Counter Height Windows - Spec Questions

chris11895October 5, 2012

Hi all,

I'm planning on doing counter height windows in my kitchen and had a few questions about what needs to be considered.

1) I notice a lot of people have these as bump outs. Do you have to bump the windows out? I'm thinking maybe to accommodate faucets? Or is that because they were part of a renovation? This is new construction so we aren't limited by any pre-existing framework. My architect says he's done it before and has spec'd it into the plan, but the windows aren't bumped out.

2) Someone mentioned outlets. Is there a code on how many feet outlets need to be? Or is it just that you need to have some outlets on kitchen walls? We're in Mass in case that matters.

3) This is a design question. We're foreging uppers and doing all windows. Do you think it will look ok with the counter height detail or is it too much?

I've attached the current kitchen spec so you can see how many windows we have and the rough layout. Where the fridge is I'm planning on doing a cabinet on the right that mimics the paneled fridge on the left and there will be four feet of counter in between. The microwave will be built in over there and that's also where I'm planning on putting the coffee maker. I still need to find a spot for my Breville Toaster Oven. I'm trying to imagine where I'll use my KA mixer and/or if I'll want to keep that out on a counter or not. If we do this I want to make sure I have enough outlets and that they're in places where I'll actually use them. Anyhow, any input is appreciated!

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Chris, you are welcome to come over and see my new counter height windows. I didn't bump out like in the last house for budget reasons but in your plan I think that would be a fantastic thing to do where you have three windows together. In the last house I bumped out 8" and it was a square bumpout and gave an awesome space for setting things that were being prepped or things that were finished -- it greatly expanded my counter space.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 9:53AM
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Someone mentioned outlets. Is there a code on how many feet outlets need to be? Or is it just that you need to have some outlets on kitchen walls? We're in Mass in case that matters.

The basic code is that you have to have outlets such that no part of the countertop is more than 2' away from an outlet.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:39AM
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Bumping out a counter-height window (or any window, for that matter), (1) helps to minimize or eliminate splashing on the window, (2) provides more room behind the sink for a faucet as well as work room, (3) gives the whole space a more open feel (my opinion), and (4) provides a better view b/c you can lean forward into the "window well" and see off to the side better than with a flush window.

If this is new construction, I highly recommend at least a 7" or 8" bumpout behind the sink. We have 18", but that's b/c we used to have a small bay eat-in area which we outgrew. So, we replaced the window w/a counter-height window and ran the counter into the bay window well. I really like having that extra space behind the sink for the reasons above plus I have enough room to decorate for the holidays without getting in the way of the sink, faucet, and dishes.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 1:55PM
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To expand on what Angie said- sinks and ranges don't count, so you just have to have an outlet within 24" of ranges and sinks. Options include mounting them in the upper cabinets (but no more than 20" from the counter), mounting them below the edge of the counter in front, plus there are pop-up outlets available. All kitchen outlets have to be GFIC (ground-fault protected). It does get tricky with counter-height windows.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Thanks for the feedback!
Mamdadapaige,, I'd love to come see your new kitchen. I'll ping you off-line.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 4:31PM
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