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Basement Kitchen

Discussion in 'Residential Electrical Codes' started by rgrace, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. rgrace

    rgrace Sawhorse

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    Zoning actually has a "Second Kitchen Affidavit" that they make the owner sign. It has many conditions, including the owner certifying that they will not advertise it as a seperate apartment or dwelling unit, and that the new owner will be required to receive zoning approval if they wish to continue the use of a second kitchen. Sounds to me like an enforcement nightmare. I think more a CYA.
     
  2. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

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    This sounds like a misguided attempt at liability mitigation. If you don't call the kitchen a kitchen, then I won't enforce the kitchen requirements. Somehow I doubt that would stand up in court.

    I have a house with no kitchen, just a wet bar, 3 "dens" and two "storage rooms" with showers, toilets, and sinks.
     
  3. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    Some might call it government over reach telling you what you can do inside your home.

    Issue is what a room is called what the current owner claims the use is, what the City department calls it, the City Inspector calls it and what the future owner will do with it and claim the use is? Affidavit, that's a new one, guess if you don't play ball with that request you sit the bench.

    The zoning issue that I can see is parking and maybe occupancy overload.
    The building department issue is well the code that's being enforced.
    Wonder what the Health Department and insurance company has to say?
    CA's proposed, 55-gallon a day water usage, where's that come in to play?
     
  4. rgrace

    rgrace Sawhorse

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    Yea, couldn't give you an ocupancy permit for your house, doesn't meet the definition of a "dwelling unit." Now, if you want to operate a business out of this structure, you'll need zoning approval first.
     
  5. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Sawhorse

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    In my opinion even if zoning defines kitchen, we would still have to use the definition in the building code to enforce the provisions as applicable for the electrical, plumbing, ventilation, etc.

    In accordance with the adopted codes kitchens where not required (though permitted) not to be in violation of the building code and shall comply with the following provisions.

    Kitchen, NEC & IRC (2012 & 2015) Chapter 35. An area with a sink and permanent provisions for food preparation and cooking.

    R201.3 Terms defined in other codes. Where terms are not defined in this code such terms shall have meanings ascribed to them as in other code publications of the International Code Council.

    IPMC 403.3 Cooking facilities. Unless approved through the certificate of occupancy, cooking shall not be permitted in any rooming unit or dormitory unit, and a cooking facility or appliance shall not be permitted to be present in the rooming unit or dormitory unit.
    Exceptions:

    1. Where specifically approved in writing by the code official.

    2. Devices such as coffee pots and microwave ovens shall not be considered cooking appliances.

    Now in accordance with the building code requirements, if it's not technically a kitchen without cooking appliances do you still require two branch circuit or do you make them install a range or an oven?
     
  6. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Sawhorse

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    To further clarify the opinion the following provisions need to be reference in Virginia:

    102.2 Scope. This section establishes the scope of the USBC in accordance with Section 36-98 of the Code of Virginia. The USBC shall supersede the building codes and regulations of the counties, municipalities and other political subdivisions and state agencies. This code also shall supersede the provisions of local ordinances applicable to single-family residential construction that (i) regulate dwelling foundations or crawl spaces, (ii) require the use of specific building materials or finishes in construction, or (iii) require minimum surface area or numbers of windows; however, this code shall not supersede proffered conditions accepted as a part of a rezoning application, conditions imposed upon the grant of special exceptions, special or conditional use permits or variances, conditions imposed upon a clustering of single-family homes and preservation of open space development through standards, conditions, and criteria established by a locality pursuant to subdivision 8 of Section 15.2-2242 of the Code of Virginia or Section 15.2-2286.1 of the Code of Virginia, or land use requirements in airport or highway overlay districts, or historic districts created pursuant to Section 15.2-2306 of the Code of Virginia, or local flood plain regulations adopted as a condition of participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
    Note: Requirements relating to functional design are contained in Section 103.10 of this code.

    102.2.1 Invalidity of provisions. To the extent that any provisions of this code are in conflict with Chapter 6 (Section 36-97 et seq.) of Title 36 of the Code of Virginia or in conflict with the scope of the USBC, those provisions are considered to be invalid to the extent of such conflict.

    Virginia IPMC 103.4 “Residential rental dwelling unit” means a dwelling unit that is leased or rented to one or more tenants. However, a dwelling unit occupied in part by the owner thereof shall not be construed to be a residential rental dwelling unit unless a tenant occupies a part of the dwelling unit that has its own cooking and sleeping areas, and a bathroom, unless otherwise provided in the zoning ordinance by the local governing body.
     
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  7. rgrace

    rgrace Sawhorse

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    I like the way you dig into things Francis ! I didn't even think to look in that direction :)
     
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  8. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    Kitchen, NEC & IRC (2012 & 2015) Chapter 35. An area with a sink and permanent provisions for food preparation and cooking.

    Nothing about walls and roof in this definition. What about a deck with a built-in barbecue, counter and sink. Would this be a kitchen and required to comply with codes for a kitchen?

    Not sure if barbecues are listed an labled
     
  9. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    2 circuits you say? Is there a garbage disposal? Bet you already fabricated a fancy stone or marble countertop or got a deal on one? Outlet in face of cabinet/ back splash or countertop (not allowed).

    I got it, breaker panel is full!

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  10. Glenn

    Glenn Corporate Supporter
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    Sorry, but I had to laugh reading this whole thing. This is such a common issue in so many jurisdictions, including my previous one. I worked so hard with my whole community development division to get consistency between zoning, building, water, and sewer on how to handle these situations. What starts as one "mother in law" suite, full of promises of intended use, becomes a rental unit to the next owner after mom passes away. This is such a rabbit hole of a discussion, and as Jeff previous eluded, adding a circuit is really the smallest of concerns. I have so many annoying stories to tell on this subject...as do many of you, I'm sure.

    Ultimately, how you label the intended use of a space is directly related to how that space is handled by minimum code. That shouldn't be taken lightly. If it says kitchen, it's recorded public record, and it's a kitchen. Now...having said that... I did just publish an article about outdoor kitchen code requirements, and I bring up this subject. I gloss over the idea of requiring two circuits on an outdoor kitchen serving the same dwelling unit that already has a real kitchen. I like to consider probability of hazard and risk assessment when I interpret code. Or maybe I'm a hypocrite.

    https://www.deckmagazine.com/outdoor-living/structures-features/code-requirements-for-outdoor-kitchens_o
     
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  11. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    R314.3 Location. Smoke alarms shall be installed in the following locations:
    1. In each sleeping room.

    Sleeping room = any room used for sleeping. Now the argument shifts to falling asleep in front of the tv.....does the living room require a smoke alarm? Wait for the bed and then ask for the alarm.
     
  12. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    I would require the electrical to comply with kitchen for all indoor and outdoor kitchens. but they would have to meet the definition of a kitchen with a stove.

    My neighbor is a snow bird and uses his outside kitchen almost 100% of the time for the 6 months he lives here. My Jewish friend uses theirs 50% of the time. People of the Jewish fath usually need two kitchens.
     
  13. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    Hey Glenn,
    Your article at deckmagazine.com has a repeated paragraph.
     
  14. Glenn

    Glenn Corporate Supporter
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    Yeah... I saw that. Out of my control, but I let the publisher know. Thanks.
     
  15. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Ok, are you going ahead and adding the extra circuit, or not?
     
  16. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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  17. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    rgrace? Inquiring minds want to know.............;)
     
  18. HForester

    HForester Member

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    IMHO, you are being too honest. This is a wet bar. Don't talk about the microwave (or for that matter, any other plug in appliance.) Sure, I might plug in a blender (for what else is would I have a wet bar for?) A blender doesn't cause this wet bar to become a kitchen....And what is the worse that would happen of you plugged in/operated a Micro and a blender and maybe a toaster with only one circuit? You trip the breaker. Of course, trip the breaker numerous times and there is the possibility of wire damage (....supposedly?.... as that is why we are now forced to use AFCIs for some areas).

    Anyhow, this leads me to the "Do the right thing" clause. Calling it a wet bar instead of a kitchen is a handy work-around of the code. But really, will it serve your actual needs? THAT is the right thing. Granted, "just install the extra circuits" sounds simple but in reality, this could be very difficult. In one of my homes, the circuit panel is on the outside corner of the building. My basement is finished and if I wanted to install a small basement "kitchen" at the opposite corner of the basement...... geez, now I have to run conduit around 2 sides of the house to get to that location. And by the way, there are no more openings in the main circuit breaker panel !! It always sounds easy and cheap, until it is not.
     
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  19. Glenn

    Glenn Corporate Supporter
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    I like this. "do the right thing" So often people don't realize that code requirements are based on intended use. They provide in ways people don't understand, so people should just speak their intended use and then get the provisions designed to make that use minimally safe. Of course...casual communication from non-code people can lead to issues with definitive code terms. As a plan reviewer, when sensitive terms were used, I would explain the requirements of that term and then be sure that is what they meant. As in the outdoor kitchen I bring up in my side discussion...maybe that is really NOT the right term that the masses should be using. When I did my basement many, many pre-code-nerd years ago, I called it a kitchenette, but that wasn't because I was trying to trick the code. I had no stove, but it had way more counter than a wet bar. So I thought "kitchenette" sounded good. I had no concept of code requirements at that time...at least not at the finite level we scrutinize them as code professionals.

    One thing I would add to your discussion. A constantly tripping breaker is a hazard because of the human response. Meddling. Seen those photos of pennies or other metal taking the place of a constantly blowing fuse? People will do stupid meddling if their lives are inconvenienced. Code often protects them from their own ignorance. (ignorance, as in "not knowing" not as a negative or insulting term) To me that is the greatest hazard of a circuit that keeps tripping.

    Good stuff.
     
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  20. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Sawhorse

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    With all due respect in reference to the below Code of Virginia, the C of O will declare this as a Single Family Dwelling (SFD). What comment or conditions the zoning adds about kitchens will not be a building code violation. Depending on zoning other SFD can have multiple kitchens. In additional to rgrace in post #21, zoning cannot enforce two appliance circuits just because they call it a kitchen.

    § 36-105.3. Security of certain records.
    Further, information contained in engineering and construction drawings and plans for any single-family residential dwelling submitted for the purpose of complying with the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) or the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (§ 27-94 et seq.) shall not be subject to disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.), except to the applicant or the owner of the property upon the applicant's or owner's request.
     
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