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    Finishing a 2nd floor Patio off of bedroom

    Finishing a 2nd floor Patio off of bedroom

    New postby adamjay on Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:33 pm

    I have a spare bedroom with a 2nd floor balcony off of it. I am planning on converting the patio into an art studio. There is a window and a door from the spare bedroom that are both in the footprint of the patio, meaning if I covered the entire patio I would no longer have a window (code problem, yes?) or a proper egress. Now, If I left the door off of the doorway, I have to imagine I would still fail the egress test, and even if I didn't doesn't a bedroom require a window? So it looks like the goofy answer will be to build the studio on 90% of the patio's current footprint and leave the window from the spare bedroom as an egress and natural light source, which also leaves a goof 5' x 10' patio that is inaccessible. I have attached a diagram. As a frame of refrence, the distance between the end of the house and the beginning of the balcony is right around 45".

    Thanks,
    Adam
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    Re: Finishing a 2nd floor Patio off of bedroom

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:44 pm

    First a couple of questions:
    - Is there a window in the exterior wall of the bathroom which abuts the balcony?
    - Is there a window in the exterior wall of the right bedroom which abuts the balcony?
    - I am not certain I understand the stair part of the drawing - the top tread is split by a line between two areas?
    - I suspect the bathroom door is in the bathroom wall which faces the stair landing/upper hallway.


    The minimum required natural light area is 8% of the floor area, and the minimum required natural ventilation area is 4% of the floor area.

    The bedroom requires an emergency escape and rescue opening which leads *directly* to the outdoors and to a public way (i.e., is not allowed to dead-end into an enclosed courtyard).

    Now, for example, if you were to construct a wall between the window and the door, which is perpendicular to the window and door wall, and that wall goes across the balcony, you could put a door in that new wall and have it open to the now much smaller balcony area. However, you have now increased the size of the floor area which requires natural light and ventilation.

    What is the floor plan you are thinking of for the balcony area?

    On another note, you would need to verify that the balcony is suitable to use (structurally) for the studio area - it is quite likely that the balcony is not constructed or attached such that it is suitable for use as enclosed living space.

    Just some initial comments and thoughts.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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    Re: Finishing a 2nd floor Patio off of bedroom

    New postby adamjay on Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:19 pm

    Jerry,
    There is a window to the bathroom that will be enclosed by the "studio", however, that bathroom has a fan, so I think I'm good there.
    There is a window on the bedroom (the one without a door to the patio), but it will not be covered by the patio, it's outside the footprint.
    The stairways is an L shaped with a landing, the extra line at the top is a goof.
    The bathroom door does indeed lead out to the hallway near the stairs

    As for the floor plan...The entire patio is about 10 x 22. I had planned on putting a 72" window on each short wall and two or three on the long wall. For that room, light and ventilation won't be a problem.

    As I see it I have 3 legal options:
    1. I can build the goofy wall cutting off 4' of the patio to maintain the spare bedroom's egress, light, and ventilation requirement.
    2. I can enclose the entire patio and put a new window on the other extaernal wall of the bedroom.
    3. I suppose I could knock out the door and window and have the spare bedroom/studio be a single "L-shaped" room.

    As for the structural issue, I am 95% sure, based on what I can see and what I see around my neighberhood, that I'll have no issues with the additional weight, but I am looking into that as well.

    Adam
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    Re: Finishing a 2nd floor Patio off of bedroom

    New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:21 pm

    adamjay wrote:As I see it I have 3 legal options:
    1. I can build the goofy wall cutting off 4' of the patio to maintain the spare bedroom's egress, light, and ventilation requirement.
    2. I can enclose the entire patio and put a new window on the other extaernal wall of the bedroom.
    3. I suppose I could knock out the door and window and have the spare bedroom/studio be a single "L-shaped" room.


    - I suspect that 1. above will be the best option, and if done correctly the wall will not be a "goofy wall", it will look like you planned it to be there.
    - I can see 2. creating additional problems.
    - I suspect that will have a lot more structural work than you are imagining.

    As for the structural issue, I am 95% sure, based on what I can see and what I see around my neighberhood, that I'll have no issues with the additional weight, but I am looking into that as well.


    It isn't just the weight, it the rigidity and other aspects of the balcony. Let's face it, a "balcony" is not designed to carry or transfer the same loads to the same places (eventually to the foundation) as an enclosed living space is designed for.

    I would consult your local building department, they may well want an engineer to provide a signed and sealed letter stating this-is-what-needs-to-be-done, and then a final yep-that-was done-properly letter.

    You would also want to keep that letter for your protection AND when you go to sell.
    Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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