Tiny house regulations and codes may vary by city, town, or county.
Spearfish, South Dakota:
A permanent tiny house on foundations that is building code compliant is permitted in all residential zoning districts in Spearfish.
A temporary tiny house on wheels can be located on any commercial campground in Spearfish.
Beresford, South Dakota:
The exterior width of the tiny house can’t be less than 8.5 feet or more than 20 feet.
The minimum size is 187 square feet with no less than 50 additional square feet per additional person.
Tiny homes that are not on wheels must be secured on a foundation.
A tiny house on wheels must be secured to a licensed trailer.
A tiny house must be tightly secured to the ground when parked in order to withstand weather. Learn more here (page 44, section 12.5).
South Dakota has made huge inroads in regulating tiny houses. Places like Spearfish and Beresford are great examples of communities that specifically address tiny houses in their ordinances. Over the next few years,hopefully we can expect other towns and cities in South Dakota to follow suit.
Tiny houses are not acknowledged in ordinances by the city of Providence.
Check with your local municipality for specifics on zoning regulations and building codes.
Most cities like Providence will refer to sheds as a place to keep gardening equipment. Recently, Rhode Island has passed a state law allowing owner-occupants of single-family homes to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) for senior relatives age 62 and older.
Many parts of the State of Texas seem to be a Hotspot for establishing your Homestead and living in Tiny Houses or Shed to House Conversions, particularly in the rural areas of Texas.
Texas Cities Have Zoning Authority
Under Texas law, cities have the ability to adopt and implement zoning regulations. Texas Loc. Gov. Code Sec. 211. Interestingly, not all cities have done so. Houston, one of the country’s largest metro areas, does not have formal zoning, although it does control some land development through other indirect means.
Most cities in Texas, though, have zoning regulations. You can usually find a city’s zoning laws in a document titled “zoning ordinance” or “development code.”
If your property is outside city limits, different regulations will apply unless you are in what is called an “extraterritorial jurisdiction” right outside city limits. In Texas, counties have relatively limited zoning authority but may indirectly control development through regulation of transportation, environment, water, waste treatment, and stormwater.
Below is a list of Jurisdictions in Texas which seem to allow Tiny Houses or Conversions without any zoning or code issues.
Even with a 12,000 BTU Mini Split Unit installed in our Cabin we have experienced some spotty outages with our local electric cooperative and numerous power surges. With the winter months upon us we decided it would be to our better judgement to install a propane heater to add an additional heat source in case our power went out for an extended period of time.
A few months back we made a daily trip to Spencer, Tennesseee to order and purchase a wood stove chimney kit from from an Amish Gentleman named Ervin. Ervin makes them in his backyard shop and does quality work given the measurements and sizes that we needed. However, we eventually decided to save the wood stove and parts for our future add-on addition later.
We decided to install the propane heater in the photo above to use as back-up when the power went out and on extremely cold days when our mini split just wouldn’t keep up.
What Parts Do I Need?
Well, Propane heaters cant work without fuel… It seems our local Liquid Propane Suppliers wanted us to get a minimum of at least #250 Pound tank with fuel which would be anywhere between $600 -$800 in Propane and then another $200+ to install the line and make the connections. With that kind of expense we decided to purchase our own tanks and have them filled. We could also get a better price per gallon having our own tanks filled. Commercially, suppliers will either provide or lease you a bulk tank in order to sell you more fuel. There are smaller tanks available in either #100, #40, or #20 pound tanks for purchase from retail stores that have them.
A co-worker of mine gave us a #40 pound tank that he wasn’t using and wanted out of the way. We decided to purchase another #40 pound tank at our local Tractor Supply and have them filled while there. Here is the Manchester #40 Propane Tank that we purchased in addition to the #40 tank my co worker gave us for FREE. (You can also find a picture of the tanks below) We could have easily gone with two #100 pound tanks but decided that the heater would only have occasional use and wouldn’t be constantly demanding propane.
Note: I did transport my #40 pound tanks home in our utility trailer in an upright position. Many places will not allow you to transport filled propane tanks in an enclosed vehicle and especially if they are laying down. Here is a good How To on transporting them.
Depending on the size and manufacturer of your Propane Heater be sure to review the Operator and Instructions Manual included with your Heater for the compatible regulator type and size. Here is an example of what to look for in your instruction manual:
Most Heaters are not provided with a Regulator and you will have to purchase one on on your own. For an explanation of How Regulators work click HERE! This will explain why its important to have the right size and type of regulator. Our Particular heater purchase called for a regulator with a maximum Pressure setting of:
Pressure Regulator Setting : 10 Inches of Water
Inlet Gas Pressure ( Maximum) 14 Inches of Water
Inlet Gas Pressure (Minimum) 11 Inches of Water
All of these should be listed on the Regulator Packaging for compatibility with your heater or compatible model numbers with your heater. Your Regulator should match these numbers for your heater in pressure or your heater may not work properly.
In order for your heater to operate from your fuel source to the heater, you will need the proper lines between both to supply your heater. Most common is the use of copper lines with flared fittings.
As an alternative with occasional use and a shorter run between the tanks and appliance you can use pre-made rubber Liquid Propane lines suitable for use with Liquid Propane gas HERE These work great for less the cost than copper tubing and fittings. For a more permanent solution and alot of use I would recommend Copper lines and fittings. Most major LP gas suppliers and regulations require a 10 foot minimum distance between the tank and dwelling. Your local Codes will also dictate a minimum distance and connection.
I chose the pre made lines with the attached fittings for ease and the shorter distance i had between the tank and the appliance.
Dual Tank Hookup Kits
Due to having two LP tanks on hand, I decided to go with this handy dual tank hook-up kit I also found at Tractor Supply. I had both tanks connected safely together in less than 5 minutes.
Liquid Propane Gas Valve
I installed this 1/2″ Liquid Propane Gas Valve which you can find HERE
Our Heater was provided with a 3/8″ gas inlet located on the bottom of the heater which you can see here. The heater also came with a 3/8″ FIP elbow provided with male and female ends as you can see below:
The LP gas inlet in the above photo is shown on the bottom corner of our heater. The 3/8″ elbow also pictured screws into the threads to adjust where you want your gas line to run. Be sure when connecting all joints with gas line piping to use a compatible pipe thread sealant made especially for gases. Thread tape for Gas will usually be sold with an Orange Cap and Orange colored tape. This is double layered and only used for gas and oil applications. You can also purchase a tube of RectorSeal 5 Pipe Thread Sealant for gas applications.
As illustrated in the above image I used the Gas threading tape to connect the 3/8″ elbow provided with the heater to the bottom of the heater. I also purchased a 1 1/2″ length of 3/8″ Black Iron pipe and attached it to the elbow with the sealant tape. On the end to the right, I replaced that flair fitting (for copper tubing) with a Black Iron 3/8″ to 1/2″ Reducer. If using metal piping its usually better to use Black Iron as it is more compatible with gases if not using the appropriate copper. I think that Black Iron threaded piping gives a better and safer connection when dealing with gases. Its also harder to jar your connections loose as opposed to using copper which can be easily bent and create a hazardous gas leak.
My reducer looks like this…..Be Sure its compatible with any type of Gas Application
At the 1/2″ end of the Reducer I added a 1/2″ Brass Pipe Nipple ( Any length you need for your particular project) In my case I used a 1 1/2 inch long brass nipple to connect to the gas valve from the reducer.
As can be seen in the photo above I connected from the reducer on the right using the brass nipple into the gas valve by threading it in ( using gas threading sealant). To the left on the opposite side of the gas valve, I added a 1/2″ Close Nipple, another 1/2″ x 3/8″ close nipple ( Black Iron or Brass) into a Brass 1/2″ x 3/8 Reducer, another 3/8″ Close nipple and connected to the black LP Gas line coming from the tanks outside. It made it very easy to connect to the gas valve with the 3/8″ connector already made into the hose line from outside. Be sure to make all connections with the Gas Thread tape or Sealant. Your Gas Valve should be located inside next to your heater or appliance. This will allow you to stop the flow of gas going to the appliance in an emergency or a gas leak at the appliance.
Before making the gas line connections to the outside tanks, the unit came with a mounting bracket and hardware for either mounting to the wall ( As i did) or with floor stands provided for floor applications. When mounting to the wall or the floor be sure to follow the Manufacturers recommendation for acceptable clearances around all sides of your heater. I chose the wall mount on my particular project.
Connecting Your Tanks
As you can see in the photo above I connected both #40 pound LP tanks using the Double Tank Connection Kit I provided a link to previously. Many of the threads going into the Tanks will screw in counterclockwise instead of clockwise. Disconnecting the lines from the tanks unscrew in reverse. One line will simply screw into the second tank ( as above) then connect to the end of the Brass Tee as pictured on the tank in the foreground. In the middle of the Tee will be the tank connection which will thread into the tank counterclockwise again. Your regulator will screw into the opposite end of the Tee as pictured. The remainder is your line going through the wall to your appliance. Again, be sure to use Orange Thread tape or Sealant at all connections to prevent any leaks. Propane is very explosive if not used properly.
Before installing any gas line ( whether Propane or Natural Gas) be sure you follow all safety precautions and know what you are doing. I would recommend a Trained Professional to install Natural Gas applications as their regulators are much more complex than Liquid Propane. Almost all Natural Gas lines are run by a Local Utility and they require you to have one of their installers perform the work. Tapping into a Natural Gas line without authorization is a criminal offense in almost all states.
It is also beneficial to check with your local authorities to learn the requirements (if any) for installing LP Gas tanks for residential or commercial use.
Once you have connected your appliance to the outdoor tanks its now time to test to be sure you don’t have any leaks and your appliance is working properly.
Testing For Leaks
Once all connections are made you can turn on the gas at the tanks by opening the valves located on the top of your tanks. Open them slowly and listen for any sounds of a leak. If you do STOP!!! Close the valves slowly and repair the leak.
If no leak at the valves allow enough time for the gas to enter the lines going to the appliance. In the meantime, keep your gas valve inside near the appliance closed.
You can use a mixture of water and dish detergent to spray on all connections and joints. If you don’t have a spray bottle you can use a sponge and apply the water mixture on each joint. If you see Bubbles forming, STOP!! and have the leak repaired where you see it bubble. This is a sign that you have a leak. Again, shut off the gas before making any repairs.
You can now open the gas valve and repeat the same steps between the gas valve and the appliance. Follow Manufacturers Instructions to bleed air from the lines and lighting your pilot light.
Follow ALL Safety Precautions when installing or Servicing Liquid Propane…If not, this will happen!
If you should have any questions or comments about this article we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to share your experiences or comment below.
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Human bodies naturally produce these compounds through our endocannabinoid system. Our bodies stay in homeostasis with the endocannabinoid system or the ECS. It works alongside the thyroid, endocrine and the peripheral nervous system. Our ECS manages our cognitive functions and emotions. Internal endocannabinoids and plant-derived phytocannabinoids both activate the endocannabinoid system. Fatty acid amide hydrolase, FAAH, and other varieties of amino acids are mediators that break down endocannabinoids. The naturally occuring anandamide from our ECS attaches to the CB1 receptors without the high feeling. With CBD, the calming effect can be felt for longer as it stops enzymes from disrupting the anandamide. Active ECS sites host the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Cannabinoids bind to different receptors throughout the body and brain. THC mainly binds to the CB1 receptor acting as an activator. The largest population of receptors can be found in the brain, research is coming to find. High activity of activators occur in regions that regulate bodily functions, like the hippocampus, spinal cord, and cerebellum. It moderates the duration and feelings of dysphoria, pain and our memory. Other CB1 receptors can be found in the cell nerves, tissue, organs and supports other glandular systems. CB2 receptors focus on helping the autoimmune system and enhancing anti-inflammatory properties. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors are found in immune cells. More CB2 receptors are found in white blood cells and the spleen. Each receptor is crucial to a functioning endocannabinoid system.
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Tiny houses outside of cities have a better chance of meeting zoning requirements.
Tiny houses have a better chance of meeting building codes if placed on foundations.
Tiny houses on wheels are put into the same category as RVs.
While not yet represented in terms of regulations, tiny houses are still gaining traction in the state of Oklahoma. There are currently a few tiny house communities in development in the Wheeler District and in northwest Oklahoma City.
Tiny house regulations and codes may vary by city, town, or county.
Burleigh County regulations:
The minimum size requirement is 965 square feet, therefore, the size of a tiny house would keep it from being placed on single-family residential lots.
Tiny homes can be placed on agricultural lots.
The North Dakota Century Code and the Burleigh County Ordinance do not prohibit tiny homes that are placed on a lot of 40 acres or more.
Tiny houses on wheels must be placed on a foundation.
Tiny houses must have access to water, sewer, electricity, and gas.
Tiny houses must meet standard building codes.
Burleigh County does not currently allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
While popular, not all counties have specifically addressed tiny houses. Burleigh County is one location that is gradually loosening restrictions and paving the way for a tiny homeowners. Although they do not currently allow ADUs, their county ordinance does address the fact that they see the benefit of a “granny suite” for elderly family members.
In the state of New York, temporary structures such as tiny houses are not permitted.
While you can register a tiny house on wheels in New York, it doesn’t mean you are able to live in one full-time. The further away from major cities you are, the more likely you are able to live in your tiny home under the radar.
New York State is a very complex state in regards to Tiny House and Shed Conversions. They can be very strict on zoning and permitting.
Land use ordinances in New York include development standards that guide development in each zone. Development standards often include requirements that relate to:
Some of these standards can make the construction of a tiny house as a dwelling difficult. For instance, if your backyard is small, you may not be able to comply with setback requirements or lot coverage requirements. Similarly, if your lot is small, finding room for any required off-street parking might not be possible.
In Buffalo, for instance, ancillary dwellings are referred to as “carriage houses.” In many of Buffalo’s residential zones, carriage houses are lawful. Among other development standards, these structures must be built ten feet from the principal residence, be no more than two or three stories (depending on the zone), and be no more than 1,000 square feet. Buffalo UDO § 3.2.3.
The Town of Haverstraw will allow ADUs known as Carriage Houses built to code in Rockland County.
Private Restrictions May Also Apply to Tiny Houses
You should also review any private land use restrictions that may apply to your property. As an example, Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) control the development of property in many subdivisions or communities. It is common for subdivisions to have stricter development standards than local governments. If applicable, review any CC&Rs and other development restrictions carefully to see whether tiny houses are allowed in your community.
New York Building Codes Include Safety and Construction Standards
To ensure that buildings are safe for people to occupy, governments adopt and enforce building codes. Construction of a site-built tiny house will be subject to the applicable building code. The New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (“Building Code”) incorporates several different uniform building, fire, and safety codes. The Building Code’s specific standards apply to the construction of the foundation, walls, plumbing, electrical, and other major components of a tiny house.
Historically, building codes have created a significant hurdle to building a lawful tiny house. Building codes are slowly being updated to make it easier for tiny home builders to obtain the necessary permits. However, getting advice from a construction contractor familiar with tiny houses and the Building Code will help ensure that you design and construct a lawful tiny house.
Other requirements include windows, permanent heating facilities, wall-switch lighting, bathroom windows or exhaust fans, smoke alarms, and a door to the outside that’s at least 32 inches wide by 78 inches high.
The city of Albuquerque provides guidelines for building a tiny house. Converting a tiny house on wheels into a legal dwelling with a certificate of occupancy is also possible. You need a permit to anchor the tiny home to some kind of foundation. Similarly to a manufactured tiny house, you are able to move the structure in the future. Tiny houses on wheels must be built to residential code standards, as well as the ANSI codes that regulate the construction of RVs.