Planning to buy a new house? Or are you thinking of renting a new apartment with a windowless bedroom?
Most of us are so accustomed to seeing windows in bedrooms that we may never have questioned their importance. Apart from the obvious importance of fresh air and sunlight, windows are an irreplaceable aspect of any home, especially in bedrooms. We cannot fathom a house without windows, but is the same true for bedrooms?
Does having a window in your bedroom really matter? Or is it just a common practice with no real significance?
In this article, we’ll explore what impact having a window, or lack thereof, in your bedroom has on you and whether it is something you should be worried about.
Here’s If Bedrooms Have to Have Windows
To be acknowledged as a valid bedroom, a room is legally required to have at least one window. However, this does not eliminate the possibility of a property having bedrooms that don’t include windows.
People are frequently offered the choice of purchasing or renting a property with a windowless space. It is usually some spare area that has been turned into a bedroom. Bedrooms without windows are common in industrial design flats, for instance, and are usually used as rental space.
Do bedrooms need a window?
Yes. To be legally classified as a bedroom, a space must conform to specific legal standards. In fact, you may be surprised to know that, despite common assumptions, any space does not have to have a bed in order to be classified as a bedroom.
Instead, in order for a space to be deemed a livable area, it must adhere to the International Residential Code (IRC).
IRC is a building code that is responsible for and oversees all residential dwellings. As per the IRC, there are three main criteria that a living space must fulfill to be classified as a bedroom. Let’s take a look at them:
For any space to be classified as a bedroom, it should have a minimum floor area of at least 70 square feet and extend at least 7 feet in just about every direction. The ceiling height is also required to be at least 7 feet to allow plenty of headroom for people to be able to stand up erect.
Means of Egress
Entrances and exit points are essential in a bedroom. It is crucial for a bedroom to have the means to get outside in the event of an emergency. A window is one such crucial escape route.
As a window can meet a room’s cooling demands, the IRC only requires that a bedroom have a specific heat source established. This would not contain a cooling system.
However, you should know that these are requirements that are only applicable to a bedroom. Your local building code could have additional guidelines and requirements that are mandated by the respective state.
Pros and Cons of having a window
This one goes without saying. When you have a window in your bedroom, you can expect to receive tons of sunshine. You receive natural light throughout the day, and it makes your room feel brighter and worth living in.
A bedroom like that can thus be deemed a livable space because it isn’t dark and depressing. When you have a bedroom with windows, you wouldn’t have to invest much in artificial light arrangements as there is plenty of natural light easily available to you.
If you’re trying to sell your apartment with a bedroom that consists of windows, you can expect to receive a higher price than what you had anticipated. A bedroom with several windows is classified as an area that is livable under building codes. And a window with a good view will always be sought after by potential buyers.
Although no one wants to consider that something terrible might happen to them, it is critical to prepare yourself in case such situations do occur. That is why there are so many restrictions on what constitutes appropriate egress and air circulation guidelines.
A window in a bedroom can prove to be very useful in case of an emergency.
Any room with a window appears larger than the ones without windows. A window also raises the esthetic appeal of a room. And who doesn’t want a spacious-looking room?
Apartments that have rooms with several windows are typically priced high. Anyone intending to sell a house with bedrooms that have windows had an opportunity to profit when it comes to this. Buyers and renters tend to look for places with several windows, and when the demand rises, so do the prices. So, if you’re planning to buy a place with windows, get your pockets ready to take a hit.
No Control Over Temperature
When you have large windows in your bedroom, or any other room for that matter, you might notice that the temperature in your room changes quickly. Although natural light is often an advantage, it can sometimes be a disadvantage as well.
For example, in summers, your room might get warmer faster because of your windows. You’ll need to crank up the AC, which will only add to your bills. The same applies to colder seasons. You will have to install a heater in your room if you live in an area that gets chilly winters.
To deal with this temperature issue caused by your windows, you might have to spend a lot. You may have to invest in window glasses that will block the rays of sunshine, snow, and chilly winds, or get some durable curtains that will help deal with temperature fluctuations.
Lack of Privacy
While you may get some pretty views from your window, someone outside may also be getting a view in. If you live in a bustling area and your room has many windows, expect to lose some of your privacy.
Windows get easily dirty as dust particles settle on them frequently. You’ll have to clean them on a daily basis to avoid the accumulation of dust and dirt. Apart from that, you’ll also have to maintain the window glasses and curtains.
Do bedrooms have to have windows?
Like we’ve explained earlier, a room is technically considered a bedroom only if it follows certain regulations, one of which is having a window. However, you can turn any room into a bedroom. In that regard, no, bedrooms do not have to have windows. It is often a subjective decision and depends on an individual’s requirements.
But you may have noticed that we are often drawn to apartments with windows rather than the ones with no windows. Ever wondered why? It can’t just be for the view alone.
When a house is designed, a lot of planning and thought goes into it. Where the doors would go, how the layout would be, how many windows would be added, and where — these are all factors that are taken into account. This is largely because windows play a crucial role in how we perceive a living space.
Although not every space requires a window, you can still utilize a room that lacks windows as a bedroom. While you may want to use these areas as sleeping quarters in certain situations, there are a number of things you need to take into consideration.
In case you are claustrophobic and can’t be in crowded, confined, or enclosed areas, it is ideal for you to rent or buy with enough windows to make you feel comfortable. The most significant advantage of bedrooms having windows is that you will never feel cluttered.
There are instances when occupying a bedroom with no window panes is unavoidable. In that case, you could talk to the constructors and have at least one small window put in. Converting a place like that into a little bedroom, instead of just using it as a dead island or a filing cabinet, could provide you with additional utility in your property. You could also convert it into a makeshift bedroom.
Such areas, in fact, make excellent rooms for guests. Because they’re only used once in a while, having small windows is something that could be overlooked.
Why are bedrooms required to have windows?
There are various reasons for bedrooms to have windows such as safety, ventilation, and health.
Several studies have found that exposure to natural light on a daily basis is beneficial to our psychological health. We are dependent on sunlight to lead a healthy life. A bedroom lacking windows can deprive you of natural sunlight and may have an adverse effect on your health, not only mentally but also physically.
A windowless room is bound to have a cross-ventilation problem. The lack of fresh air can create a stale environment in your room and make it a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
You will also have to invest in suitable fire and gas detection equipment and then inspect them on a daily basis. When your room has windows, you wouldn’t have to go the extra mile like this.
Your bedroom needs to have windows to save it from smelling bad as well. Have you noticed that when you walk into a windowless room there’s always a weird smell around? That is due to a lack of ventilation. If you don’t want your room to smell funny and want to avoid spending needlessly on room fresheners, your room must have windows.
Did you know that there is a risk of carbon dioxide build-up in a windowless bedroom? Think about it. You would sleep for 6 to 8 hours on average. All that breathing in a windowless room can lead to carbon dioxide building up and make you feel groggy and tired when you wake up. The easiest way to combat this is to have windows to allow fresh air in.
Besides, windows are a great way to feel closer to nature. It helps stimulate your brain compared to when you’re cooped up inside a windowless room.
Is it code to have a window in a bedroom?
Yes. When it comes to having a window in the bedroom, building codes impose precise requirements.
As mentioned earlier, the IRC requires bedrooms to have a window. The window must also be 44 inches from the floor, 24 inches in height, and 20 inches in width. They also require the window to have a minimum of 5.7 square feet opening.
When it comes to building codes, both the construction company and the property owner have their roles to play. The guidelines established by such housing codes have to be followed. Property owners are also expected to obey the guidelines when they are planning to transform a pre-existing space into a bedroom or sleeping area.
Windowless bedrooms aren’t recognized bedrooms whatsoever. So, a better option would be to use it as a den or a guest room that will not be used too regularly.
But sometimes, you may not have any other option but to use the windowless bedroom. In such cases, you can still work around ways to make the room more liveable. Pay special attention to lighting fixtures and ventilation to make sure you get plenty of fresh air in the room.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what constitutes a bedroom and why it is important to have at least one window in your bedroom.