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In-Law Suites

Discussion in 'Residential Building Codes' started by Buelligan, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. rktect 1

    rktect 1 Gold Member

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    I'm using IRC 2006 section R317 Dwelling Unit Separation. And I have no idea how adding a second kitchen into a home makes it a two family dwelling based on this.

    Plus, at the time there is a two family dwelling, there are two separate addresses. Are there?
     
  2. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    I think some of this is " in-law bias"
     
  3. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    There are no maximum limits on how many kitchens you can have in a single dwelling in the IRC. In my township zoning would be considered it a single dwelling if you can walk from one area to the other without a door. In this case they could not have a door at the basement steps.
     
  4. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    I may have missed something in translation, but the bedroom would have to meet EE, so this could be all for not?

    I know of a two story with finished basement that has 9-bathrooms, why can't you have two kitchens and not be classified has a two-dwelling structure? Its when they want that separate electric meter all hell breaks loose!

    pc1
     
  5. mjesse

    mjesse Sawhorse

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    :devil

    So, Mom's room has its own bathroom, door to the patio, a mini kitchenette (she likes coffee and breakfast in bed) and sitting area.

    Are some of you saying this is a "dwelling unit" creating a two family dwelling?

    It has a door, separating it from the rest of the house, sanitation, egress, cooking, etc. Is the problem in the OP that it's on a different level?

    What if I build the same set-up for each of my 4 kids and myself? Is this now a 6 unit?
     
  6. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Would you adopt me if you did?

    Sounds from the postings more of a potential use/ zoning issue then a building code issue.
     
  7. mjesse

    mjesse Sawhorse

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    Sure, as long as you do your chores!

    ..

    And yes, after re-reading the thread, I didn't see as many calls for separation as I remembered (or mis-remembered) so I retracted my post.

    you were too quick on the quote though!
     
  8. JBI

    JBI Sawhorse

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    There is actually some very interesting case law on the definition of 'family', and federal courts have consistently held that it is unconstitutional to hinge a definition of 'family' on being related by blood. Google 'functionally equivalent family unit'.

    Instead of focusing so much on the second kitchen, focus on the 'compete independent' part. If it looks like a duck...
     
  9. Span

    Span Sawhorse

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    Planning here do allow 2nd kitchen right next or adjacent to main kitchen but not allow for remote location, It was call Chinese wok for frying.
     
  10. JBI

    JBI Sawhorse

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    Lots of groups have (or require) a second kitchen in a single family dwelling or a single dwelling unit. I have long accepted that after dealing with thousands of Orthodox Jewish families (religious requirement) as well as numerous old school Italian families (convenience), among others.

    Again the focus should be on the intended use of the space(s)... is it a second kitchen for convenience or religious reasons? OR is it to create a separate, 'independent' unit regardless of traditional familial relationships.
     
  11. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Leave my catering kitchen alone or you all are not invited to the next shin dig with the fancy eatin table

     
  12. Buelligan

    Buelligan Sawhorse

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    Thanks everybody! Yes I agree that an "In-Law" suite should be allowed without separation. It was not so much the second kitchen and all amenities for independent living that was causing me difficulty. The only issue I had is when the situation includes a separate area capable of supporting a "rentable" apartment for profit. An area rented to anyone outside the family with the potential for landlord and tenant disputes. Like if the renter in the basement left a candle burning and the house destroyed or worse yet someone killed. Would it be an issue then? Should it have been separated?

    I like the "COMPLETELY INDEPENDANT" part and will hang me hat on that as to whether or not it is separated. You rent your basement to a stranger and he burns your "single family home" down, talk to the insurer. :)

    Problem solved, thanks guys!
     
  13. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    Note the C of O "1 family house" or "no second dwelling unit" or whatever makes you warm and fuzzy...And then look for the rental ads on Craigslist.

    Personally, as long as I (and my town) are covered and the owner is aware, that is all I can do. They could rent out every room in the house as a bedroom and we might not be the wiser until something happens.
     
  14. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    Yes I agree that an "In-Law" suite should be allowed without separation.

    Now that's a warm and fuzzy statement that someone's gonna regret? ;0

    pc1
     
  15. peach

    peach Sawhorse

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    This is one issue our jurisdiction addresses pretty well (as they require rental units to be licensed and registered); if it's a rental unit, separation is required and there cannot be an interior stair connecting the two units). They have a pretty fair compliance rate, as almost all row homes are set up with a separate entrance for the basement and any permit can trigger a visit from zoning.
     
  16. Lauren Hines

    Lauren Hines Member

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    cda, maybe yours is a triplex!
     
  17. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Well just welcome !!!

    How are the salmon this year??
     
  18. Mr Softy

    Mr Softy Silver Member

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    I've always made my argument for or against an 'in-law suite' based on the word 'independent'.

    If the unit attaches to the main dwelling with an opening (it can have a door), where the occupants can pass freely between one space and the other, then it is not 'independent'. Or separate. (Using dictionary definitions.)

    Once that connection is gone, my argument would be that it has become a separate, 'independent' dwelling unit.
     
  19. jwilly3879

    jwilly3879 Sawhorse

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    Agree with Mr. Softy. Have several houses in town with in-law suites and access to the suite shares the main house entrances so I don't consider it independent.
     
  20. RFDACM02

    RFDACM02 Bronze Member

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    Mr. Softy hit it on the head for me. We also look at the degree of independence. A "family" regardless of the definition should be expected to co-habitate, whereas an independent dwelling unit would likely have walls or locked doors preventing on side from entering the other without a key.

    While most agree this appears to be down to the zoning definitions, the issue is how to properly protect the occupants if you cannot determine the use. This is a part of the issue we're dealing with with Air BnB and other short-term rentals. Suddenly an in-law space becomes a nightly rental unit with cooking.
     

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