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Old 29.10.2016, 18:23
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Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

The 'turkey fryer' thread got me to thinking about how difficult it can be to put on a traditional holiday meal here in our tiny Swiss houses with tiny Swiss kitchens, which got me to thinking of an old Chicago solution.

In a typical Chicago 1920s-1940s bungalow one often finds a 'summer kitchen' in the basement. The idea was that during the summer months it is often too hot to cook so a utilitarian second kitchen was built in the much cooler basement.

I'd love to do something like that as a way to eke out a bit more useable space in my overcrowded shoebox of a house. But here we have strict definitions of living space vs Nebenraum, and never the twain shall meet. Or if they do, a fine and 'tear it out' order soon follows.

But are kitchens counted as living space wrt to usage regs? The are not when describing the house for sale...

So... would installing a second kitchen in a cellar room run afoul of Nebenraum/Wohnraum rules?

Many thanks.


(Yes I know, I could ask at the Gemeinde Bauamt, and yes I would expect that YMMV by canton, Gemeinde, phase of the moon. But the good folks at the Bauamt's reflexive answer to any question is 'No' regardless of what actual regs might say - so before I ask there I thought I'd ask here, just to get some general ideas.)
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Old 29.10.2016, 18:35
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

ETA:

What happened to the post I was quoting/responding to?

Ah well, never mind.
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Old 29.10.2016, 18:43
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

It's now called a BBQ . People either do it on their balcony if they are allowed, their garden or find a nice place in the countryside to sit & charcoal their food.
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Old 29.10.2016, 18:52
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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It's now called a BBQ . People either do it on their balcony if they are allowed, their garden or find a nice place in the countryside to sit & charcoal their food.
Got the BBQ/smoker on the patio - but here on the perpetually rainy Dark Side it is of less utility. Can't put up a pergola or roof thingy on the BBQ, that is definitely against building regs.

I drool over articles highlighting the outdoor kitchens common in the US south and west... to die for. I'd only ever cook outside if I lived in that kind of climate.

But here, unless I can learn to stir a risotto while holding an umbrella... I'd really like to do something inside for those times, such as holidays, when I need extra space. Hence the basement idea.
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Old 29.10.2016, 18:59
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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Can't put up a pergola or roof thingy on the BBQ, that is definitely against building regs.
How about a large umbrella?

Tom
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Old 29.10.2016, 19:01
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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ETA:

What happened to the post I was quoting/responding to?

Ah well, never mind.
I was wondering the same, one minute it was there and the next it was gone.
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Old 29.10.2016, 19:23
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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But here we have strict definitions of living space vs Nebenraum, and never the twain shall meet. Or if they do, a fine and 'tear it out' order soon follows.

But are kitchens counted as living space wrt to usage regs? The are not when describing the house for sale...

So... would installing a second kitchen in a cellar room run afoul of Nebenraum/Wohnraum rules?
I'm currently juggling with a similar scenario in the UK and getting nothing but positive feedback, because I went to the people that know with a list of possible drawbacks to hand. I wanted to extend the kitchen into the conservatory and got a resounding "No!" because of ventilation with a glass roof, so have opted for extending it / making it open plan, into the hallway (just the space under the staircase).

If it helps at all, I was told the criteria that defines a room's usage tended to boil down to a gas supply pipe and ventilation being installed or changed. I wonder if it would be similar in Switzerland?

Basically, it's not unusual for people to have storage units in their kellers, so kitchen type cupboards would be ok. It's also usual to have windows, a water supply, sink units, electricity and even a chest freezer in your keller, so all of that would be ok. I suspect it would purely come down to a gas cooking appliance being installed and that could be the only feature that would change the room's usage.
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Old 29.10.2016, 19:27
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

As long as you don't use fixed equipment and don't tell anyone what you're doing down there, I don't see how it could concern the local authorities.

A fitted kitchen with sink units and gas lines is one thing, but who could object to a tap for a hose pipe, a drinks cooler and a portable stove?
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Old 29.10.2016, 19:39
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

As long as you stick to the local style ...
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Old 29.10.2016, 19:40
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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a gas cooking appliance
Gas? Oh, how I long to cook with gas again.

One can dream, no?

We unfortunately don't have gas pipelines in the Quartier. Looked into installing one to connect to the nearest line and quickly realized that it would cost just about as much as the house did - not to mention the permit headaches and horse trading that would be necessary to get neighborhood agreement...

So I am stuck cooking with electric. But electric appliances would be easier to put in the basement.

I would imagine there would be ventiliation issues, as well as other details to consider. But I expect the largest hurdle would be the Ausnutzungsreserve, the ratio of living space to property allowed. That is strictly defined (but variably regulated, typical small village) and whatever I do needs to be in compliance. So to the question of whether a kitchen is counted as living space.

As I look at the storage room in the basement, half of what is down there is stuff I don't need and should get rid of anyway. The rest is occasional use kitchen gadgetry, for which I have no room upstairs. I could see a nifty second kitchen/pantry in that space... and a real root cellar... and and and...

Might be worth a sit-down with the Bauamt Boffins.
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Old 29.10.2016, 19:42
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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As long as you don't use fixed equipment and don't tell anyone what you're doing down there, I don't see how it could concern the local authorities.

A fitted kitchen with sink units and gas lines is one thing, but who could object to a tap for a hose pipe, a drinks cooler and a portable stove?
I live in Schwyz.

Them curtains be a-twitchin'.

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Old 29.10.2016, 19:43
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

all my French neighbours cook with gas - bottled.

(if you are talkinga about my post disappearing, about not all Swiss kitchens or Swiss houses being small - I deleted it ) - I am very lucky to have 2 ktichens, and it is indeed amazingly useful when entertaining large groups.
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Old 29.10.2016, 19:46
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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I live in Schwyz.

Them curtains be a-twitchin'.

First purchase: roller blinds!
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Old 29.10.2016, 19:53
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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As I look at the storage room in the basement, half of what is down there is stuff I don't need and should get rid of anyway. The rest is occasional use kitchen gadgetry, for which I have no room upstairs. I could see a nifty second kitchen/pantry in that space... and a real root cellar... and and and...

Might be worth a sit-down with the Bauamt Boffins.
As I understand it the living space is the heated floorspace, including the kitchen.

Consider a pergola, or even a gazebo/tent and a decent sized gas BBQ with a ring. Just the gas ring is worth it when you're making a cream sauce - winter and summer. In my opinion it doesn't get all that hot for such a long period that a whole kitchen in the basement is worth the bother.

For large meals where you just don't have enough space to cook the food (Christmas, for example), if the BBQ isn't enough, put a tabletop steamer down in the basement... but be careful, if you end up liking the steamer you'll want it in the kitchen.
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Old 29.10.2016, 19:58
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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put a tabletop steamer down in the basement... but be careful, if you end up liking the steamer you'll want it in the kitchen.
I'll have to try it sometime. My daughter gave me hers as she never used it, and it's sitting in the basement.

Tom
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Old 29.10.2016, 19:59
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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all my French neighbours cook with gas - bottled.
Italian and Swiss as well!

Tom
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Old 29.10.2016, 20:04
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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So to the question of whether a kitchen is counted as living space.
Our apartment is classed as, and was advertised as three rooms. One of those rooms is the kitchen / dining room. I reckon it's worth a browse of Comparis to see the layout of houses & apartments in your area to see how the open plan kitchen living rooms are classified.
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Old 29.10.2016, 20:07
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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In my opinion it doesn't get all that hot for such a long period that a whole kitchen in the basement is worth the bother.
The idea isn't really about cooking in the summer here - I was just remembering a Chicago solution. Those old bungalows had basements as large as the rest of the house and so people did all sorts of creative things with the space.

(Including my last Chicago house, albeit not a bungalow, which had a steel lined secret room. Rumor has it that it was built for a 'made guy' so I can only imagine what went on down there...)

What I'm really looking to do here is to expand the useable portion of this house if the regs would allow it. I have something like 80m2 of 'Nebenraum' space - which given that the house is tiny seems like such as shame not to be able to convert into something truly useable.
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Old 29.10.2016, 20:13
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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The idea isn't really about cooking in the summer here - I was just remembering a Chicago solution. Those old bungalows had basements as large as the rest of the house and so people did all sorts of creative things with the space.

(Including my last Chicago house, albeit not a bungalow, which had a steel lined secret room. Rumor has it that it was built for a 'made guy' so I can only imagine what went on down there...)

What I'm really looking to do here is to expand the useable portion of this house if the regs would allow it. I have something like 80m2 of 'Nebenraum' space - which given that the house is tiny seems like such as shame not to be able to convert into something truly useable.
A dog athletics track!

Seriously - sort of: we have a similar situation (well, not that our house is small, but we have a lot of non-living space). There's a workshop which we use as a workshop and storage space, an undercroft where we keep our firewood, and a shop which - as we can't convert it into "house" - we use as a playroom for sand, water, Duplo and the ball pit (see our logic? )

There are lots of ways to use non-living space that don't technically count as "living" without just letting it go to waste.
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Old 29.10.2016, 20:17
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Re: Building a kitchen in a non-living space?

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But here, unless I can learn to stir a risotto while holding an umbrella... .
Thermomix?
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