What is the minimum, legal size for a dwelling in Spain? | Final part |

On the last article I did explained the different regulations which emanated from the many Spanish regional communities on the minimum standards accepted for a minimum size house and how we still use in some regions a law from 1944 such as the Murcia region.


We embarked on describing a minimum size house in the Valencia region using its Order of December the 7th of 2009 from the Ministry of Environment, Water, Town Planning and Housing which approves the conditions of quality design and development.

In that article we also specified the minimum sizes for each room and the minimum size for a dwelling which happens to be 30 m2 of net area or 24m2 if it is an apartment. By net area I mean the floor area excluding external and internal walls, in other words the actual area that you can walk on.

Even sanitary ware must have a minimum acceptable size, for instance the minimum width accepted for hand basins, wc, bathtub and shower is 70cm, for the depth it is accepted the depth provided by the manufacturer.

There are minimum usable spaces (in front of these sanitary ware) which we must comply with which must be free of obstacles, for instance we must have 70cm usable space in front of a hand basin, toilet and bidet and 60cm in front of the shower plate and bathtub.


What about the laundry area?

Even the laundry area needs to be of a minimum size although this zone could be incorporated into the kitchen or bathroom if there isn’t a zone with exclusive dedication for this purpose. The washing machine and tumble dryer should have a width of 60cm although the dryer can be located on top of the washing machine or vice versa. There must be a washing basin and this sanitary ware must be at least 45cm wide. The depth area for the aforementioned apparatus is of 60 cm. In front of this equipment you must have at least 60cm of working space.


Vertical and horizontal circulation spaces.

All dwellings must have an entrance opening with a minimum width of 80cm and 2m high and the house should have at least one other opening (which could be a window) with a minimum width of 90cm wide with a total are of 1.50m2. This space is to be able to carry in large pieces of furniture.

The minimum width for corridors are 90 cm although it will be acceptable if narrows up to 80cm due to some structural element for a maximum length of 60cm.

For staircases the minimum height is 2.20m, although it will be acceptable height of up to 2m due to some structural element for a maximum of 25% of the total area of the staircase.

The landings must have a minimum width equal to its length with a minimum length of 70 cm, measured at the centre line of the stairs.


In buildings of more than one dwelling which have an itinerary for the disable, this itinerary must prolong, inside the house, to a bedroom and also to a room for personal hygiene. All door openings in this itinerary must have minimum widths of 80cm.


Storage and equipment

Every house will have storage space for clothes and belongings which will not be less than 0.80 m3 per user with a minimum depth of 55 cm, which can take the form of inbuilt wardrobes, or a furniture wardrobe, or both.


Drying of linen and bedding

For drying linen we may choose one of the following solutions:

  • Natural drying system in an outdoor space such as an enclosed patio o terrace.
  • A natural drying system on an exterior facade or interior of the building but must have protected the views from the street with some sort of screens.
  • In any case the drying systems must not interfere with the necessary openings for ventilation and lighting for the rest of the house.

Minimum Equipment

In all houses, the areas stated below, will have at least the following minimum equipment:

Kitchen: A sink with hot and cold water supply and drainage with water tap.

Space for a dishwasher, a cooker, oven and a fridge with electrical connection. Space for cooking. Minimum bench space of 2.50m length, including the sink and cooking area.


Finishes of surfaces

The wet rooms (kitchen, bathroom and toilet) shall be lined with washable material and be waterproof to a minimum height of 2.00 m. The coating on the cooking area will also require being fireproof.


If kitchens are located in an enclosure where other tasks are carried out, this space must also have all walls up to a minimum height of 2.00 m, finished off with washable material and be waterproof to a minimum height of 2.00m. The material must be also incombustible.

As a working example let's take the Valencia regulations.

While there may be some slight variations between the laws of other communities and the national dated from 1944, in most cases the limitations in terms of sizes and minimum numbers of rooms are very similar. I must say however that apart from the regulations of the autonomous communities, the national regulations we also have to take into account the municipal and local planning regulations.

Another very important to keep in mind is that when we compare different legislations we have to apply that legislation that is most restrictive.

First we must distinguish whether the building is new construction or rehabilitation. Secondly we will consider if the housing will be adapted to be used by disabled persons. Thirdly, if the use of the building is for business letting, i.e hotel, bed and breakfast etc.


Minimum dimensions for a newly built house.

Minimum floor areas

The net areas within a house type must be 30 m2.

The net areas within an apartment type of accommodation can be reduced to 24 m2.

The houses can have different degrees of compartmentalization, depending on the internal layout.

The premises that make up the house will have the minimum areas shown below:


Types of premises

Net area M2

Single bedroom


Double bedroom




Dining Room


Living-dining area


Living room














In houses of two or more bedrooms, at least one of them will have 10m2 of net area, without including storage space.

The laundry can be located in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the toilet or in a specific enclosure for that function, always having sufficient spaces required for placement and use of equipment provided.


Relationship between different spaces or enclosures.

The relationship between living spaces shall comply with the following conditions:

a) The space where a toilet is located must be an enclosed and compartmented room, which can also accommodate an area for personal hygiene.

b) Every space or area with a bath or shower is considered a “wet area” for the purposes of applying the Spanish regulations of “Indoor Air Quality” from the Technical Building Code, and the internal finishes must comply with that established in Article. 5 d), of the aforementioned regulations. (This regulation specifies the rules that we have to take into account when ventilation wet rooms)

c) When dwellings have more than one bedroom, one may access to a space for personal hygiene from the circulation spaces of the house.

d) The bathroom and toilet will not be a through access to another room or enclosure.


Ceiling heights and spaces between furniture.

1. In houses the minimum headroom is 2.50 m, allowing up to 10% of the total net area with a height of 2.20m. In circulation spaces, bathrooms, toilets and kitchens, the minimum headroom shall be 2.20 m.

2. Every rooms or enclosures should be able to inscribe two types of circles with a minimum radius:

a) The circles must be free of obstacles, allowing free movement for the user within the house. These spaces can overlap each other, if the functions are grouped in the same enclosure.

b) The spaces to stipulate furniture must allow the proper placement of furniture in the house. These spaces cannot overlap with any other space, being designed each in its specific type of furniture. The doors opening can invade the space free of obstacles and spaces for furniture.





Dining Room


Laundry Room

Bedrooms Minimum dimensions



Spaces free of obstacle


1,2m Diameter circle must be inscribed between sanitary ware and wall enclosures

1,2m Diameter circle must be inscribed between furniture

1,2m Diameter circle



1,2m Diameter circle

Spaces for


3,00m x 2,50m


2,5m Diámetro

1,6m between internal walls

1,10m x 1,20m


Double bedrooms.

One at least must be 2,60m x 2,60

ò 4,10m x 1,80m.

Single bedroom

2,00m x 1,80m




Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Bibiana Canes (Monday, 11 July 2022 18:46)

    Looking to remodel a small house in Tremp, Catalunya area. What are the laws ? Are they same as a newly built house?

  • #2

    Juan Pacheco (Wednesday, 13 July 2022 11:20)

    Hi Bibiana,
    You would have to comply with the building regulation for rehabilitation that in a way is very similar as per newly built house. There are differences of course but they are too numerous to mention here.

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