How to Build a Legal Bedroom in Your Basement

February 12, 2020

The first project at our third flip house was to build a legal bedroom in the basement with an attached bathroom. I was pregnant with my second child and Chris and I had made the decision to hire an au pair once our daughter arrived. Not only did the cultural aspect of this experience excite us, but it made more sense financially in terms of childcare in Denver. The basement was a blank canvas that was perfect for creating a guest suite for our au pair, Maria.

Basement Before

The basement was half finished with drywall and half unfinished for storage. We took half of the storage room to create a private bathroom for the basement bedroom. We then took most of the finished space in the basement to create a private bedroom. There was a little space leftover at the landing that was the perfect sitting area for guests.

Building a Legal Bedroom in the Basement

The most important step when building a bedroom in a basement is to add an egress window. The egress must be large enough for a firefighter to be able to enter the space in case of an emergency. This is an imperative step to ensure safety. It also helps to bring natural light into the bedroom. A bedroom must also have a closet to legally be considered a bedroom. We made sure to include this in our plans.

Where we Hired the Pros:

  • Egress window installation
  • Framing
  • Electrical – removing that weird light in front of the cage on the window
  • Heating
  • Drywall

Where We did the Work Ourselves:

Installing an Egress Window

There was a larger window in the basement but it did not meet the current building code for an egress window. Our crew had to cut into the foundation to install the new egress window.

Egress window installation

This window is now the appropriate size to allow for an evacuation if necessary.

Egress window installation

Framing the Bedroom & Closet

Our crew framed out the bedroom and added a large closet. The carpet was in good condition, so we rolled it up prior to framing the walls to re-install later. Yay for saving money!

Framing the basement bedroom and closet

Basement Bedroom Color Palette

In this house, I focused on three paint colors for most of the rooms.  Using three colors on the same spectrum helps to keep the rooms cohesive. This will appeal to more buyers when you have a neutral palette.  I chose three colors from Sherwin Williams: Repose Gray, Eider White, and Mindful Gray.  We used Eider White (color matched at Home Depot) for the bedroom to keep the room bright since there is only one window in the room.

In terms of design, we used what we had in our home to create a comfortable and relaxing space for our guests.

Neutral paint colors for our flip house

Basement Bedroom After

Having this guest suite was such a luxury! It was perfect for our au pair to have privacy and relax after a long day with the kids and it was perfect for guests that came into town. I know my parents were grateful whenever they came to visit too.

How to build a legal bedroom in your basement
How to build a legal bedroom in your basement

The bedroom had a private bathroom attached.

How to build a legal bedroom in your basement

The little office area outside of the bedroom was a great bonus space for all of our guests (and potential home buyers!).

Sitting area outside of the basement bedroom

Thanks for checking out our basement renovation!

Building a legal bedroom in your basement on a budget #homerenovation #diy

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Judy June 18, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Loved your ethics and style in building a legal bedroom in the basement!! So many don’t take such care and I shudder when I see them. The end result is delightful!

    • Reply lindseymahoney June 22, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      Thank you so much! Yes it was important that we made the bedroom legal and safe for anyone staying down there. 🙂 Thanks for following along!

  • Reply Basement Development January 20, 2021 at 5:17 am

    I was looking for this information relating to basementbed . You have really eased my work, loved your writing skill as well. I like how you have researched and presented these exact points so clearly. Please keep sharing more!This is very useful and its related to what you have actually mentioned here.

  • Reply Basement Excavation February 13, 2021 at 7:14 am

    Such a nice blog on the basement bed. It provides us true and insightful information regarding the topic. So, anyone searching for same topic may find their shelter over here. This is a great article and you are banged on with your points about.

    • Reply lindseymahoney February 13, 2021 at 10:00 am

      Thank you!

    Leave a Reply