Whether you’re building a home addition or converting a space into a bedroom, it should comply with applicable building codes.
Why Building Codes Are Important
Building codes are a set of guidelines designed to address health and safety concerns in building design. The International Residential Code (IRC) includes requirements for building a bedroom and covers requirements, such as minimum square footage, ceiling height and closets as well as emergency exits and electrical outlets.
The IRC can vary from state to state depending on the local conditions. Licensed new addition contractors must make sure that every remodeling project complies with code. A strict inspection is conducted by city representatives before a certificate of occupancy can be issued. Installations that are not “up to code” may get torn down so they can be rebuilt correctly, which can increase the cost of the remodeling project.
Bedroom Building Codes
The building codes that apply to homes in Washington, DC, are the same as the one used in the U.S.:
Size – Single-occupancy bedrooms should have at least 70 square feet of floor space, with a minimum of 7 feet in one direction. At least half of the ceiling must be at least seven feet tall. For each additional person occupying the same room, add 50 more square feet.
Access – The bedroom must be accessible from the hallway or other common space, not through another bedroom.
Egress – Egress are emergency exits. Unless the bedroom has a door that connects to the outdoors, at least one of the windows should be at least 24 inches tall by 20 inches wide. The window opening should be at least 5.7 square feet. The window can’t be installed more than 44 inches above the floor, but not lower than 24 inches to prevent children from climbing onto it.
Lighting and Ventilation – The windows must have a total combined glass area of at least 8% of the floor area, and the combined opened window area should be at least 4%. This means your windows should open at least halfway.
Electrical Outlets – A bedroom must have at least two.
Heating – The heating system must be able to keep the bedroom warm by at least 68 degrees.
Design Build Remodeling Group of Maryland is your leading provider of home additions and whole home remodeling services. Give us a call at (443) 230-4070, or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Washington, DC, and surrounding areas.