What Is A Summer Kitchen In Basement? (Beginners Guide)

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

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Have you heard about large summer kitchens and desire to know what it is? Or, you want to get an apartment, and you heard the estate management talking about a summer kitchen in the basement?

This article will explain the meaning, purpose, pros, and cons of a summer kitchen in the basement.

A summer kitchen in the basement is a structure below the ground with a gable-like roof related to the building. The summer kitchen resembles an attachment that can be semi-detached or completely detached from the building.

Can You Add a Kitchen In the basement?

What Is A Summer Kitchen In Basement

Yes, you can! You can add a kitchen in the basement. However, to actualize that, you need first to make sure that your kitchen plans correlate with the International code requirements.

These codes are the criteria you must adhere to if you have to set up your summer kitchen.

Besides the kitchen in the main building, you can consider setting up a kitchen in the basement to use the kitchen regularly and that of the house when the occasion arises.

Interestingly, the basement used for the summer kitchen didn’t start today but as far back as the 16th and 19th centuries.

It was considered a powerhouse due to its many benefits to the users of old putting kitchen basements at the top of every creative to-do list.

What Is a Summer kitchen?

A summer kitchen is a rectangular-shaped structure found below the ground of a building. It is usually like a wing and often seems semi-detachable or completely detachable. 

Families tend to use the summer kitchen to have fun, play games, and eat warm meals whenever the weather is cold.

However, during the hot summer months, the summer kitchen makes cooking down fun.

Whereas in winter, the kitchen in the basement takes the heat out from the building and keeps it cold.

Regardless of the benefits of a summer kitchen in the basement, it has its disadvantages, which we will talk about in this article.

So when there is an oven, refrigerator, deep freezer, sink, and shelves, your summer kitchen is ready. You can see it as a time for you and your family to make the most.

Meanwhile, there is little or nothing without a rule or regulation.

To succeed at carrying out the goals for your basement, you must follow the criteria of the International code or else face the penalty of paying a fine worth $15,000.

It only means that your basement or space is illegal.

Why Is It Called a Summer Kitchen?

Considering the effect the summer kitchen has; how it becomes cold and cozy for cooking and eating during the summer, the summer kitchen best describes it.

Though you may think that it is the same thing as a cellar, they differ greatly. What do I mean?

Like the summer kitchen in a basement, a cellar is situated below the ground but has a smaller space. This process means adding a kitchen to the cellar would be impossible. 

A kitchen cannot be complete without some utensils, equipment, etc. So when you think about setting up a kitchen in the cellar, you can also see its restrictions.

The cellar is, however, preferable for storage. For example, you could store some furniture or whatever you want in it. 

Most people store wines in the cellar because sunlight can barely penetrate them. You know the difference between a basement and a cellar, even with their similarity.

What Are the Purposes of the Summer Kitchen?

Summer Kitchen in the basement has its purpose. The basement kitchen serves cost-effectiveness, good use of extra floor space, and cold dispensing.

I will elaborate on them.

#1. Cost-effectiveness

If you are contemplating expenses, a summer kitchen is ideal as it is cost-effective. Furnish the summer kitchen in the basement using nice designs that meet the standards. 

Then, you can add electricity since the electric outlet is not far-fetched from the basement. Afterward, fix the sink and dishwasher, as the plumbing is close to the basement.

#2. Extra Floor Space

If you are looking at utilizing other rooms in the building for various purposes, the summer kitchen is the right option.

At least, you gain a free space in the basement to set up a kitchen that could run any activities while you ensure your actual kitchen is clean.

#3. Cold Dispensing

As for the hot season, the summer kitchen helps you overcome heat by taking out the heat and keeping both the basement and entire house cold. 

Pros and Cons of a Summer Kitchen

#1. Upsides

  • It makes perfect financial sense to manage the rooms in your house. That only means that you do not have to be extravagant to keep the summer kitchen attractive.
  • It has its beautification. Sometimes, beautifying a room or space does not base on the resources put in but on your creativity. 

#2. Disadvantages

  • At times, the basement usually experiences leaking. To avoid such situations, ensure to check the concrete, and if it is faulty or damaged, repair it as soon as possible.
  • You could face a penalty such as paying a fine worth $15 when you avoid the following summer kitchen in the basement. As earlier said, you must be willing to encompass the regulation of the International code before you start up any move.

Requirements For Summer Kitchen In the Basement

Following the International code’s criteria, to set up a summer kitchen, you must;

  • Install a fire extinguisher, which costs $10,000 above. 
  • Ensure that your ceiling height is nothing below 645 inches.
  • Have your entrance range 32 inches by 78 inches.
  • Fix a window in the bathroom or fix an exhaust fan.
  • Ensure that there is natural light penetration.
  • Have an exit.
  • Keep your summer kitchen in the basement tidy.


Add a summer kitchen if you have a basement and can’t think of what to do with it. Then, you and your family can have family time, catch up and enjoy the warmth.

Remember that the summer kitchen in the basement is not illegal as long as you stick to the requirements.

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