When is a Bedroom Not a Bedroom?

Brent Palmer
Published on June 19, 2017

When is a Bedroom Not a Bedroom?

This may seem like a trick question but I am asked all the time if a certain room can be classified a bedroom.

Well you are probably surprised to know that there are actually requirements for a minimum bedroom size set by the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947.

The regulations prescribe minimum standards for a bedroom. Since I run the risk of breaking the REAA Professional Conduct and Client Care Rules if I provide false or misleading information, we need to make sure that rooms meet those benchmarks in the Regulations before marketing them as bedrooms.



So what are the minimum requirements to legally call a room, a bedroom?

There are a few exceptions eg for apartments but unless those exceptions apply, to be called a bedroom, a minimum bedroom size must:

  • Have a minimum width of 1.8 metres
  • Have an area of not less than 6 m2
  • In an existing house a room with an area of less than 6 sq m but not less than 4.5 sq m may be occupied as a bedroom by a person under 10 years of age. (This is an interesting one as some 10 year olds are taller than adults!) (Note that an ‘existing house’ is one built prior to April 1975)
  • Have a height from finished floor to finished ceiling of at least 2.1 metres in an existing house (as at 1975), or 2.4 metres in a new house (a new house is defined as being built after April 1975)
  • Have at least one window situated in an external wall to admit adequate light (this could be a skylight)
  • The aggregate area of glass in the windows must not be less than one-tenth of the floor area of the room
  • Windows with an area of not less than one-twentieth of the floor area must be able to be opened to allow air circulation, or in accordance with local authority requirements.
  • In calculating the area of a bedroom, any part of the room with a finished floor to finished ceiling height of less than 1.5 metres must be excluded.

So if the minimum width of your bedroom is 1.8 metres wide, then the length needs to be a minimum of 3.33 metres to be called a bedroom. Of course then you have the height and window requirements as well.

Note that the wardrobe is typically included in the size of the room.

So what if you have a room that is 5.8m2? How do we market that? For only those under 10 years old! And who is going to police that and does it really matter?

As a licensed real estate salesperson we do have to be so careful on how we market a property. Even though 99% of the population would accept that the 5.8m2 room is a single bedroom there is always one that could pull us up for false advertising. Under the Housing Improvement Regulations, mentioned above, if we advertised this room as a bedroom we could well be risk a fine and loss of license!

To help you judge the size of a bedroom and how well it will fit your bed here is a list of typical bed sizes in New Zealand.


Typical Bed Sizes in New Zealand

  • Single: 910mm x 1880mm
  • Long Single: 910mm x 2030mm
  • King Single: 1070mm x 2030mm
  • Double: 1370mm x 1880mm
  • Long Double: 1370mm x 2030mm
  • Queen: 1530mm x 2030mm
  • King: 1670mm x 2030mm
  • Super King: 1830mm x 2030mm
  • Californian King: 2030mm x 2030mm


If you need help on deciding how to market a room in your home or to decide if the room meets the minimum bedroom size requirements, please fee free to contact Brent Palmer, I’d be happy to help.





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Brent Palmer – Professional Real Estate Consultant

About the Author: The above article on Minimum Bedroom Size was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media. You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921.

He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City. Connect with Brent on Facebook and pretty much everywhere else.

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