Sleep On It

PhotoThe upcoming holidays signify some of the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year, and much of that travel involves visits to out-of-town relatives. If you’re expecting company but don’t have a dedicated guest room to put them in, you’ll want to try and make them as comfortable as possible with these suggestions:

  • When setting up your home, and assuming you don’t already have a dedicated guest room, consider buying a futon or daybed for your den or living room instead of a couch (unless it’s a pullout couch). That way you’re always ready for overnight company. Having a decent air mattress on hand is a good backup plan too.
  • If your guest is being placed in the living room or a common area, invest in an inexpensive, portable folding screen to provide a bit of privacy, from both sides of the screen.
  • Offer to store your guest’s luggage out of his or her way, and assign a clear area behind the screen for them to place their clothes and other personal effects.
  • Have available some amenities appropriate to someone sleeping in a strange — and perhaps somewhat exposed — place. Earplugs to block out noise and a sleep mask to block light can make the difference between a restless night and a good sleep. Also lay out towels, extra pillows and blankets so your guest doesn’t have to seek them out.

Those homeowners who do have an extra bedroom and who survived the holidays relatively unscathed may start to toy with the idea of renting out a bedroom to generate a little extra income. If that’s you, first be sure to check your local regulations to confirm what is considered a bedroom.

While it may sound a little confusing, (after all, isn’t a room with a bed in it considered a bedroom?), the requirements to meet the legal definition of a bedroom could include specific points such as:

  • Putting safety first, a legal bedroom in some definitions must have two means of egress (exit) — one being a door that leads into the home, and the second in the form of either another door, or a window that opens to the outside. The window should be large enough for a fully equipped firefighter to get in and out of. An interior room cannot be called a bedroom as it lacks both windows and outside egress. A room that can only be accessed through another room — a “walk-through” room — is also not considered a bedroom in the legal sense.
  • Minimum size requirements usually mean the room cannot be less than seven feet in any horizontal direction, and seven feet high.
  • Depending on local regulations and perhaps how old the home is, having a closet in the bedroom, while expected, is not necessarily a requirement.
  • Remember that the price for a home is influenced by the number of bedrooms on the main floor. Check with your real estate representative for clarification on what constitutes a bedroom in your municipality.

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