I was thinking of putting a bed in my basement...There is an exit to the side door up the stairs to the outside plus I have a basement door that leads to the garage and outside.

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    Does your jurisdiction use the Life Safety Code or the International Residential Code? Are you on city or well water for that matter, and if you're on city water, then what size is your incoming water service, and how far is it from the house to the street? Sep 17, 2020 at 11:46
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    @ThreePhaseEel: I'm curious why you asked about the water supply. What difference does that make? I'm guessing something to do with fire-protection? Sep 17, 2020 at 18:44
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    @whatsisname -- yes, good guess indeed -- water supply is one of the major factors in determining whether a fire sprinkler retrofit is feasible, which in turn changes the "means of escape" calculus greatly in jurisdictions that use the Life Safety Code. Sep 17, 2020 at 23:08

2 Answers 2


Sleeping rooms shall have an egress window or a door that opens directly to the outside. (See ICC R302.6.) The door cannot be in a hallway or open into the house or garage.

Garages are to be separated from single family residences by 1/2” gypsum board on garage side ONLY, and the garage cannot open into a sleeping room. (See ICC Table R302.6.)

The door between the garage and house shall be a solid wood door a minimum of 1 3/8” thick and is NOT permitted into a sleeping room. (See ICC R302.5.1.1.)

  • Just a ridiculous answer. He asked if he can put a bed in a room in his basement. He didn't ask if he could get a room in his basement to be considered a bedroom by code. The answer to his question is yes. Your answer just confused people.
    – DMoore
    Sep 17, 2020 at 17:37
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    Not ridiculous at all. Totally on-point. The implication by those not versed in the terminology of "bed in basement" is pretty clearly "bed to sleep in == bedroom in basement". Because obviously it isn't about "storing a mattress downstairs". Sep 17, 2020 at 17:52
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    @DMoore The answer is yes if 1) it has an egress window or door, 2) the egress window or door is not into a garage, 3) it has a smoke alarm. Your answer implies he’s ok as is. That is not true and could be life threatening. Also, you say a basement “must have a door that you can walk out of for a room to be considered a bedroom “. That is also not true.
    – Lee Sam
    Sep 17, 2020 at 17:57
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    @SteveSether It seems you’re upset that Building Code Inspectors could inspect someone’s basement and declare it in non-conformance with the Building Code. I say I hope someone inspects these spaces. I would never want to put a child, guest, tenant, etc. in an unsafe environment. I guess I’m one of the “bastards” you refer to. Yes, if you sleep in a room (in a basement or otherwise) it needs to comply with the code. Please explain to me how you know more than the code and don’t need egress windows, smoke alarms, etc. just because it’s “just a bed in the basement “.
    – Lee Sam
    Sep 18, 2020 at 18:39
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    @SteveSether Yes, I can think of 2 issues that require a change 1) smoke detectors at bedrooms, and 2) tempered glass at doors, etc. I think if you’re smarter than the experts, maybe you should help them rewrite the code and have them get all that silly stuff out of the code. I’m no expert, but I do try to follow all the laws, including Building Code requirements.
    – Lee Sam
    Sep 18, 2020 at 21:56

Well first of all for safety reasons you seem covered. You have exits in two directions and possibly three if the regular windows can fit a human.

From a code aspect there is nothing that says you cannot put a bed in your basement. Now there are real estate listing rules that do not count a living space as a bedroom in a basement unless it meets certain criteria.

For most home listings there must be a door that you can walk out of in the basement for a room to be considered a bedroom in a basement. You seem to have that in the door to the garage. Also allowable is an egress window.

That being said you can put a bed where ever you want and there are no laws against that.

  • I always thought (but now I cannot find any code so I must be wrong) that a bedroom could not egress directly into a garage.
    – Matthew
    Sep 17, 2020 at 5:47
  • @Matthew - you might want to reread the question and answer.
    – DMoore
    Sep 17, 2020 at 5:54
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    @DMoore The op says he “has a basement door that leads to the garage...” This is not allowed if he adds a bed. The op says he’s adding a “bed” not a “couch”. If his (or your kids) fall asleep on a couch (or the floor) you’re fine...just not a bed ...that is a sleeping room. Also, your last statement that “you can put a bed anywhere” is not true.
    – Lee Sam
    Sep 17, 2020 at 17:48
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    @UuDdLrLrSs Did you see my “answer” ? I posted my answer first and then made a comment about “downvoting”...so he’d know why it was downvoted and who did it. DMoore downvoted me out of spite after I downvoted him/her/them. Most people don’t admit that they Downvoted anyone because of retaliation.
    – Lee Sam
    Sep 18, 2020 at 2:05
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact DMoore does not understand that the egress window is for rescue too. I think most of us want to create a safe environment. Sure, some people will always try to push the limits, but I think this is pretty clear on this case. You can call it a couch, a hammock, towels on the floor, or whatever, but the intent is clear and our Building Officials have determined that an egress window is required, regardless of how many exits you have through a garage. Those that think they know more than the Building Officials will always argue with outlandish statements.
    – Lee Sam
    Sep 18, 2020 at 7:15

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