Sedona, AZ:  To be considered a bedroom, 5 elements must be present

Can it count as a bedroom?

Over the years we've heard a lot of opinions about what constitutes a bedroom.  The #1 myth is that a bedroom has to have a closet.  Many Victorian homes didn't have closets, so in this line of thinking a home may not have any bedrooms. In more modern times, the flex space has become popular. If it doesn't have a closet, could you put an Armoire in the room to serve as a closet? 

Many real estate agents in Sedona labor under the false impression that it isn't a bedroom without a closet.  This could potentially cost their seller clients by undervaluing the home. In Sedona, homes are built utilizing the International Residential Code (IRC), it does not require closets in bedrooms.



1) A bedroom needs at least two ways to egress., normally through a door and then have one other exit (window or door). A door to the exterior works as an exit point, and so does a window. According to the International Residential Code, a bedroom window must be between 24 inches wide X 44 inches from the floor and a minimum of a 5.7 sqft opening and no less than 24 inches high and 20 inches wide (R310.1).
   
2) At least 50% of a bedroom ceiling needs to be at least 7 ft tall. Most ceilings are at least 8 ft tall, so this is rarely an issue (R305.1).
   
3) The room has be at least 70 sq ft, and it cannot be less than 7 feet in width in any direction. (R304.2 / R304.4).

4) Is it reasonably close to a bathroom?

5) Does it make sense and what are the local expectations?  You shouldn't have to go through a bedroom to reach another bedroom (obsolescence) or go through another bedroom to reach a bathroom.  Size of the room, access/egress, light, and ventilation all matter when it comes to defining a bedroom (IRC).

Technically the International Residential Code does NOT mandate a bedroom to have a closet. So the lack of a closet does not necessarily mean a room cannot be a bedroom. However, we must ask, what does the local real estate market expect, and what is required by the local city/county?

Bedroom with no close but storage

While some in the real estate community say closets are always required, that rule doesn’t really apply here for two reasons:

1) The IRC definition of a bedroom does not actually mandate a closet; and

2) If the market considers the rooms as bedrooms, that’s what they are.  Ultimately closets are not technically mandated by the international definition, but they may be expected and/or required by local code.

I'm not an appraiser so for the final word call a local appraiser and your local building authority (City or County).