We currently have 2 large bedrooms on the top floor of our house and I would like to split the 2nd bedroom into 2 rooms. The bedrooms would be on the small size but I think that it would increase the resale value because most young families would want 3 rooms on the same floor (and because we are a young family with a baby and it would make the house much more liveable for us). The second bedroom right now is 17’3x21'5.

Would these rooms be too small? I feel like they are definitely liveable but I'm not sure if people would dislike them because they aren't spacious enough.

Any input would be awesome! Also curious if anyone has any steers on which orientation?

Thanks.enter image description here

  • 2
    Narrow hallway at the bottom left stretching up to a top room? Side door from the hallway to a bottom room? The size of that bottom right window is the potential deal killer. It needs to satisfy the requirements of an emergency escape/rescue opening, although a bigger window or additional window is easy enough. Mask the hypothetical walls on the floor and arrange bedroom furniture in each partition to test configurations.
    – popham
    Feb 7 at 2:33
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    Remember to put in another closet. Unless you slot in another window I suspect the bedroom that gets the existing closet will be less desirable on the window sweepstakes as any logical approach appears to leave it with just the one. Unless you make a couple of bowling alley rooms and split the big end window, and that's not likely to sell well, at a guess.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 7 at 2:44
  • A 17x10 bedroom is quite big as far as tiny bedrooms go. But a subdivided bedroom might decrease the value of some apartments depending on overall size, decor, and neighborhood demand. If you're after resale value ask some local realtors what kinds of families are moving into your area and what they are looking for. Go with that information. If it's college students you would almost certainly benefit from doing it. If it's newlywed investment bankers who will move out when they have their second child, you would not. Etc.
    – jay613
    Feb 7 at 3:47
  • Yeah, if you run a wall horizontally just below the top of your red box, and a wall down from that to the stairs wall, about where the left side of your red box is. Build a triple wall, basically following the red box (but extend it to the exterior wall) and split it to have a wide closet in each room.
    – Huesmann
    Feb 7 at 13:24
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    Ask a local realtor to see what your market is like. What's appropriate and sellable where I live may be totally different than where you live.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 7 at 14:54

2 Answers 2


Each room has to be at least 7 ft wide in both directions. Minimum square footage per room is 70 ft². See IRC R304.

Each room needs one emergency escape and rescue opening. See IRC R310. It looks like you may have that covered already with existing windows, although maybe the two smaller ones don't meet the requirements. That would make a larger window necessary for one of the rooms (assuming one and only one room gets the big window).

Those are your constraints.


You can definitely do it as that bedroom is quite large. However as others have noted you should check with a local real estate agent to see if it is marketable in your area. I have come up with a layout that still leaves a fair sized bedroom and a walk-in closet. This leaves a smallish second bedroom or office/den.

enter image description here

Another layout gets rid of that awkward door by the stairway and partially closes the entrance to the dining room. This gives you another 2 feet in the second bedroom.

enter image description here

  • 1
    You could also use the second option, but move the new closet to the right wall in the upper bedroom. That would make the lower bedroom about 13 by 10, and the upper bedroom about 14 by 11 - both very reasonable bedroom sizes.
    – Mark
    Feb 8 at 6:58

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