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Thread: bottom line...

  1. #1
    Janet Rutkowski's Avatar
    Janet Rutkowski Guest

    Unhappy bottom line...

    i have heard from two different builders, does each bedroom need a closet? i have had the ones in my bedroom removed.

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  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    The most widely used building code, International Residential Code, does not require closets in bedrooms. The code refers to them as sleeping rooms, not bedrooms.

    Real Estate agents typically want a room to have a closet before they will call it a bedroom. Homes with more bedrooms sell for higher prices than homes with fewer bedrooms. Adding a closet to a room does not make it a bedroom. Often homeowners will add closets to rooms in an effort to make their home sells for more because they have more bedrooms.

    From a code viewpoint, bedrooms require 8% natural light, 4% ventilation, a smoke alarm, and an emergency egress directly to the exterior without passing through another room or space. Closets are not specified as to type, size, location or need.

    Ask the builders to quote the chapter, section and subsection that requires a bedroom to have a closet. They won't be able to because there is not requirement. Put the burden back on them.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Appraisers want to see closets if the comparable homes in the area have them. With older homes(100+) it is very common to not see closets.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Quote Originally Posted by Janet Rutkowski View Post
    i have heard from two different builders, does each bedroom need a closet? i have had the ones in my bedroom removed.
    As stated, not required. Do the builders want you to put them back? I'm curious why the builder would care unless he's buying your house. Are you planning on selling and making some repairs to get it ready?

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  6. #6
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    I also agree that without a closet it really is not a complete Bedroom and should be noted on the report as just a sleeping room.
    What is the difference between a "bedroom" and a "sleeping room" in a dwelling unit?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    A complete bedroom has room for a closet and plenty of space. A sleeping room is generally very small and has just room for a bed and a very small foot print of movement.
    As noted also must meet the requirements of the minimum Codes.
    Defining the difference is easy for most people purchasing a Home.
    A sleeping room is a room intended for sleeping, and being as most people sleep on beds, those same sleeping rooms are known as bedrooms.

    The codes use the term "sleeping room" so that people can't call it something else (such as a "guest room") and therefore it is not a "bedroom" and therefore would not have to meet the requirements for a "bedroom". If the room is intended for sleeping, regardless of whether there is a closet or not, and regardless of what other name one may put on it, that room is required to meet the requirements for "sleeping rooms", i.e.: smoke detectors inside and outside, EERO, etc.. The codes do not make mention of, or require, a closet.

    Older homes ... from eons ago ... did not have "closets", the occupants used furniture such as "wardrobes", "armoires", and the like for storing their clothes.

    A living room is not a "sleeping room" (even though many people sleep in living rooms) because the living room is not intended as a place for sleeping.

    The basic premise is that ... bad things can happen when you are sleeping, and when you are sleeping and bad things happen - you need extra time to get yourself oriented and be able to get to heck out of the "sleeping room". Whereas in a living room, family room, kitchen, etc., the occupants are already awake and should be able sense that bad things are either going to happen or sense that bad things are happening sooner and can therefore get to heck out quicker and with less delay.

    Is there a difference between a "sleeping room" and a "bedroom"? No, not really ... but will some real estate agents try to make one "worth more" than the other? If you don't know the answer to that without having to pause and think about it ... Houston, we have a problem ....

    BOTH rooms would be required to meet the minimum size (area) and dimensions required for sleeping rooms/bedrooms.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    How is this.
    This sleeping room that is only "5ft by 8ft" in the home does not meet the requirements of a legal to minimum code bedroom and needs to be changed to a bedroom that does meet the minimum requirements for safety and health.
    BTW I will never call a bedroom a sleeping room like the IRC.
    Maybe that is why you are no longer a CMI? Not able to do math so you accept a space which is 5 ft by 8 ft as being a bedroom?

    Let's see what that closet of yours is called in the IRC: (bold and underlining are mine)
    - SECTION R304 MINIMUM ROOM AREAS - - R304.1 Minimum area.
    - - - Every dwelling unit shall have at least one habitable room that shall have not less than 120 square feet (11 m2) of gross floor area.
    - - R304.2 Other rooms.
    - - - Other habitable rooms shall have a floor area of not less than 70 square feet (6.5 m2).
    - - - - Exception: Kitchens.
    - - R304.3 Minimum dimensions.
    - - - Habitable rooms shall not be less than 7 feet (2134 mm) in any horizontal dimension.
    - - - - Exception: Kitchens.

    Now, if my math is right, a space which is 5ft by 8 ft does not meet R304.2 which requires a minimum area of "not less than 70 square feet" ... 5 ft by 8 ft = 40.sq ft ...

    Also, if my math is right, that space which is 5 ft by 8 ft does not meet R304.2 which requires the shortest dimension to "not be less than 7 feet" ... 5 ft by - wait a minute - "5 ft" is less than 7 ft ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    I do not accept a 5 by 8 as a bedroom or sleeping room or whatever you want to call it. Not sure what you are thinking on proving by posting the CODE as I already have the info. Not sure what you heard either but your assumption as to why I am not a CMI is wrong also.
    Huh?

    Have you been reading what you have been typing and posting?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Ontario Building Code - comments on bedroom/sleeping room.....

    Attached Files Attached Files

  11. #11
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude Lawrenson View Post
    Ontario Building Code - comments on bedroom/sleeping room.....
    Doing the conversion, the 5 ft by 8 ft bedroom equals 3.716 sq meters, the minimum is stated as 7 sq meters for bedrooms in dwelling units which are not the master bedroom.

    Converting the IRC 7 ft min and 70 sq ft min equals 6.5 sq meters, which makes the 7 sq meter size in Ontario slightly larger than the IRC requirement.

    The above is if I did my conversions correctly.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    This is from the 2006 Ontario Building Code and is what we are using currently.

    9.5.7.4. Areas of Other Sleeping Rooms
    (1) Sleeping rooms other than in dwelling units shall have an area not less than 7 mē per
    person for single occupancy and 4.6 mē per person for multiple occupancy.
    Kevin,

    Did you read what you posted?

    Read it, if you need me to explain it to you I will.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    This is from the 2006 Ontario Building Code and is what we are using currently.

    9.5.7.4. Areas of Other Sleeping Rooms
    (1) Sleeping rooms other than in dwelling units shall have an area not less than 7 mē per
    person for single occupancy and 4.6 mē per person for multiple occupancy.
    "Sleeping rooms ... " " ... other than in ... " " ... dwelling units. "

    AND

    " ... 4.6 my per person ... " " ... for multiple occupancy"

    The minimum size for "other than dwelling units" for multiple occupancy is therefore 9.2 m2 ... not 4.6 m2 - that is for two people, three people would require a larger room.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    Then this one would apply.
    9.5.7.1. Areas of Bedrooms
    (1) Except as provided in Articles 9.5.7.2. and 9.5.7.3., bedrooms in dwelling units shall have
    an area not less than 7 mē where built-in cabinets are not provided and not less than 6 mē
    where built-in cabinets are provided.

    I might as well post the whole thing so you can do the calculations.

    9.5.7.1. Areas of Bedrooms
    (1) Except as provided in Articles 9.5.7.2. and 9.5.7.3., bedrooms in dwelling units shall have
    an area not less than 7 mē where built-in cabinets are not provided and not less than 6 mē
    where built-in cabinets are provided.
    9.5.7.2. Areas of Master Bedrooms
    (1) Except as provided in Article 9.5.7.3., at least one bedroom in every dwelling unit shall
    have an area of not less than 9.8 mē where built-in cabinets are not provided and not less
    than 8.8 mē where built-in cabinets are provided.
    9.5.7.3. Areas of Combination Bedrooms
    (1) Bedroom spaces in combination with other spaces in dwelling units shall have an area not
    less than 4.2 mē.
    9.5.7.4. Areas of Other Sleeping Rooms
    (1) Sleeping rooms other than in dwelling units shall have an area not less than 7 mē per
    person for single occupancy and 4.6 mē per person for multiple occupancy.
    9.5.7.5. Recreational Camps
    (1) Recreational camps shall have an area in the sleeping quarters of at least 3.72 mē per
    camper or, if double or triple tier bunk units are used, 2.79 mē per camper.
    9.5.7.6. Camps for Housing Workers
    (1) A camp for housing of workers shall
    If you review my previous posts you will find that I referenced the applicable dimensions in my conversions from sq ft to sq meters.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    For clarification - my post and reference is the "most" current Ontario Building Code - 2012 edition.


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    Default Re: bottom line...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    Any Idea when that will come into effect Claude?
    7 years from now or less.
    The 2012 Building Code, came into force on January 1, 2014. I teach code courses and having been using it since January this year.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    I made the mistake once of designing two bedrooms that where 8 x 10. Eight feet is too small a dimension for a furnished bedroom. Kids get bigger and beds have to get bigger.

    In fairness to the OP, a bedroom in real estate description has a built in closet. No closet, it will be described as a study or office. Like it or not, that is how the home will be described when you sell it.

    You can always add closets. A store-bought cabinet can be attached to a wall with screws.
    A closet should be 24" deep so that coat hangers will fit.
    I have built a hall closet that was two bifold doors wide but only 18" deep. I installed short poles from the front wall to the back wall so that hangers would fit just fine.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  18. #18
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    Default Re: bottom line...

    One reason older homes did not have built in closets is that many areas taxed the homeowner on the number of rooms in the house and closets were considered separate rooms because they had a door.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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