What is a kitchenette vs kitchen?Hamoun Nik
In this post, let’s clear up the confusion between kitchens and kitchenettes and learn how to tell them apart when you’re hunting for a place to live or work or trying to renovate as a property developer and what the NYC Department of Buildings requires in their designs.
What is Kitchenette and What You Need to Know about it”
Breaking Down the Terms
Sometimes, people use the term “Kitchen” for both kitchens and kitchenettes, and it can be puzzling. You’ve probably seen “Kitchenette” in Real Estate ads or Architectural plans, leaving you curious about its meaning.
Simplifying the Distinction of kitchen and kitchenette
In residential, The main difference is quite straightforward. Kitchens are larger(more than 80 square feet per NYC DOB Building Code), and follow specific Building Code rules. On the other hand, kitchenettes are smaller which means less than 80 sq. ft., and need soffit and mechanical ventilation.
*A Kitchenette Soffit is a small piece of structure like a wall that comes down from the ceiling like one foot to prevent cooking smoke from spreading to another part of the home and can be easily collected by the mechanical vent.
By understanding these differences, you can make informed choices while searching for properties, ensuring that your space meets your cooking needs and complies with NYC Department of Buildings’ guidelines. Stay tuned for more insights into this topic to make your property search easier.
Definition and Characteristics
Navigating the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) Building Code can be challenging when it comes to designing kitchens, especially for a tiny apartment. Let’s simplify it.
Residential Kitchen and Kitchenette Requirements
In residential units, a kitchen must meet specific criteria. First, it needs to have a minimum area of 80 square feet. Additionally, the kitchen must have proper ventilation and a sufficient amount of natural light and air.
*Kitchens are considered habitable spaces in residential units and need to meet the light/air requirements.
To comply, it should be within a certain distance from a window that can provide these essential elements legally.
Commercial Kitchen Restrictions
However, things are different for kitchens in offices and commercial units. These kitchens often have more restrictions. They might not be allowed for cooking purposes and can only be used for warming food, much like office kitchens. In some cases, fire suppression equipment may be required to ensure safety.
Understanding these distinctions in kitchen requirements under the NYC DOB Building Code is essential, whether you’re designing a residential kitchen or dealing with kitchens in commercial spaces. It ensures compliance with regulations and helps create safe and functional cooking spaces.
Pros and Cons of a Kitchen and Kitchenette and when to choose between them.
When it comes to residential units, choosing between a kitchen and a kitchenette isn’t about pros and cons. It’s more about working with the layout of your home. Your home’s design guides this decision and tells you what to do.
In commercial units, such as offices, having a full kitchen or a complete bathroom with three fixtures (like a toilet, sink, and shower) might not be allowed because it can become a habitable area and NYC DOB wants to make sure it won’t happen, but in some cased by getting Code Determination from DOB you can have it and get the approval down the road.
Now, in commercial units like restaurants, kitchens take on a whole new level of complexity. Beyond building codes, safety, mechanical, and fire department regulations come into play. This complexity sometimes necessitates the involvement of a Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Engineer in the project to ensure everything aligns seamlessly.
Whether you’re buying or renting a residential property or an office, there’s no practical difference because the functionality between kitchens and kitchenettes remains the same.
However, if you’re considering starting a restaurant business in NYC, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific procedures and expenses involved. Each project is unique and should be assessed individually. Everything discussed here provides just a general overview to help you better understand the process.