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When is a bedroom a bedroom?

I read an article in this weekend’s Denver Post about when a bedroom is legally considered a bedroom and I thought I should share some information with you. Most questions arise when looking at basement bedrooms.

– A bedroom is considered "legal" (i.e. "conforming) when the window dimensions meet a list of particular requirements. They can vary depending on your local building code. Basically, they must be large enough and low enough to enable emergency escape and must meet minimum standards to provide natural light and adequate ventilation.

– Regarding the belief that closets are required to call it a bedroom, there is no such standard found in any of the building codes. Closets are included as a standard of practice, not as a legal requirement. After talking to Metrolist (the "MLS") they do not define bedroom either. However, they do recommend stating that a bedroom may be non-conforming if we feel it does not fit the criteria of a "common" bedroom. These disqualifying criteria could include a small window or no closet. This is the same criteria I have used in the past and is typically followed by most agents.