Bedrooms are probably the most essential rooms in a house because they’re so private. A bedroom is your haven when you want to get away from everyone and everything. As a result, many people tend to focus a good chunk of the house’s construction, interior design, and furnishing budget on the bedroom.
Is it possible to have two doors in the same bedroom? Of course, yes. If you look carefully, there is no reason you can’t put two entries in your bedroom. In fact, there are numerous reasons why you should consider doing this. As unconventional as it might sound, it doesn’t change the room from being a bedroom.
What makes a room a bedroom?
Defining bedrooms is important for two main reasons: safety and home value. Of course, your home value increases with a higher bedroom count. It’s therefore essential to have as many rooms as possible labeled as bedrooms. But what is the threshold for a space to deserve the “bedroom” title?
These vary from state to state and are the most significant determining factor of whether a room can be labeled a bedroom. These requirements can range from fire measures to means of egress.’
Another essential determining factor on whether a room is a bedroom is the safety issue. The International Residential Code (IRC) has a strict set of requirements for a “habitable room,” which includes the “sleeping unit” or the bedroom.
Builders must follow the IRC’s guidelines alongside their state’s regulations when building a bedroom. For instance, an effective means of egress in the event of a fire is the main reason there are window requirements for a bedroom space.
Technically, a bedroom must have two means of egress, which makes a second door an acceptable alternative for a window. However, the door must open to the outside and not into another room. Furthermore, not just any window will do. A bedroom window must have a minimum opening of at least 5.7 square feet, a minimum opening height of 24 inches, and a minimum width of 20 inches.
The maximum distance between the finished door and the window is 44 inches, but newer regulations have added that the minimum distance between the finished window and finished floor should be 24 inches to prevent children from falling out of open windows. It’s also important to note that the second means of egress, whether a second door or window, must be operable from the inside without the use of tools, keys, or special knowledge.
Building codes also have regulations for the placement of an alarm in a bedroom. For example, the code requires that smoke alarms in all new constructions must be placed within a bedroom and outside each bedroom.
Most of these recent requirements apply to new houses. Still, even long-time homeowners would benefit from following them, especially if they plan to convert it into a sleeping area. For example, adding a bed to a basement or attic for one of the kids does not make the space a safe sleeping area. It’s pretty challenging to add a second means of egress that meets the IRC’s code to any basement, even finished ones.
A real estate perspective
An added bedroom instantly inflates your home’s value. As a matter of fact, the number of bedrooms is the universal yardstick for measuring a house’s size. Fortunately, even real estate agencies follow some guidelines when defining a bedroom to stop homeowners from branding every room in the house as a bedroom.
Although there is no national standard for what a bedroom should be, the code of ethics binds real estate agents to check a few boxes before declaring a room a bedroom. This checklist should be a mixture of the IRC and state regulations on the definition of a bedroom.
However, the lack of national standards leaves some gray areas, such as older homes built when bedrooms didn’t include closets or bedrooms that have had their doors removed. How a real estate agent deals with these issues varies from one agency to another, but basically, if a room is safe enough for habitation, it will pass the test.
Why your bedroom might need two doors
Now that we know what a bedroom is, does it really need two doors? Well, that pretty much depends on your bedroom, but there are a few reasons why you might consider adding a second exit to your bedroom.
- To meet regulations
As we saw above, for any room to qualify to become a bedroom, it needs to have two means of egress. If you want to convert a closed room into a bedroom, you can decide to add a second door that leads outside, especially if a window would be impractical for whatever reason.
Most wealthy people who live in huge mansions have multiple doors in each room, including bedrooms. This is to help them escape to safety more easily in case of a security threat. You could also add a second door to your bedroom if you live in a high-risk neighborhood. The split second you use to exit through the back door in the case of a break-in could save your life.
- Accessing the backyard
If you love being outdoors and spend most of your time indoors in the bedroom, your bedroom might benefit from a second door to access the backyard with more ease. This is especially a good addition if your house doesn’t have another back door.
- To access the closet nursery
A second door might be practical if your bedroom is right next to the closet nursery or children’s room. The second door can open straight into the children’s room and save you the time it takes to get out of your room and into theirs. Also, if you have an infant, the second door can remain open at night to help you monitor the baby, especially if you don’t have a baby monitor.
The bedroom is where we spend the most time with ourselves, feel the most pleasure, and rest. So it’s essential to make it comfortable, cozy, and convenient.