Bedroom Help

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  #1  
Old 01-18-06, 05:24 PM
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Bedroom Help

I need help with a remodeling project. Currently, we have a two bedroom ranch house that has a 4 season room addition that was put on the back of the house. The problem is that in order to access the back 4 season room, we need to walk through the second bedroom. Currently there is Frech doors off of the second bedroom and that is probably how they got around not having a window in that room. To get around not having to walk through one room to get to the other, we were thinking of putting a hallway in the bedroom and taking out the french doors and putting up a wall there. Now the big problem is that by doing that, there is no window in that room. i talked with the building inspector and this was his answer to the question:

Depending on the size of the bedroom, it might be possible to put in transom
type windows to the new hallway if the hallway communicates directly to the
4 season room without a door. Another idea is to put a window in the wall
facing the 4 season room. You can always have draperies or blinds...the code
does not restrict that.

I was thinking of using his second suggestion. Any ideas or suggestions on what to do with this situation? Any help would be very appreciated

Thanks for your help

Bob
 
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Old 01-18-06, 07:31 PM
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I would put the window in the wall into the 4 season room, not in the hallway.
Good Luck
 
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Old 01-18-06, 07:32 PM
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I don't know where you are at, so I don't know WHAT bldg. code is being followed. But in CA, (UBC), you CANNOT count a door or window into an enclosed space as egress -- there HAS to be egress DIRECTLY to the outside.

That said, your house may be in a location that is governed by some other code, and what you have may be perfectly legal. I don't know what the inspector is thinking. The SIZE of a bedroom has nothing to do with egress. If it's a room that has a closet, it looks like a bedroom, it smells like a bedroom, and therefore it IS a bedroom, and ALL bedrooms have to have egress.
 
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Old 01-18-06, 07:37 PM
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You beat me by about 3 keystrokes Jack!! Guess it depends on the code that is being used in that particular jurisdiction. But I know I can't install a patio room (3 season or 4 season) in such a way that the only legal egress of a bedroom is in it. I would have to add another window in that room that opens DIRECTLY outside.
 
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Old 01-18-06, 07:53 PM
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Lefty:
You are correct my friend. I have the same codes you do. But if his inspector says its ok, I guess thats that. Keep dry.
 
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Old 01-18-06, 07:59 PM
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I currently live in Wisconsin and the quote I gave you is directly from the state Instpector. i also checked with the local inspector and he also agreed with the state inspector. i am wondering if it works because it is going into a four seasons room with all sliding doors? In saying that, what would you recommend doing with my situation?

thanks again

Bob
 
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Old 01-18-06, 08:08 PM
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Bedroom Help

I am in Minnesota and always marvel at the differences in the codes and applications between Wisconsin and surrounding states. They have made some code changes and are actually closer than they were a few years.

I am only 15 miles from the Republic of Wisconsin and many of my friends have a tough time keeping things straight, especially on interpretations and the stricter requirements in some areas.

Dick
 
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Old 01-18-06, 09:11 PM
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therazorsedge,

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF CODE ENFORCEMENT!!!

If you found 2 inspectors that both told you the same thing, then that's what you go with. (Send them to CA when your done with them!!) No, the fact that there are sliders in the patio room (at least around here!) wouldn't matter. I have about 100 inspectors who all agree on one thing -- a bedroom egress window HAS to open DIRECTLY to the outside.

But there are so many things in the way the same code is applied and enforced differently from one jurisdiction to the next -- it's no wonder I haven't got a hair left on the top of my head!! I do work in 6 or 7 cities, in 4 counties, and have to deal with the State when it comes to most mobile or modular homes. So I have to keep track of at LEAST 12 or 14 different versions of the same code, and know what applies where. It's enough to drink a man to drive!!!
 
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Old 01-19-06, 03:35 AM
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Here is a link to a PDF file published by the State of Wis. and from the written code, your inspectors aren't reliable.

http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/comm/comm021.pdf

Scroll down to COMM 21.03 and 21.05.
 
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Old 01-19-06, 04:49 AM
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I also have the code book. But thanks for the link. This is the first email I got from the state.

Per Comm 21.05, each bedroom in one and two family dwellings must have a
window area providing natural light of at least 8% of the floor area.
Skylights can be included in the window area.

There is an exception that allows natural light to be obtained from
"adjoining areas through glazed openings, louvers, or other approved
methods. Door openings into adjoining areas may not be used to satisfy this
requirement."

In addition, there is a requirement that natural ventilation be provided by
means of openable doors, windows, or skylights. This requires that a net
3.5% of the floor area of the room is openable to the outside. A balanced
mechanical supply of outside air could be used in lieu of outside openings,
but the aupply must run whenever the room is occupied and provide a minimum
of 1 air change per hour of fresh outside air.
 
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Old 01-19-06, 08:24 AM
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Comm 21.05(1)(b) states, "...Natural light may be obtained from adjoining areas through glazed openings, lovers or other approved methods. Door openings into adjoining areas may not be used to satisfy this requirement."
 
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Old 01-19-06, 08:35 PM
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therazorsedge,

OK -- that's light and ventilation. But I'm talking about EGRESS -- how is somebody going to get out in case of a fire, or how are the firemen going to get in? Try that one on them.
 
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Old 01-19-06, 08:41 PM
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I understand that and 21.03 addresses egress, far more important than light and ventilation.
Ask any fireman.

It sounds as if you received an extremly narrow responce, when you should have receive a more comprehensive explanation addressing both egress and light and ventilation.
 
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Old 01-20-06, 05:58 AM
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Thank you for all of your replies to this post. I really appreciate it. I guess I didnt want this forum to turn into a debate on the code. I was really looking for ideas on my current problem. If both my local and my state inspector gave me the go ahead I guess i would have to believe them. Also the new addition was added before me but was added in the last 5-10 years. This area was inspected after they were done and it passed all inspections including the current bedroom setup. If anyone has any ideas on how to remedy this situation I would be all ears Thanks again for all of your help
 
  #15  
Old 01-20-06, 06:18 AM
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Put in the hallway so that you can access the 4 season room without going through the bedroom. Take out the french doors and put a window of the same width in their place. Make sure that the window height is at least 36", and that the sill is no more than 44" above the finished floor. Window coverings (drapes, miniblinds, etc. are fine. If your inspectors don't have a problem with the room blocking the egress to the bedroom, who are we to argue??

Doon't worry about starting a debate over codes in here. It happens often; mostly because there are so many different codes that may be followed in so many different jurisdictions, and everyone of those jurisdictions has some points that they interpret differently from everybody else.
 
  #16  
Old 01-20-06, 07:27 AM
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Wisconsin Code

I read the Wisconisn Code and egress windows are not required in every bedroom and when and where they are located is dependent upon room sizes etc...

Your code officials are applying the Wisconsin Code as written.

http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/comm/comm021.pdf

But it should be remembered that Codes are the barest of MINIMUM safety requirements and adhereing to the strict interpretation of any Code can get you killed sometimes.

If I were you, I would NEVER allow any sleeping area to have no emergenecy egress window that did not go directly to the outside of the structure and I would recommend highly that you put one into this bedroom even though your Code does not require one.

Even worse practice than having to access your 4 season room from a bedroom is to have to exit a burning house THROUGH THE FLAMES AND SMOKE IN A CORRIDOR if you have no emergency egress and rescue opening to get out and an emergency egress and rescue opening through which fire and other resuce personell can get in.

Despite the fact that Wisconsin Code will allow you to use this plan, DON'T DO IT without also putting an emergency escape and rescue door or window into the bedroom from which you plan to make the hall.

Your plan to take part of the bedroom to make a hall is doable and legal, but it should not be at the expense of your or your family's safety.

Only put this plan into effect if you also install an emergency escape window or door leading directly to the exterior of the modified bedroom.

PLEASE!
 
  #17  
Old 01-20-06, 10:28 AM
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Very good point about the escape. Could a somehow put and etra escape going into the garage? Or would a skylight be better? Thanks again for all of your help. I really appreciate it Lefty I also appreciate your ideas. In the future, would this type of question be better suited for a different forum on this site?
 
  #18  
Old 01-20-06, 02:02 PM
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therazorsedge,

First, you're in the right forum. Where else would you put a code question besides the Codes forum?? And, like I said, don't give it a second thought that your question started a little debate or discussion -- we get that all the time, BECAUSE there are quite a few "Codes" (UBC, IRC, BOCA, etc., etc.) and every jurisdiction has some different interpretation of some of the sections.

The "best" solution would be to have legal egress directly to the outside, without going through the 4 season room, a hallway, a garage, or anything else. It is such a safety issue that I wonder what your local jurisdiction is thinking when they say that it's OK that you DON'T have it! (Like manhattan42 said, "Ask any fireman!") I also understand the layout of your house and the location of the 4 seasons room -- it completely covers the only outside wall that this bedroom ever had. There's no place to PUT a window that would allow direct egress outside. Again, I wonder what your local jurisdiction was thinking when they say that was OK to locate the room like that. But, since that's what you have, and the inspectors are OK with it, and since it's not possible to have egress DIRECTLY to the outside, then o the next best -- put the window in the wall between the bedroom and the 4 season room, Make it egress legal OTHER THAN its location -- 6' wide, 3' tall, and the sill no more than 44" above the floor. Without removing at least part of the 4 season room, that is the best solution that you have available.

Forget the skylight as an escape. Nobody keeps a ladder in their bedroom (how else would you get to it to use it??) and NO fireman in his or her right mind is going to climb on the ROOF of a burning building to gain access to it. It can be used in the calculation of light. If it's operable, it counts towards ventilation. But a skylight will NEVER count towards or be considered EGRESS.
 
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Old 01-20-06, 08:22 PM
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therazorsedge, lefty and manhattan42:

Your attention is directed to:http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/comm/comm021.pdf
Comm 21.03, 5,6 &7.

For clarification.
 
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Old 01-20-06, 08:35 PM
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Thanks again for all your help lefty I will just try to make the best out of a bad situation. Anyways I wont be doing much house work this weekend because Wisconsin just got dumped with 6 inches of snow. Remind me why I live here Have a good weekend.
 
  #21  
Old 01-20-06, 08:41 PM
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Answers have been given - Thread Closed

This thread is CLOSED.

The initial posting was asked and has been answered with some debate. We have taken this thread to its limits and the information that was last provided dictates the requirements, :http://www.legis.state.wi.us/rsb/code/comm/comm021.pdf
Comm 21.03, 5,6 &7.


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