Ask a couple of inspectors in your area and you'll probably get a couple different answers. I know I did. One said since it was a bonus room it didn't need to be but on the other side of town the inspector said any room that has a closet and could be used as permanate sleeping quarters has to be arc fault protected. I don't mind putting in the AFI, I just wish the inspectors would get on the same page.
It's really a call that ought to have been made when the plans were submitted for approval by the building department.
Even with a custom home, there is quite a turnover, with most being sold in five years or so. It is very possible that today's "sewing room" will be presented as an additional bedroom at the time of sale. I would look at the room, and ask: - Is it really big enough for a bed and dresser?; - Is it located together with the other bedrooms:, - Is it placed so traffic passes through it?; - Are there any special features to define its' use?; and, - Is the argument worth more than the $35 to put in an AFCI breaker?
Is the argument worth more than the $35 to put in an AFCI breaker?
If it is not a bedroom than yes it is worth the argument. Somebody has to hold the inspectors accountable. I'll take that challenge any day. Not just for the sake of being argumentative but strictly on the principal of the matter. An inspector is not infallable and I am not either. I expect to have issues pointed out from the inspector and I think it is importanat to point right back when the issue is with them. In the long run they might learn something that will save headaches for everyone. Or they will be even more bitter.