Walkout Basement Bedroom Requirements are Egress Windows for Emergency Exit, Presence of a Closet, A Walkout Door, and A Sprinkler System.
When the foundation of a thing is not solid, destruction is inevitable. This is why when you want to build a home, the higher the building you want, the deeper the foundation goes.
The strength of the foundation determines the strength and durability of the home you are building, and engineers have taken to making a basement out of the foundation of houses.
Over time, basements have been used for all manner of purposes. Small basements that you can’t even stand straight in have been encountered, and there are also larger basements that are easily assessed and used for things like a wine cellar, a library, a store, and even a bedroom, which is the purpose of this article.
In case you are still wondering, a basement is simply a space of a house below ground level, however small, wide, or spacious it is. People have grown more creative in the use of basements so much that it is now frequently used as a fully furnished bedroom.
However, the question is, do all types of basements qualify as a bedroom? If not, what are the requirements that must be met to have a walkout basement bedroom? Oops! Another unfamiliar word is ‘walkout’. Is a basement different from a walkout basement? Let’s find out!
What is a Walkout Basement?
A walkout basement has a large enough space where you can simply walk around, and even create a proper, everyday door to walk out of.
Hence the name ‘Walkout Basement.’ You can simply walk out of it, or walk into it as you please. What differentiates a walkout basement from an ordinary basement?
Well, as earlier stated, basements are simply foundational spaces, that is, spaces fully or partially below ground level of your house.
There are some basements that you wouldn’t even attempt to enter because there isn’t enough space for you to move around. There are some that you have to get on all fours and crawl to gain access to it. There are some others that you have to bend all day long if you have to be in there, meaning you can’t stand upright, there just isn’t enough space in there.
These require an egress window, that is, a space created for entrance and exit. And then some are large enough to have full doors, large enough to walk around in and walk out of easily. These are called walkout basements, and they are the most useful and desirable of all basements.
They come with the main wall that has a window. They also have stairs leading up to the main house and down into the basement and can be used for all types of purposes.
Many even use it as a separate apartment because many of them also have doors that lead out to the ground level of the home.
If you are wondering whether it is okay to put a bedroom in a walkout basement, read further.
Can I Put a Bedroom in a Walkout Basement?
Yes, you can, if your walkout basement has enough space and ventilation. However, you should note that not all areas recognize a walkout basement as legal to have a bedroom in, but some do, provided you meet the requirements of a walkout basement bedroom.
You can even have as many as two bedrooms in a walkout basement, depending also on how large it is. If you have both doors and an egress window that serves as an entrance or exit to the basement, chances are your walkout basement is large enough and you can put a bedroom in there.
Once again, you should note that there are some requirements your basement needs to meet before it can be used as a bedroom. Meeting these requirements is important for both safety and health measures. But, Do Basement Bedrooms Count on an Appraisal?
Walkout Basement Bedroom Requirements
There is a list of requirements that has to be met before your walkout basement can qualify as an additional bedroom in your home. You would be using your basement as a bedroom at your peril if your walkout basement does not meet these requirements.
1. Egress Windows for Emergency Exit
It doesn’t matter if your basement is a walkout basement that has a door and stairs into the main living areas of the house.
If you want to convert the walkout basement into a bedroom, it must also have egress windows that are big enough to be used as an emergency exit in cases when there is little or no time to reach the walkout door, or if by any chance the door is locked from the other side. It is just like a normal bedroom having a window.
The perfect size for the egress window in question should be no lesser than fifteen inches on all sides. It is also welcoming if it is wider than fifteen inches.
Another thing you need to note here is that you must not tamper with the required fittings or basement walls to create space for the window to meet its minimum fifteen inches space, as that will put the integrity of the whole foundation of the house into jeopardy.
Here are accurate dimensions for your egress window given by experts if you want to make your walkout basement qualify as a bedroom.
The space dimensions of the window must be a minimum of 5.6 square feet, it must be at least 24 inches wide and 20 inches high. This is the safest and most secure size for an egress window.
The position of the egress window also matters. It must be at least five percent of the floor area of the room to serve as a source of normal daylight.
2. Presence of a Closet
There should be a closet in the walkout basement for it to pass for a bedroom. Typically, in every bedroom, a closet is mandatory.
It has nothing to do with legal issues, but it is usually a standard for a room while in construction. You should have enough space in your walkout basement for a closet if you want to make it a bedroom.
3. A Walkout Door
Another requirement to make your basement into a bedroom is to have a basement door that leads to the main living area, or the exterior of your house.
This is often characterized by stairs leading up to the door. This door will serve as the main entrance or exit into the walkout basement bedroom, while the egress window will serve as another route for quick or emergency exits.
4. A Sprinkler System
You should install a sprinkler system in the basement. This is another requirement for a walkout basement bedroom. A sprinkler system is used to dispel fire.
Once the fire alarm goes off, the sprinkler accompanies it. This is to protect against fire. It is very important to ensure your basement is against fire because once a fire starts in the basement, it is difficult to put out.
To convert a walkout basement into a bedroom, the three most important requirements are an exterior door, a properly sized egress window, and a sprinkler system. These three requirements are necessary for the safety of the bedroom owner and the residents of the house.