I plan to build an interior non-loadbearing wall in the upstairs of my home. There is a large open area that I want to close off for an office. Once complete would be about 110sqft.

All I would do is frame a single wall, move a light switch to an existing light fixture without adding any additional wiring, my hvac buddy will add a register/return, and then drywall. There is already a closet, a window, and I will add a smoke detector. The c02 detector is already in the hallway.

Do I need a permit for this work? Can I consider this room a bedroom if I were to ever sell?

  • Each local building department have their own rules/regulations what needs a permit. You will need to contact them to see if a permit(or they want money) is needed. The cost of not getting a needed permit is usually much more.
    – crip659
    Nov 20 at 18:47
  • A bedroom must typically satisfy the "sleeping room" requirements from the International Residential Code. codes.iccsafe.org/content/IRC2021P2/… is a good place to start. Just search that chapter for sleeping room. You didn't mention a smoke alarm, for instance.
    – popham
    Nov 20 at 18:59
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    @popham Actually, did mention a smoke alarm: and I will add a smoke detector. But in any case, smoke alarms are usually the easy thing to add. The big issue is egress. Nov 20 at 19:44
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    @manassehkatz, whoops. For what it's worth, I linked to the egress section of the IRC.
    – popham
    Nov 20 at 20:17
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact I know the difference between alarm and detector, but for family homes is there a difference in what is sold? I imagine most, if not all, are detector and alarm combined. Some might miss those red boxes.
    – crip659
    Nov 20 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


Permit requirement will depend on jurisdiction. Two separate issues on that: general construction and electrical. Electrical is minimal, but some places are insistent on permits even for the little stuff. As far as general construction, some places only really care if there are outside structure changes or changes to load-bearing walls, but again some places require permits for smaller jobs.

As far as a bedroom, that gets interesting. Bedrooms have specific requirements, particularly for egress. Generally this means having either a door to the outside or a window with a certain minimum size opening, maximum distance from the floor, etc. You might end up turning one room that does count as a bedroom into two separate bedrooms or into one room that is a bedroom and one that is not.

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