed areas need not be installed in rooms where Exception 1 above is satisfied and artificial light is provided capable of producing an average illumination of 6 footcandles (65lux) over the area of the room at a height of 30 inches (762mm) above the floor level.
    3. Use of sunroom additions and patio covers, as defined in Section R202, shall be permitted for natural ventilation
    If in excess of 40 percent of the exterior sunroom walls are open, or are enclosed only by insect screening. (#3 is new for 2006)[

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Around here, 8% light, 4% vent, of room square footage, imagine typical double hung window
    Door to exterior OK, but that door is not allowed to be one of the necessary primary exits. If it is then the bedroom is not a bedroom.

    Last edited by Markus Keller; 01-12-2009 at 09:14 AM. Reason: add to sentence
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Would you not need one to meet the required emergency escape and rescue openings?

    Dylan Whitehead

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaMa Mount View Post
    is a window required in a bedroom even if there is a door to the exterior?

    Thanx in advance,
    Mama Mount
    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Whitehead View Post
    Would you not need one to meet the required emergency escape and rescue openings?
    Dylan,

    That is met by having the exterior door.

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    I, for one, would never sleep in a room without an openable window. Claustrophobia you know. Iím the guy who waits for the next elevator when one arrives already half full. As we age all sorts of personality quirks show up. Some Iím not aware of, however, my wife will be happy to list everyone of them.

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    I, for one, would never sleep in a room without an openable window. Claustrophobia you know. Iím the guy who waits for the next elevator when one arrives already half full. As we age all sorts of personality quirks show up. Some Iím not aware of, however, my wife will be happy to list everyone of them.
    Jerry,

    I have some of those that drive my wife crazy too.

    For example:

    I hold both hands up when I drive over a RR track.

    Don't like to shake anyones hand anymore.

    Lock all the doors at night, get in bed, go check all the doors again.

    Clothes all have to face one direction in my closet. Same thing goes for labels on products in the refrigerator and pantry. Name on label has to be facing outward.

    Weird I know.

    rick


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    Cool Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    The good news Ric is that only people with very high IQs suffer from OCD.

    Jerry McCarthy
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Jerry,
    I understand the exterior door serving as a required means of egress, but R310.1 says that every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency escape and rescue opening. Such opening shall open directly into a public street, public alley, yard or court.

    The way I see it is that not every sleeping room has an exterior door so would it not need a window?

    Dylan Whitehead

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Whitehead View Post
    Jerry,
    I understand the exterior door serving as a required means of egress, but R310.1 says that every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency escape and rescue opening. Such opening shall open directly into a public street, public alley, yard or court.

    The way I see it is that not every sleeping room has an exterior door so would it not need a window?
    If there were no door present that met lighting and ventilation as well as egress then there would have to be a window that met that criteria.

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Jerry,

    I have some of those that drive my wife crazy too.

    For example:

    I hold both hands up when I drive over a RR track.

    Don't like to shake anyones hand anymore.

    Lock all the doors at night, get in bed, go check all the doors again.

    Clothes all have to face one direction in my closet. Same thing goes for labels on products in the refrigerator and pantry. Name on label has to be facing outward.

    Weird I know.

    rick
    Ted Monk here

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    "Ted Monk here"

    Speaking of Monk
    Monk is a germaphobic (sp) not in spell check),
    but he also has a compulsion to touch things

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Dylan - R303.1 addresses "Habitable Rooms" - not ďSleeping RoomsĒ, which of course are also habitable rooms. Folks occupying habitable rooms are assumed to be awake and would be aware of danger from an earthquake, fire, windstorm, flood, or fire or other emergencies. Folks occupying sleeping rooms are assumed to be sleeping therefore not aware of any potential danger. Naturally the code writers got it backwards, at least for the occupants under 50 years of age.

    Jerry McCarthy
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Jerry M.
    That makes sense but it specifically says "basements and sleeping rooms" not just habitable rooms.

    Dylan Whitehead

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Whitehead View Post
    but R310.1 says that every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency escape and rescue opening.
    No, it says that there must be two means of exit, one of which (for bedrooms) 'may be' an EERO.

    Such opening shall open directly into a public street, public alley, yard or court.

    The way I see it is that not every sleeping room has an exterior door so would it not need a window?

    ONLY those which do not have an exterior door. The original post question was regarding one which had that exterior door.
    is a window required in a bedroom even if there is a door to the exterior?
    That was what was being answered.

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    "Ted Monk here"

    Speaking of Monk
    Monk is a germaphobic (sp) not in spell check),
    but he also has a compulsion to touch things
    The older I get the more I am affeared of others filth. In my younger years I would go in charging. Now it is more. lets walk around that and don't touch that and don't pick up that. A couple of folks have (on occasion)called me Monk.

    I also have this thing with windex like My big fat greek wedding guy.

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Jerry not trying to argue but I am getting this straight out of the book; the first sentence under the 2006 IRC section R310.1.
    Could you help me find in this section where you are refering to?

    Dylan Whitehead

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    is the subject window on the approved contract drawings?


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Whitehead View Post
    Jerry not trying to argue but I am getting this straight out of the book; the first sentence under the 2006 IRC section R310.1.
    Could you help me find in this section where you are refering to?
    Dylan,

    My mind is mixing code references up.

    This is from the Standard Building Code (from SBCCI, which formed with other model code agencies to form ICC).
    - B1005.4 EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENINGS
    - - B1005.4.1 Where required. Every sleeping room located on the first, second, and third story or within basements of Group R occupancies shall have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening.
    - - - EXCEPTIONS:
    - - - - 1. Buildings equipped with an approved automatic sprinkler system.
    - - - - 2. Sleeping rooms provided with a door to a corridor having access to two remote exits in opposite directions.
    - - - - 3. The emergency escape and rescue opening may open onto a balcony within an atrium provided the balcony provides access to an exit and the dwelling unit or sleeping room has a means of egress which is not open to the atrium.

    I.e, no EERO required if "2. Sleeping rooms provided with a door to a corridor having access to two remote exits in opposite directions."

    Now, back to the 2006 IRC code.

    You stopped too quickly in your reading of 310.1. (underlining is mine)
    - R310.1 Emergency escape and rescue required. Basements and every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency and rescue opening. Such opening shall open directly into a public street, public alley, yard or court. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room, but shall not be required in adjoining areas of the basement. Where emergency escape and rescue openings are provided they shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches (1118 mm) above the floor. Where a door opening having a threshold below the adjacent ground elevation serves as an emergency escape and rescue opening and is provided with a bulkhead enclosure, the bulkhead enclosure shall comply with Section R310.3. The net clear opening dimensions required by this section shall be obtained by the normal operation of the emergency
    escape and rescue opening from the inside. Emergency escape and rescue openings with a finished sill height below the adjacent ground elevation shall be provided with a window well in accordance with Section R310.2. Emergency escape a
    nd rescue openings shall open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.

    - - Exception:
    Basements used only to house mechanical equipment and not exceeding total floor area of 200 square feet (18.58 m2).

    - - R310.1.1 Minimum opening area.
    All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet (0.530 m2).

    - - - Exception:
    Grade floor openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet (0.465 m2).

    - - R310.1.2 Minimum opening height.
    The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches (610 mm).

    - - R310.1.3 Minimum opening width.
    The minimum net clear opening width shall be 20 inches (508 mm).

    - - R310.1.4 Operational constraints.
    Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge.

    Note the underlined "Where a door" - that is addressing "a door" which has its threshold below grade. "A door" which has its threshold at or above grade only need meet the opening size of a EERO, i.e., width and height, and, being as it is a door, it will meet the height requirement.

    The exterior door *IS* the EERO. I stated that it replaced the EERO (that the EERO was not needed with that door present), whereas *the door* *IS* the EERO.



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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    I'll buy that. What would be your answer to this particular situation (original post)?

    Dylan Whitehead

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaMa Mount View Post
    is a window required in a bedroom even if there is a door to the exterior?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan Whitehead View Post
    What would be your answer to this particular situation (original post)?
    Does this answer that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Dylan,

    That is met by having the exterior door.


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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    No, it says that there must be two means of exit, one of which (for bedrooms) 'may be' an EERO.




    ONLY those which do not have an exterior door. The original post question was regarding one which had that exterior door.


    That was what was being answered.
    I know this is an old post but I was having this discussion with some CREIA chapter members. Does the door meet the ventilation requirements assuming most people don't sleep with the door open.


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Murdock View Post
    I know this is an old post but I was having this discussion with some CREIA chapter members. Does the door meet the ventilation requirements assuming most people don't sleep with the door open.
    "Does the door meet the ventilation requirements ... " - Yes, see below

    " ... assuming most people don't sleep with the door open." Yes, as most people also sleep with the windows closed. The door CAN BE opened for ventilation if desired, also see below as this requires a screen door.

    I'll pipe in before WC Jerry does, but he is a CREIA man so his answer will likely be better for you.

    First, if there is a door instead of a window, does the light area in the door equal the required 8% of the floor area?

    If it does, then the next question is what you asked: Does the door meet the 4% of the floor area when open? That answer is yes, and the door does not even need to be all the way open to meet 4% of a typical bedroom floor area. Example: 12 x 14 bedroom = 168 sf x 8% = 13.44 sf of light area / 2 = 6.72 sf ventilation area (divide by 2 as you are dividing the 8% by 2 to get the 4%).

    Take a typical exterior door which is 36" x 80" with 6" stiles on each side, 6" rail across top and center and a 12" rail across the bottom leaves the light area at 24" width x 56" = 1,344 sq in / 144 = 9.34 sf ... with 13.44 sf being required for natural light ... oops, need to have a window for additional natural light.

    Okay, how about ventilation? The minimum required ventilation is 6.72 sf, with that typical door open the ventilation area (not net free vent area) would be reduced by the the rails and stiles on the screen door, which are likely 3" stiles on each side with 3" rail across the top and the center and a 4" rail across the bottom ... regardless, the opening area will be greater than the light area which was 9.34 sf, so the open door would exceed the minimum ventilation size.

    All which is needed to allow the door to be the ventilation would be a screen door.

    No screen door and you are not allowed to use the door as being open for ventilation, just like a window needs a screen.

    Note: I went back and read through the above posts, with the original post being turned into questions about emergency egress, which is different, then Dylan asked me about the original post and I answered based on the discussion about the emergency egress issue, which *was not* what was asked in the original post, which means this answer of mine supersedes my previous answer which was based on still being distracted by the EERO discussion. My bad. (on that answer)

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 08-28-2009 at 11:45 AM. Reason: added note at bottom of post
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    From a pure real estate perspective a window is considered along with a closet to be deemed a bedroom.


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocco Germano View Post
    From a pure real estate perspective a window is considered along with a closet to be deemed a bedroom.
    Huh?

    Wouldn't you need walls and a door too?

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Perhaps. details will kill you.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Is it legal for an apartment to have no windows? It has 2 doors, and a built in airconditioner, but not quite sure if it is legal to live here?


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    "Is it legal for an apartment to have no windows? It has 2 doors, and a built in air conditioner, but not quite sure if it is legal to live here?"

    While there is not a requirement to have a window, per se. Most rooms are required to have 8% of the floors sq ft in natural light, and 4% in ventilation. This is most often accomplished with the use of one or more windows, but another choice would be a skylight and A/C.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  34. #34
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    Smile Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Well the room in on the 2nd floor, and the air conditioner is a wall unit, not even connected to the outside, it drains in the tub in our bathroom. We are in the middle room of the apartment building, and there is a back door we can go to, but it is a good 20 - 30 steps from our front door. I like the building, not my apartment. LOL. Thanks for responding so soon. I seen It's been a year or so that there was a discussion.


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicole diarchangelo View Post
    Is it legal for an apartment to have no windows? It has 2 doors, and a built in airconditioner, but not quite sure if it is legal to live here?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    "Is it legal for an apartment to have no windows? It has 2 doors, and a built in air conditioner, but not quite sure if it is legal to live here?"

    While there is not a requirement to have a window, per se. Most rooms are required to have 8% of the floors sq ft in natural light, and 4% in ventilation. This is most often accomplished with the use of one or more windows, but another choice would be a skylight and A/C.
    The requirement is for 4% natural ventilation, so the a/c does not make up for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicole diarchangelo View Post
    Well the room in on the 2nd floor, and the air conditioner is a wall unit, not even connected to the outside, it drains in the tub in our bathroom. We are in the middle room of the apartment building, and there is a back door we can go to, but it is a good 20 - 30 steps from our front door. I like the building, not my apartment. LOL. Thanks for responding so soon. I seen It's been a year or so that there was a discussion.
    The requirement for natural light and ventilation is for each room which can be closed off with a door, and for rooms which are not separated from each other with a door then then can, to a point, get that required natural light and ventilation from adjoining spaces as long as the opening connecting the areas together also meets the minimum 8% of the area (but not less than 25 sf).

    For example, if you have a living area with no natural light or ventilation but it is adjoining a dining area with natural light and ventilation, then the dining area natural light and ventilation must be 8% of the combined areas, and the opening between the living area and the dining area must be at least 8% of the living area (but not less than 25 sf).

    If the living area is 12 ft x 20 ft = 240 sf x 8% = 19.2 sf, but the minimum is 25 sf, so the opening would need to be at least 25 sf. A typical 3ft wide by 6ft 8inch high framed and drywalled opening is not large enough as that would only provide 20 sf of opening area.

    Even a 3ft x 8ft opening would only provide 24 sf of opening.

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  36. #36
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Ok, well then I understand to a point. This apartment is not connected to another room with a window. So I have to further my search. Thank you for your time. And if you have any recomendations, I am all ears. Thanks again.


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    "The requirement is for 4% natural ventilation, so the a/c does not make up for that."


    Thanks for the correction.
    Don't know why I was thinking that.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Can you spell "illegal conversion"? This does not sound like a legit unit. If these issues exist there are likely other non compliant issues. Such issues may be hidden from view or your awareness due to lack of trade knowledge.
    The 8/4 rule exists in part to provide a minimum level health related comfort. Air quality in a space without some amount of air changes can get quite poor and unhealthy.
    AC would not provide for natural ventilation since a) the AC is not normally drawing outside air, b) it is unlikely the landlord installed makeup air to the AC.
    You may like the building but the unit may not be the healthiest or safest place to live. Should be fairly easy to get out of the lease though.

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    Wink Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Thanks again. I live in reading pa I know codes differ from state to state. And my lease was monthly, and haven't signed another one since we moved in. I wonder if there is a legal act upon us right now? I think I will be talking to a lawyer sometime this week. I don't have enough money to move into a new place, so we must stay here till we can save enough money to move out. Love the economy. You've been so much help, you may never relize. Thank you again.


  40. #40
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Can you spell "illegal conversion"? This does not sound like a legit unit. If these issues exist there are likely other non compliant issues. Such issues may be hidden from view or your awareness due to lack of trade knowledge.

    Not the least of which is life safety ... your life and safety because of those issues and the life and safety of all others (including yourself) from likely issues such as lack of fire separation, etc., between units.

    As Marcus said, it sounds like someone took a room from an adjoining apartment and sectioned it off into your apartment. If that was done then it is highly unlikely that the proper fire-resistance rated walls and construction was used for that separation from your apartment to wherever it was separated from.

    Also, you are required to have heat, and it sounds like your a/c may not be suitable for that (does your a/c provide heat?). The heat source would be required to maintain a temperature of 68 degrees F inside the apartment at any point which is 3 feet above the floor at 2 feet in from the exterior walls - can your heating source do that?

    You say you have 2 doors, do both go to the common hallway? Are they in different rooms ... ? ... wait, you only have one room - which creates another problem as what if there is a fire at the end of the room where the 2 doors are located? How do you escape? How are you able to be rescued?

    Do you pay for your own electric or is it 'included in the rent', indicating that the main part of the original apartment has the electrical panel in it? Is there an electrical panel in your apartment?

    Just too many questions begin to come up the more one thinks about what the problems might be.

    If you have another place to go, instead of calling an attorney first (which will cost you money), why not call the building department and the fire department and have them do a courtesy inspection of your apartment for safety issues - if your apartment is an illegal conversion you will need to be prepared to leave as they might declare it unsafe for habitation and you will have to leave - immediately - and the owner of the original apartment may likely become the person responsible for all corrections ... whether or not they owned that apartment when the conversions were done and whether or not they even knew about the conversions (they might, but they might not if they have not owned their apartment long - I am referring to "condos" in this case, and if not "condos" then the apartment building owner would be responsible for the entire apartment building, again, regardless of whether or not the conversion was done during their ownership).

    It can get complicated, but start with the free calls first: 1) the fire department; 2) the building department.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  41. #41
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    Red face Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Well the 2 doors go to the same hallway, and the airconditioning unit also provides heat. I unfortunately have no other place to go other than here. I have my 2 children to think of, that is another reason why I am sharking around for answers, and trying to make the best decision I can. Thank you for your response


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicole diarchangelo View Post
    Well the 2 doors go to the same hallway,

    I have my 2 children to think of,

    Is the room long and narrow with the doors at one narrow end, or with the doors on each end of one long wall? Makes a big difference for safety, escape, and rescue.

    The other aspect is that while you have two ways out (the two doors) they also both go to the same corridor, and you have no other egress from your apartment as you described your apartment as an interior apartment, which I am taking as meaning there is no opening whatsoever to daylight on any wall (such as a sliding glass door at one end, or a window at one end, etc.) - which means you really only have one way out ... to that corridor. At least with the two doors on the long wall, and if that long wall were long enough, you go escape out and go in different directions depending on where the fire might be.

    Not a pleasant situation to be in with just yourself to worry about, but add in two children and your choices need to be based on what you can do for them, which (especially in this economy) does not always lead to pleasant choices to chose between. Best of luck in what you find out and what you can do.

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  43. #43
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicole diarchangelo View Post
    Well the room in on the 2nd floor, and the air conditioner is a wall unit, not even connected to the outside, it drains in the tub in our bathroom. We are in the middle room of the apartment building, and there is a back door we can go to, but it is a good 20 - 30 steps from our front door. I like the building, not my apartment. LOL. Thanks for responding so soon. I seen It's been a year or so that there was a discussion.
    If your window A/C does not vent to the outside then it seems like you would moving the heat in room where the front of the A/C is to the bathroom. Does your bathroom get real hot in the summer when the A/C is running?


  44. #44
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Yes my bathroom does get hot, when my air conditioner is running, why?


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicole diarchangelo View Post
    Yes my bathroom does get hot, when my air conditioner is running, why?

    Possibly because you are in an interior apartment and the a/c is discharging the hot air into the bathroom and not to the outdoors as it may be supposed to be doing (depending on the type of a/c you have). I am presuming your a/c is mounted in the wall and should have been a "window" or "through wall" unit, where the discharging air is supposed to, intended to, be exhausted to the outdoors.

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  46. #46
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Newbie, here.
    This forum seems the perfect place to find an answer re whether the apartment we're moving to is actually a *two-bedroom* apartment.
    We're moving to a place in Cumberland county, PA that is a converted school from the 1920s. The apt has windows on one side of the apartment -- tall ones. One window room is a livingrm/kitchen combo, the other adjacent room that has windows has been used as a bedroom and also a living room. The shared wall has a door to the bedroom. Then, next to the window bedroom is a tiny, windowless room with a very small closet that has been called a second bedroom. This room has a door that opens onto the livingrm/kitchen area.
    Can that small windowless room be considered a bedroom?
    Thanks so much


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    "to the window bedroom is a tiny, windowless room with a very small closet that has been called a second bedroom...Can that small windowless room be considered a bedroom?
    Thanks so much"

    No, not likely.
    A bedroom must have: (simple version)
    A source of natural light (min 8% of the floor area)
    A source of natural ventilation (min 4% of the floor area)
    and an emergency escape and rescue opening (EERO) of at least a certain size, that opens to to outside.
    All of these can be accomplished by means other than a window, but not likely.
    Just because there is a closet does not make it a bedroom.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    if the room is painted and conditioned space and could be used for a bedroom, i know several people that would require fire sprinklers, inter connected smokes,fire extinguishers, and a dalmation to contact the fd!


  49. #49
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Hi

    All This has been a great resource -- I've really enjoyed getting to read some of these responses...hopefully there is more help to come!

    Anyways!! I'm looking at a place in Philadelphia and basically the setup is this:

    - The front door opens to the street
    - There is a back door as well
    - All the rooms are off of one straight main hallway
    - There is a big window beside the front door that opens to the "living area"
    - The building has central air / central heat
    - The "bedroom" is right beside the living room - but it has no windows to the outside ( its on the first floor of a row-home kind of set up.
    - The door to the bedroom opens to a straight hallway -- if I turn right, I can go out the back door. If I turn left I can go out the front door.
    - The living room is about 14' x 18'
    - The bedroom is about 7' x 10'

    My questions:

    1) Does the residual light from that front window count as that 8% light thing you guys keep talking about? You know, if I have the bedroom door open, the light kinda peeks in around the corner, you know?

    2) For that matter -- if the hallway is there ( I was reading in one of your posts that a front and back door count as emergency exits ) -- do I HAVE to have the windows? I guess what I'm going at -- with this kind of setup, could that be considered a bedroom or not??

    You're the best all!

    ~Elizabeth~

    Last edited by Elizabeth Summers; 04-19-2012 at 12:13 PM.

  50. #50
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Elizabeth - The bedroom must have two ways out. Sounds like it only has one.
    And the light from the window in the living room would not count towards the bedroom.
    Sounds like a strange set-up!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Summers View Post
    Hi All This has been a great resource -- I've really enjoyed getting to read some of these responses...hopefully there is more help to come! Anyways!! I'm looking at a place in Philadelphia and basically the setup is this: - The front door opens to the street - There is a back door as well - All the rooms are off of one straight main hallway - There is a big window beside the front door that opens to the "living area" - The building has central air / central heat - The "bedroom" is right beside the living room - but it has no windows to the outside ( its on the first floor of a row-home kind of set up. - The door to the bedroom opens to a straight hallway -- if I turn right, I can go out the back door. If I turn left I can go out the front door. - The living room is about 14' x 18' - The bedroom is about 7' x 10' My questions: 1) Does the residual light from that front window count as that 8% light thing you guys keep talking about? You know, if I have the bedroom door open, the light kinda peeks in around the corner, you know? 2) For that matter -- if the hallway is there ( I was reading in one of your posts that a front and back door count as emergency exits ) -- do I HAVE to have the windows? I guess what I'm going at -- with this kind of setup, could that be considered a bedroom or not?? You're the best all! ~Elizabeth~
    Nope. You HAVE to have an operable door or window of sufficient opening size which communicates (that is opens) to the outside to be a bedroom. The room's interior door regardless of how many pathways there are to an eventual exit door, is irrelevant. If there are any walls or doors between this 7x10 room and a direct door or window opening to the outside, those additional pathways are irrelevant.

    That required direct opening to the outdoors is referred to as an "EERO" which is an acronym for Emergency Escape and Rescue Opening. Although in older homes the minimum size of the opening required for current construction is not enforced retroactively on older homes, the need for the opening of a lesser minimum size IS.

    The room as I understand your description of it, is neither a habital space nor can it ever be considered a sleeping room or a bedroom. It is nothing more than a storage room or closet, potentially could become a kitchen, a bathroom, or other occupied but not habital space. It could NEVER be a "bedroom", nor would it be legal to allow anyone to ever sleep in it. If a wall separating this room from that "living room" with the large window were opened the space may be habital. If a wall separating the room from a door directly to the outside were opened perhaps. If a door or window directly to the outdoors could be placed in a wall of this 7x10' room then perhaps with modifications to establish light and ventillation it might be. But for now - NO, and the footprint/floorplan word-picture that I gathered from your description, this room is not fit for human habitation, and cannot be habitated in any manner -- only occupied.

    Occupied space is different from habital space, neither of which is the same as living space as pertains to a single family or one-two person dwelling unit at less than three stories from grade. They are specific defintions and are distinctions with differences.

    A room for sleeping must be legally fit for the occupancy, be legally habital. As pertains to a dwelling unit - it must also be qualified living space.

    Allowing such a use could result in civil, quasi-criminal, and criminal liability.


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    P.S.I suspect this room or area was not one which was originally enclosed and someone has closed up the walls and added the door. Typical and what I suspect originally, might have been one of two possibilities. Either would have been for the room to have been fully opened to the "hall" or nearly fully opened, possibly five-six foot opening or so opening possibly arched, or possibly pocket doors which retracted to open up five, six, or more feet long opening) and possibly a second door between this room and a kitchen or secondary passge (such as a passable pantry back to the kitchen) with the kitchen on the back of the row house, and the area functioning as an open but windowless dining area; OR this space might have originally communicated directly with the "living" room/space either by open wall section, or possibly double pocket doors, and this area also had a "door" to the hall; but was adjunct to that "parlor" and again, someone walled off that former opening directly to the "living room" or parlor. If seems someone has chopped up or closed off a multi-story single family occupancy and tried to create sub-occupancies within, or, walled off the dining alcove and tried to sub-divide and "create" this now non-habital space.


  53. #53
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Summers View Post
    My questions:
    1) Does the residual light from that front window count as that 8% light thing you guys keep talking about? You know, if I have the bedroom door open, the light kinda peeks in around the corner, you know?
    No, the light 'stops' at any place where there is a door which can be closed.

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  54. #54
    Dan Harris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Hmmm.. Reading thru all of the posts raises an additional question based on yesterdays inspection.
    It was a new[ started in 08 and completed this year] $ 1/2 mil condo unit with the bedroom on the 4th floor, [ another 2 story unit was below this unit]

    One wall in the master bedroom was all solid glass walls. There were no other windows that opened. The master bath was next to/ joined this bedroom, it did not have windows that opened.
    The only egress was through the bedroom door to the stairs to the lower rooms.
    I noticed one code reference about fire sprinklers, the unit did have them.
    Would/ does this property meet the proper requirements?

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  55. #55
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harris View Post
    One wall in the master bedroom was all solid glass walls. There were no other windows that opened. The master bath was next to/ joined this bedroom, it did not have windows that opened.
    The only egress was through the bedroom door to the stairs to the lower rooms.
    I noticed one code reference about fire sprinklers, the unit did have them.
    Would/ does this property meet the proper requirements?
    The question, as I read it, is: Are emergency escape and rescue openings required with fire sprinklers?

    Depends ... first, if it is a high-rise building, then EEROs are not required anyway:
    From the 2006 IBC.
    - SECTION 403
    - - HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS
    - - - 403.4 Emergency escape and rescue. Emergency escape and rescue openings required by Section 1026 are not required.

    - SECTION 1026
    - - EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE
    - - - 1026.1 General. In addition to the means of egress required by this chapter, provisions shall be made for emergency escape and rescue in Group R and I-1 occupancies. Basements and sleeping rooms below the fourth story above grade plane shall have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening in accordance with this section. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room, but shall not be required in adjoining areas of the basement. Such openings shall open directly into a public way or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.
    - - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - - 1. In other than Group R-3 occupancies, buildings equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2. (Jerry's comment: Condos are R-2.)
    - - - - - 2. In other than Group R-3 occupancies, sleeping rooms provided with a door to a fire-resistance-rated corridor having access to two remote exits in opposite directions.
    - - - - - 3. The emergency escape and rescue opening is permitted to open onto a balcony within an atrium in accordance with the requirements of Section 404, provided the balcony provides access to an exit and the dwelling unit or sleeping unit has a means of egress that is not open to the atrium.
    - - - - - 4. Basements with a ceiling height of less than 80 inches (2032 mm) shall not be required to have emergency escape and rescue windows.
    - - - - - 5. High-rise buildings in accordance with Section 403.
    - - - - - 6. Emergency escape and rescue openings are not required from basements or sleeping rooms that have an exit door or exit access door that opens directly into a public way or to a yard, court or exterior exit balcony that opens to a public way.
    - - - - - 7. Basements without habitable spaces and having no more than 200 square feet (18.6m2) in floor area shall not be required to have emergency escape windows.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  56. #56
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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Elizabeth - The bedroom must have two ways out. Sounds like it only has one.
    And the light from the window in the living room would not count towards the bedroom.
    Sounds like a strange set-up!

    I agree with this. Secondary means of egress. That's not only two ways out, but two ways in as well. Consider a firefighter in full gear. They need openings big enough to get through, both ways.


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    ROFL, That's called OCD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Jerry,

    I have some of those that drive my wife crazy too.

    For example:

    I hold both hands up when I drive over a RR track.

    Don't like to shake anyones hand anymore.

    Lock all the doors at night, get in bed, go check all the doors again.

    Clothes all have to face one direction in my closet. Same thing goes for labels on products in the refrigerator and pantry. Name on label has to be facing outward.

    Weird I know.

    rick


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    For most real estate agents and buyers, all that matters is if the bedroom meets FHA (HUD) guidelines. HUD guidelines describe a bedroom as having an adequate egress to the exterior of the home (usually a window) and a door for the entry. Today that window needs to be no higher than 44" off the floor and at least 24X36" net clear opening (usually a 4'w X 3'h sliding window). We don't have to recognized adequate egress which is good since few single hung windows meet this clear opening requirement but appraisers still consider the bedrooms conforming if someone can crawl through to the outside. Obviously, many older homes don't have a single bedroom in the whole house with adequate egress to the outside, but still qualify for FHA loans.

    Agents regularly count non conforming bedrooms in the bedroom total when they put the home info in the MLS. Luckily for us, we don't have to nor should we, critique the agent's accuracy in the MLS. Let the appraiser do that. But I have buyers regularly ask me if a room is a "legal" bedroom, so knowing what meets the criteria for a conforming bedroom is useful. But I never write up a room as nonconforming. That isn't our job.


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    Default Re: Is a window required in a bedroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    IRC 2006
    R303.1 Habitable rooms. All habitable rooms shall have an aggregate glazing area of not less than 8 percent of the floor area of such rooms. Natural ventilation shall be through windows, doors, louvers or other approved openings to the outdoor air. Such openings shall be provided with ready access or shall otherwise be readily controllable by the building occupants. The minimum openable area to the outdoors shall be 4 percent of the floor area being ventilated.
    Exceptions:
    1. The glazed areas need not be openable where the opening is not required by Section R310 and an approved mechanical ventilation system capable of producing 0.35 air change per hour in the room is installed or a whole-house mechanical ventilation system is installed capable of supplying outdoor ventilation air of 15 cubic feet per minute (cfm)(78L/s) per occupant computed on the basis of two occupants for the first bedroom and one occupant for each additional bedroom.
    2. The glazed areas need not be installed in rooms where Exception 1 above is satisfied and artificial light is provided capable of producing an average illumination of 6 footcandles (65lux) over the area of the room at a height of 30 inches (762mm) above the floor level.
    3. Use of sunroom additions and patio covers, as defined in Section R202, shall be permitted for natural ventilation
    If in excess of 40 percent of the exterior sunroom walls are open, or are enclosed only by insect screening. (#3 is new for 2006)[
    Sorry for entering the discussion so late, but the responses given so far seem to indicate that windows are required for natural light and ventilation. My reading of the IRC and IBC is that they both allow for artificial light and artificial ventilation (see exception #1 and #2 in Jerry's quote) as a substitute for natural light and ventilation. (This was not allowed under the UBC, so we on the left coast have had some difficulty understanding it). Based on those exceptions you can have any habitable room without windows, provided you supply artificial light and ventilation, and EERO for sleeping rooms. The EERO could be a solid door without glazing. Am I missing something here?

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