Sunday, October 18, 2009


You may recall my words, "If I hadn't been interested in so many things, I might have become rich and famous." It is true, and today's blog is going to be a good illustration of what I mean.

I read in the business section of the newspaper today the answer to a question: "What are the requirements for a legal bedroom?" Don't ask me why I am interested in that, but I was.

"A legal bedroom must be at least 70 square feet in area and at least 7 feet wide. (Hm, that means the little room on the back of our Gardenia street house while I was growing up was not legal.)

The minimum ceiling height is 7 feet 6 inches....Bedrooms must have a window for light, ventilation and emergency escape. (Whew, at least our illegal bedroom met this requirement.)

The minimum size for bedroom windows that provide natural light is at least 8% of the room's floor area, and the minimum size for openable windows is at least 4%. For emergency escape, the openable window's sill must be no more than 44 inches above the floor. (Hm, I just went and measured ours in this apartment and it is 46: ILLEGAL).

The opening should be at least 5.7 square feet, at least 24 inches tall and 20 inches wide. (I think I could get through one that size.)

Windows should be openable without the use of a key or a tool. Screens and bars also must be openable or removable from inside the dwelling without the use of a key or a tool. (I don't think it would be easy to pop our screen out; I've tested it to see if a cat running across the room and jumping onto the window sill and banging into the screen would make it - and the cat - fall to the outside, but the screen didn't budge. On the one hand that is good; on the other hand it may be illegal.)

That was the end of the little column. Can you tell me why I found that fascinating enough to make a blog out of it? If you don't know the answer to that question, I'll admit I don't either. I supposed the question was really designed for people whose houses have basements in them and wanted to turn the basement into a mother-in-law bedroom or something like that. You can't put your mother-in-law in an unventilated, dark and gloomy basement guys!
Well, I'm not rich and I'm not famous and it's taken an hour of my time to think of what to blog about this morning and then to do it. And in spite of what you think, I find the whole question and answer quite interesting and revealing. And now I'm going to go measure my bedroom window to see if I really have a legal amount of space to haul my body through if necessary. I think we're in conformance with the law here, but I gotta' tell you, if this becomes necessary the trouble isn't going to be getting out the window; it's going to be in crawling over the night-blooming jasmine plant that I placed directly under that very window when we moved here and which has now grown to be a thick, wide bush -- but always kept trimmed to the bottom of the window to please management and fire officials!

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