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johnsprite 08-15-2011 11:53 PM

Bedroom requirements. Strange scenario.
Hi all. First off, I apologize if i posted this in the wrong forum. I have a good idea what makes a room a bedroom, but this is a situation that is a little different. You guys might get a kick out of it. My house was built in the 50,s, three bedrooms. About 30 years later, i am guessing, a basement and garage was added to the house. One of the "bedrooms", after the addition, now has its window, which was facing the outside, now looks into the garage. Actually to be more specific, it faces the stair well to the basement. The window actually sits above the stair well. Since the entrance to the basement is only accessed through the garage. When we bought the house it was listed as three bedrooms, but i thought the window has to be to the outside due to having 2 forms of egress in case of fire, not to the garage like my window is? I mean the garage technically is not the outside is it? So what does everyone think? Question number 2. Lets assume that the room is still considered a bedroom. I want to partition part of the garage off, and connect the stairwell to the house. Now if i do that and keep the window where it is, but instead of the window opening up like it currently is to the garage, it opens up to lets call it a mud room, is it still a window. I know this might be a little confusing and i will gladly answer any questions to help clear the picture a little. I have been searching non stop for an answer, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance everyone.

joeyr 08-16-2011 12:10 AM

That has to be against code. Mostly due to if your window is open and you car in your garage is running, you will get all that Co2 coming into you bedroom. That is verrrry strange.

Partitioning half the garage could work, but again, you have to make it to code and stop all that co2 from coming in. You could mickey mouse it to work, but for re-sale value, do it right, also the future house inspector won't ding you on it big time.

The rest of your post I'm still confused about :laughing:

johnsprite 08-16-2011 12:20 AM

joeyr, I agree with everything you wrote, even about this being very confusing. Haha. All I can say is that before the house was bought, we had a home inspector come through. We also had some items in the house that had to be brought back up to code, so we were actually working with the city inspector. He had been to the house numerous times with the previous owners, and a couple times since i have owned the house. Nothing was ever said about it. And you would think if the inspector was there to make sue things were up to code, he defiantly would have said something. One of the things that had to be done was to put up a hand rail in the stair well. So how could he of missed that? Everyone i have spoke to about this has a different answer for me. It is insanely confusing. I really appreciate the help.

Ron6519 08-16-2011 07:57 AM

Put a window to the exterior.
Remove the garage window and make sure the common wall has 5/8" firecode sheetrock on it, taped and compounded.

Gary in WA 08-16-2011 09:39 AM

A garage window or one that opens to a garage or mud-room is not acceptable for egress:

“Emergency escape and rescue openings shall open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.”


gregzoll 08-16-2011 11:02 AM

In Iowa, because they tax by bedrooms, a bedroom is classified as a space with a closet area to hang clothes, with a door for that space, with a door to close off the room to the rest of the house. Friends of ours built a house, with a office, that has a doorway that exits to the garage, so that they would not have to go through the house with clients. In order to not be taxed as a bedroom, they kept the closet door off. In reality, it is used as a sleeping room, due to it has a fire-rated doorway going into the garage, but the room is still a part of the house or living quarters.

jomama45 08-16-2011 06:07 PM

I can actually envision you're exact situation. My sister & BIL's house used to be the same exact scenario, stairwell & all. In their home's case, the house was moved to make room for the freeway, and the garage was attached afterwards. Here's the answers from my prospective:

1) No, this isn't code compliant, because, as Gary noted, the window has to have direct egress to the outside in your case. Think about Ron's suggestion of adding a window to the exterior and closing the existing window up.

2) You'd still be exiting to the interior, so that won't necessarily work either.

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