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What defines inaccessible space?

Discussion in 'Residential Building Codes' started by Benj, Mar 25, 2020.

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  1. Benj

    Benj Registered User

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    I am in the process of permitting a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (Backyard Cottage) in Seattle. The cottage is 1000 sq ft (per Seattle's limit) and is designed with a shed roof. Most of the space is open to the shed roof ceiling which is 10' on one side and 16' on the other, but there is an 8' ceiling over the center third of the area covering the two bathrooms and one bedroom. My intent is for this to be "inaccessible space" so that it does not count toward the 1000 sq ft limit but leave it open on one side for aesthetic reasons. However, the plan reviewer is insisting that "for the space to be considered inaccessible it will need to be enclosed and become an attic". Is this accurate? If there is no stairway accessing it, isn't it inaccessible? What defines "inaccessible space"?
     
  2. Benj

    Benj Registered User

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    PS...here are the section drawings ... [​IMG]
     
  3. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Welcome

    Your picture will not post unless you are a sawhorse forum supporter

    Or make it a link and post the link
     
  4. TheCommish

    TheCommish Sawhorse

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    The answer most likely will be found in the local zoning regulations not a pure building code question
     
  5. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    You need to ask the nice plan reviewer what sections he is citeing for the requirements
    And or if it is a local requirement


    Than post those here or link to them
    So can be researched
     
  6. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Seems like it would read 1000 sq ft footprint??

    And not include what usable space there is inside that footprint

    As long as you comply with height limit



    AADU in a single-family home may be no larger than 1,000 square feet, excluding garage area, unless the area of the home where the AADU is located existed as of December 31, 2017.


    Plan reviewer reaching?? Need what he is saying your set up is not good.
     
    #6 cda, Mar 25, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  7. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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  8. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    Even a 1,000 sf rental need some storage space. I'm sure the ceiling joist were calculated for storage and even if they were not light storage would probably be no problem. I think this is a zoning or muni code issue IMO, I for one would not calculate that space and add it to the square footage total.

    Is he afraid your going to add a bed?
     
  9. Benj

    Benj Registered User

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    Here is the link... https://imgur.com/a/Zwsm0gH
     
  10. Benj

    Benj Registered User

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    Thanks all for the responses. The response came form the structural reviewer, not the zoning reviewer, so I don't think it is a land use issue specific to ADUs.
     
  11. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    You need to ask the nice plan reviewer what sections he is citeing for the requirements


    Some people like to ask for stuff, or mis do what the code says.
     
  12. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    What possible aesthetic reason would you have?
    You will also need to heat and cool that space... looks like you are trying to circumvent the code.
    If you are a licensed designer, you could be held liable when the person sleeping on that inaccessible mezanine dies.
     
  13. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    Space above RR suggests it could become a future mezzanine with many uses.
    If not used it becomes a dust collector.
     
  14. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    I had to go back and read the description again. So the center section if the cottage is restrooms with a hard ceiling, and one side of the attic has a full height wall, but on the other side the rafters are exposed. How in the world could you consider that inaccessible? It’s loft space.
     
  15. e hilton

    e hilton Bronze Member

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    I would also be curious to hear more about the storage basement. No floor plan is attached so there is no indication of how the basement is accessed, but it appears to be 1,000 sf just like the living space, and the headroom appears to be about 7 ft. Wonder how long it will be after the CofO is issued before they start finishing out the basement.
     
  16. my250r11

    my250r11 Sawhorse

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    I'm with you. I would be way more concerned with the basement!!
    Is the basement counted as square footage=no from the looks of thing you have more than 500 on the main floor.
    IMHO inaccessible mean CAN NOT access.
    If you consider the open area a loft, still don't see why its not allowed if you can have the basement.
     
  17. Benj

    Benj Registered User

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    Regarding the basement, Seattle's new ADU rules (effective July 2019) do not count storage space against the 1000 sf max. Storage space is defined as space that cannot be accessed from within the ADU. In this case, the access to the basement is an exterior stairwell, but there are no stairs inside.

    Regarding the loft/attic/inaccessible space...if the intent was to circumvent the code and use it as a loft, that could be done with an access door in the wall anyway, so why would it matter if it is walled off?
     
  18. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Agree

    Need to get the plan reviewer to clear up,,,,

    Via giving you code to back up comment,,,

    If can’t be done, tell him to get the approve stamp out and hit it!!!


    Feel the love
     
  19. Benj

    Benj Registered User

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    I snet the question to the reviewer. I'll let you know what I hear.
     
  20. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Yea
     

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