Home Office Versus Extra Bedroom? The Benefits of Each

So there you are, the search for your dream home has come to an end and you have decided to build a new-construction home

You’ve got your floor plan in front of you. One of the most exciting parts of the building process has arrived and it’s time to review the blueprints and make decisions about your floor plan. 

Looking at the floor plan, you know you’re thrilled about the open concept living room (and luxurious master suite with a soaking tub!) But you aren’t sure what to do with that one extra room. 

Should you use it as an office space? Or go with the closet option and use it as an extra bedroom?

For an extra bedroom, you start to think of who will visit, old friends? Relatives? How comfortable do you want them? For an office, you may ask yourself how long this working from home thing may last. 

We are here to help you understand the benefits of each and make an informed decision that you will be happy with for years to come.  

Legal Requirements for a Room to be Considered a Bedroom

To better understand the benefits of an extra bedroom, let’s define the mandatory characteristics for a room to be considered a bedroom according to The International Building Code (IRC). 

  • Must be a minimum of 70 square feet 
  • Must be at least 7 feet in any direction 
  • Must have at least one window 
  • Must have at least two means of egress (meaning two way to enter or exit and one must lead directly outside, i.e. a window) 
  • Must be at least 7 feet tall 
  • Must be temperature controlled 

In the state of Florida, a room must have a closet to be considered a bedroom. (This requirement varies from state to state.)

Based on these requirements, a bedroom doesn’t seem much different than an office, right? One of the biggest differences is the characteristics listed above aren’t required for a room to be considered an office and most office spaces in residential homes lack the mandatory closet. 

The Benefits of an Extra Bedroom 

From the Thoreau Model in our The Ranch at Twenty Mile community. 

The benefits of an extra bedroom may seem self-explanatory. You will have room for your in-laws when they visit during the holidays and you will have an extra closet for storage.  

But the benefits extend far beyond these basics. Using the extra square footage in your home for an additional bedroom will almost always increase the resale value.  

The number of bedrooms could be highlighted tremendously and weighed heavily when selling your home. There is a difference between a 3-bedroom home with an office and a 4-bedroom home. A home that is marketed with 4 bedrooms may be more appealing to bigger families and may be easier to sell down the line. 

Keep this in mind when building your home and choosing between an extra bedroom and an office. 

The Benefits of a Home Office 

From the Riverside Coastal in our The Forest at Las Calinas community. 

More people are working from home than ever before, making a home office more of a necessity than a luxury. A home office can come in many forms. It can be enclosed by French doors, an open nook area located off the living space or can be upstairs, away from the hustle and bustle of day to day life. 

You must consider what is best for you and your family when deciding between a bedroom and an office.

Ask yourself the following questions. 

  • Do you work from home and need a separate office space? 
  • Are the children home during the day? 
  • Do you attend zoom calls that would require the space to quiet? 
  • Do you meet with clients in your home office that would require your space to be close to the entrance of your home? 

Once you define your specific needs, you can decide the location of your home office and what kind of space is best for you. 

Choosing to build a designated home office as opposed to an extra bedroom will give you more of a traditional office feel. You can enclose your space with french doors that will offer you separation and privacy but still give you that connected feeling. Without a closet, you will have more room for a large desk, shelving for storage or a seating area. Because your room doesn’t need to meet the legal requirements to be an extra bedroom, you are far less restricted in your floor plan as well. 

Having a designated office space will be appealing for resale because more and more people are working from home.  

Which is Right for You? 

If you’re still unsure which is right for you, consider this: You can always convert an extra bedroom into an office with a closet but it would be more difficult to add a closet in the future, (although not impossible from a practical standpoint.)  

If you and your family truly need to transform an office into a bedroom, modern furniture websites and social media platforms like Pinterest are filled with ways to use modular and open shelving type clothing storage solutions. 

However, as discussed earlier, a legal bedroom requires a full closet in the state of Florida, so if you’re wanting to change it officially, that would mean hiring contractors to come in and install walls. 

Make sure you consider your family’s needs, resale value and what is most important to you when making this decision. When designing and building your dream home, you can always consult the experts during your plan review and discuss the pros and cons of each option.  


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