Last updated on May 7th, 2022
With the world becoming more cluttered and complex, many people opt for simpler lifestyles and smaller homes.
I know it’s quite a daunting task to find the perfect location for your tiny home. But, do not be discouraged from pursuing your tiny home dreams.
There are plenty of options available for tiny homeowners, and one of the options is that you can put your tiny house on your property.
Yes, you read this, right! However, the regulations and rules will differ according to the areas or states, and you might have to make some changes while building your house.
Moreover, tiny homes constructed on vacant land have different rules compared to the small homes created on properties that previously hold other primary residences.
Whether you desire to construct a small house on your property or relocate into a remarkable tiny home community, the laws will differ based on the area.
Before you finalize your plans and move into a small home, you must go through the state’s regulations to fully enjoy your tiny luxurious house.
Zoning regulations and building codes usually cover the rules and regulations. These tiny residential house building codes are as follows:
- A tiny home should have one complete bathroom.
- Its ceiling height should be six feet four inches.
- The common areas should have a ceiling height of about six feet eight inches.
- If your tiny home possesses a loft, a stair or a ladder is mandatory.
- It should have one window for an emergency exit.
- It must comply with the International Building Code (IBC) or the International Residential Code (IRC) requirements.
Remember that these codes mentioned above are not general. Therefore, location-specified research is mandatory.
Zoning laws determine which physical structures will go in each area of the land. Hence, it can be very tricky because the laws vary from one location to another.
That is why it is crucial to do in-depth research and comprehend the regional regulations before putting a tiny house on your property.
Moreover, you can contact the authoritative regional department; however, the procedure can be quite cumbersome to change the zoning regulations.
Tiny Homes Variations
Tiny houses are of two types, and the regulations may vary among the kinds dramatically. The variations are as follows:
Tiny House on Wheels
Tiny homes without foundations can be built on wheels or within pole barns. These homes are often present in those areas where foundation based tiny homes are not permissible.
Since they have a wheeled platform, the local government sees these homes as recreational vehicles. Plus, they require registration from the state’s automobile department.
As the law considers this kind of tiny home like an RV, several states don’t permit you to put it on the property.
Tiny Home On Foundation
It is a mini version of an average home. These houses can be built on-site or transported to the property to attach it to the foundation permanently.
Moreover, it is much easier for homeowners to add or transport a tiny house on their property than the people constructing it as their exclusive residence.
Tiny homes are often considered primary residences because they are built on lands that don’t have other residential houses. Whereas, it is also determined as a secondary house when a tiny house is constructed on an allotment that previously has other residential homes.
These foundation-based tiny homes are termed as accessory dwelling units (ADUs), a granny cottage, or a granny flat. In several states, there are regulations that you can only build accessory dwelling units on properties that already have existing homes.
Zoning regulations, building codes, and various other factors differ from one state to another. Therefore, your first step should be to search for a befitting place.
Before moving yourself in a miniature house, explore the state’s codes and laws. You should also contact regional agencies for other detailed information.
Alabama does not widely accept small houses. The zoning requirements and building codes vary from one county to another.
Today, several counties, such as the specific regions of Jefferson County, permits ADUs, but their construction should not exceed 200 sq. Ft.
It is slightly lenient towards those who want to opt for a tiny lifestyle. However, the laws still vary among towns and counties.
Anchorage Metropolitan considers a tiny home with a wheeled platform as an RV, and a small home on a foundation must comply with building codes.
Furthermore, the owners should have a use permit, and the house should be attached to sewer and water systems.
This state doesn’t have any zoning or building requirements; therefore, county and city regulations and laws prevail. Currently, Pima County is the most miniature-home friendly region and a second-most populous county.
It allows the legal construction of tiny permanent houses on areas that are zoned explicitly for nuclear families. Furthermore, it provides specific building requirements for small homes.
Several areas of Arkansas still do not accept the tiny home lifestyle. Few towns allow small houses in Arkansas, and one of them is Walnut Ridge.
The recently established law in Walnut Ridge is that the minimum size for tiny residential homes must be 600 sq ft.
In contrast, Rogers, a town in Arkansas, only permits the on-site construction of permanent foundation tiny homes in selected areas.
Living in California is not cheap, and people searching for affordable housing must be happy to know that this state is quite welcoming.
The authorities consider tiny houses as ADUs, and they allow them with slight restrictions. Fires recently engulfed Sonoma County; therefore, it is temporarily allowed to live in a tiny house without construction permits and zoning regulations.
You can put tiny houses on wheels on your property in San Francisco and Fresno, but they are considered secondary dwellings. However, it is allowed only in residential neighborhoods.
Furthermore, in California, you cannot use recreational vehicles as permanent houses.
There are no laws or regulations related to tiny homes, but several counties are taking initiatives for people who want to go tiny.
For instance, the codes are established by Park County for the on-site construction of tiny houses. The size of the house should not go beyond 220 sq. Ft. Moreover, you have to fulfill all the residential building rules.
The other location in Colorado is Walsenburg, in which all tiny houses should meet building codes for residential dwellings.
This is the most strict state for constructing tiny houses and for tiny homes on wheels. Still today, several advocates are evoking to legalize affordable tiny houses in this state.
There are no specific laws about tiny houses, and advocates are trying hard to bring a change. This region considers tiny mobile houses as RV, and it is necessary to title your camper within thirty days of purchase.
Delaware considers any dwelling units less than 400 sq. Ft. as modular or mobile homes.
Several counties and towns have adopted tiny home regulations such as Sarasota County, Orange County, and St. Petersburg.
You must register your tiny home on wheels at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). In St. Petersburg, all ADUs should have square footage within 375 and 750 sq. Ft.
Orange County allows ADUs not less than 400 sq. Ft. Moreover, if you wish to reside in Sarasota County, you have to place your home on the foundation.
This state is now adopting tiny house building codes. For instance, Atlanta considers a tiny home with permanent occupancy or with a kitchen stovetop as ADUs. These units are permissible in a specific zone.
Contrastingly, if the miniature house has temporary occupancy or doesn’t include a stove will be categorized as the guest house. These guest homes are permissible in every zone.
This whole state covers the regulations and requirements for tiny houses, and it is the tiny home friendly region.
Hawaii offers two options. You can either buy land for your tiny home or lease a lot from a proprietor or friend.
A tiny home on a wheel in Hawaii is considered a residential dwelling home; hence, it should comply with zoning restrictions and should be registered through DMV.
Idaho allows prefabricated and on-site built dwellings, and they should be around 150 sq. Ft. These houses should comply with HUD safety standards.
Tiny houses considered as recreational vehicles should be 8.5 feet wide. These houses are ideal for recreational or emergency housing.
Illinois does not provide any specific regulations or laws on having permanent structures. In a few areas, tiny homes are permissible only on private properties.
Indiana allows owners to construct their tiny homes by following the Log Cabin Rule. However, this rule does not support the tiny homes on wheels.
Iowa is quite small, and it has not recognized a tiny house as a residential dwelling yet. Moreover, larger communities usually dislike tiny houses.
Kansas embraces foundation based tiny homes on a property but has not accepted wheeled platform tiny homes yet.
This state has specific regulations, such as the foundation based home should have one 120 sq. Ft. room and the second room should be around 50 sq. Ft.
Several tiny house enthusiasts move to Louisville because it permits small houses in a metropolitan area, although restrictions and rules apply.
You have to follow specific regulations for prefabricated and on-site construction of tiny houses. Tiny homes on wheels should adhere to Louisville’s zoning requirements.
Louisiana still adheres to the 2012 IRC; hence, these residential codes do not make this state ideal for tiny home lovers.
It is another progressive state that allows statewide building guidelines for miniature houses.
Whether you construct your tiny permanent house on-site or off-site, you must follow zoning rules and regulations for permits and building inspection. Moreover, the tiny house should not exceed 400 sq. Ft.
This state does acknowledge tiny houses and classifies them as RVs. A few areas may allow tiny dwellings; however, the zoning laws in suburban and urban areas are quite strict.
Regulations are quite vague for a tiny home on wheels; whereas, this state permits ADUs. The building requirements vary among towns.
Moreover, Nantucket allows three tiny homes on similar residential property.
This state is adapting building regulations to make it tiny home friendly. Briley Township allows small homes, and their size should be within 240 and 500 sq. Ft.
This state defines tiny homes in two ways RVs and AUDs. AUDs constructed on the foundation has similar building codes as other residential homes.
Currently, Mississippi has no laws regarding tiny homes.
400;”>Kansas City, Jefferson City, Springfield, and Columbia permit on-site construction of tiny houses, but there are construction guidelines and zoning restrictions.
Missouri classifies tiny homes on wheels as RV, and there are strict regulations about parking the mobile homes.
Montana allows you to construct your tiny house, but the state will classify it as an RV. Besides that, the state hasn’t acknowledged small homes yet.
Nebraska is a tiny house friendly state that allows building prefabricated homes. However, it is essential to research regional zoning rules before constructing.
Building tiny houses on property is quite popular throughout Nevada. Ensure that you follow building and regional regulations.
Since searching for affordable houses was quite a challenge for New Hampshire residents, the state has passed the law to permit AUDs on all residential properties.
Moreover, the law also states that other people besides the property owner can inhabit these lots, but the owner should reside on similar land.
There are no tiny house regulations and laws in New Jersey, but the formulation of legislation is still in process. Therefore, this state is not ideal for building a tiny house.
This state provides gracious guidelines; therefore, New Mexico makes it easy to reside in tiny homes, whether prefabricated or built on-site.
The state has specific rules such as the ceiling height should not exceed 7 ft, the main room should measure around 70 sq. ft, and the width and length should be greater than 7 ft.
Furthermore, it is necessary to attach your tiny house to the sewer and water system.
It is not an ideal place for miniature houses because they are not allowed.
A few communities like Winston-Salem and Wilmington permits ADUs on nuclear-family residential properties. However, it is crucial to research building regulations first.
Burleigh County has specific tiny home building regulations, and the house must be 965 sq. Ft. It permits owners to build or place small homes either on their agriculture properties or properties that exceed 40 acres.
Every residential structure should meet regional building codes. Moreover, it is necessary to build your tiny home on the foundation, and strict rules apply when it comes to parking mobile units.
In Ohio, it is hard to search for a great place to construct tiny homes.
Specific tiny house regulations and zoning rules are not addressed in this state; therefore, it is challenging to build small houses.
However, if you wish, many people select the home site in rural areas that do not have strict zoning laws.
Mobile tiny homes can receive a license and a title through DMV. Moreover, Portland allows a single tiny house on a permanent residence.
It welcomes tiny houses, especially Elizabethtown and Philadelphia. Philadelphia has no minimum tiny house size requirements, but the tiny house builders should follow the 2009 IRC.
This state does not recognize tiny houses. Recently, the law has passed that permits the construction of ADU on the property to be used only by the family member.
Tiny homes are becoming increasingly popular, especially in Greenville County, and it allows small permanent homes not greater than 400 sq. Ft.
Spearfish and Beresford are very miniature house friendly. Mobile tiny homes must have a license, and tiny permanent houses should follow building and zoning codes.
Dandridge, Warren County, and Knoxville openly welcome tiny houses; however, before constructing them on your property, you must follow building zoning codes.
Austin, Spur, and Fort Worth are tiny home friendly. They allow ADU on the property as well as tiny mobile houses.
This state is slow to accept tiny homes. Only Washington County and Salt Lake City permit ADUs on residential properties.
Vermont has strict regulations and does not allow tiny homes. Burlington is the only region that approves the construction of ADU on properties.
Virginia is like Vermont and does not allow tiny homes.
It is not as friendly as its neighboring state Oregon. Several regions, such as King County, Seattle, and Woodland, allow ADU construction but do not permit tiny mobile homes.
This state does not widely approve tiny houses.
Only Dane County permits ADU on a residential property. Moreover, tiny mobile homes are portable shelters if it’s not permanent.
Cody and Casper recognize tiny houses, but they are mostly used as a rental property. However, ADUs are allowed in specific zones.
If you think a miniature home is a right thing for you, search for favorable or lenient areas that allow foundation-based permanent tiny homes.
The tiny house will help reduce the complexity of life and give you the feeling of less house and more home.