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Should we move a wall to make 2 small rooms?

Posted by outdoorsoul (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 21, 11 at 20:59

I was wondering if you may give us your opinion on doing work in the house. We have an old victorian that has a small office (6.5'x5' - 32.5sq.ft.) in the front. The bedroom right next to it is roughly 10.75'x14.3' (148 sq. ft.).

We are having a baby in January and to make more space, we are considering moving the wall of the office and are wondering how this may value the home.

We have a few options.

1) Moving the wall 3 ft. Changes the square footage to 116 for the big room and 52 for the small room.

2) Moving the wall 6.25 ft. Changes the square footage to 81 for the big room and 73 for the small room.

3) Moving the wall 7.5 ft. Changes the square footage to 66 for the big room and 81 for the small room.

We would also need to add a closet to the small room (which I figure would be 6 square feet).

My questions:
1) I read somewhere that the IBC code said a bedroom has to be 70 square feet... do you know if this is true?
2) How would 4 bedrooms, even with 2 of them being small, affect resale (perception/value/etc)?
3) Is there anything else that you can think of that we should consider?

The cost for this will be at most $2000 (according to the contractor).

We are looking at best options and want to make sure we don't do something that will come back and kick us later.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Should we move a wall to make 2 small rooms?

you're going to enlarge the small room taking from the bedroom?

is this to have a baby room next to your bedroom?

are the other bedrooms upstairs?

can you draw it out on graph paper w/measurements and post that?

RE: Should we move a wall to make 2 small rooms?

Here is a link to a rough sketch...

The blue is option 1

The red is option 2

I didn't draw in option 3.

Here is a link that might be useful: Room Sketch

RE: Should we move a wall to make 2 small rooms?

Right now we have one bedroom/den that is 13 by 9 feet. I think it is WAY too narrow. I know bedrooms used to be 8 by 10 as pretty standard. For resale and this is only my opinion. I would keep it as is and use the office as a nursery next to the master. I would not like two tiny bedrooms at all. If anything open the wall between and make one really large room and then more children can share it.

At our last house two of the bedrooms were 10 by 10 and that was about as small as I would consider comfortable.At one house we owned one of the rooms was 8 1/2 by 11. I used it for my craft room only.It was nothing but a tight fit.

A double bed is 54 inches wide and then a side table or two.I am afraid you would be making both rooms unusable. I just remembered a house we looked at to buy and had two upstairs bedrooms neither would fit a twin bed.

RE: Should we move a wall to make 2 small rooms?

I agree with Shades. Either leave it as is, or put in an opening between the two rooms...maybe a play alcove off the kids' bedroom. Put in bunk beds and two children could easily share that space. Most kids love quirky rooms :)

RE: Should we move a wall to make 2 small rooms?

I don't know anything about the code except that every town seems to use a different one.

As far as resale if you eliminated the office space, what did you think about the room when you first looked at the house? Our house had a 7x7 room off the entry when we bought this house. We couldn't figure out it's intended purpose. The previous owner used it as a bedroom (they left the bed in there), and we tried to use it as an office but it was just too small for more than one person at a time. So we made it a closet. I just thought it was a weird little room when we looked at the house.

RE: Should we move a wall to make 2 small rooms?

I would make a passageway from the bedroom to this space if wanting to just use it for a baby room. Our daughter did that with a walkin closet, had the baby bed there, and once the child was large enough to get out of that, she moved into the bedroom with her sister. Then that went back to being a walkin closet.

I think it would be better to make it so you could in the future turn it into your walkin closet for your bedroom, or if not, return it to being a study/office. It would be a lot more sellable and have more uses as folks say what they are looking for to buy.

Ok...what happened? I scare everybody?

Oh jeez, it happened again, I killed a thread!!!
So sorry about that. I'd love to see a floor plan for the spaces involved, if you can create one in PAINT or upload a photo of the space itself.

Don't stop now....we are waiting to see what happens next!

RE: Should we move a wall to make 2 small rooms?

Yes, IRC (International Residential Code) calls for a minimum of 70 sq ft for a habitable room. Most states/counties/municipalities follow some version of the IRC. There are also rules about windows being large enough to climb out of, etc. Chances are that if you get a permit to do the work, they won't pay much attention to all that on an existing old home, but that depends entirely upon your local jurisdiction. The only way to find out is to ask.

It sounds like the wall you are moving isn't load-bearing, which means a future buyer could easily remove it or move it. On old houses, you expect that kind of thing, and as long as the work is well-done and attractive, I don't think it will hurt re-sale.

RE: Should we move a wall to make 2 small rooms?

Don't forget about windows for egress in those bedrooms....that is code~~ and to be called a "bedroom", there also needs to be closets...will you have both of these items?

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