State Regulations

January 1, 2018 Update:

On January 1, 2018 the International Code Council, also known as the ICC, Adopted Appendix Q of the International Residential Codes which regulates the Building of Tiny Homes.  Since approved, it is now up to your state and local jurisdictions to adopt Appendix Q.

 

ALABAMA

The State of Alabama regulates Manufactured Housing ( which are Mobile or Modular Homes constructed in a factory setting and licensed by the State of Alabama and certified. The Manufactured Housing code is listed below:

http://alabamaadministrativecode.state.al.us/docs/mfch/535-X-11.pdf 

Alabama does not have a statewide building code. The Building Code implementation and compliance are both regulated and enforced on a local or jurisdictional level.

The Residential Energy Code for Alabama (RECA 2004) is based on the 2000 Version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). RECA meets or exceeds the 2000 version of the IECC except for the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) for glass.

RECA 2004 is a voluntary code that allows builders, architects, home designers and code inspectors a simplified method to determine how much insulation to put into the attic, walls and floor, windows and doors and their maximum allowed areas, as well as the minimum energy efficiency rating of heating, cooling, and water heating equipment to install.

RECA 2004 can be found in the link below:

http://http://www.adeca.alabama.gov/C0/Building%20Energy%20Codes/default.aspx

We would strongly suggest that you decide the location in Alabama that you may be interested in living small. Then contact that local government or visit their website  and ask what, if any, code requirements exist.

In many areas it seems if you build away from moderate or high population areas, you shouldn’t incur any problems. The State hasn’t passed much legislation, if any, dealing with Tiny Houses or small homes.  As in anything it’s always best to check and make sure nothing has changed.

At a later date we will add a list of Community Groups and contact information for existing groups in Alabama involved in the Tiny House trend in Alabama. We also plan to add a list of Contractors.  We want to perform our due diligence to be sure these groups and companies do exist before we post them.

ALASKA

Tiny housing does not meet the letter of the requirements of the International Building or Residential Codes for single-family dwellings.

I know there have been many discussions over the years in the Municipality but things have been quiet as of late.

Various other deferred jurisdictions may have a different view on whether they allow or accept the concept as meeting the intent, if not the letter, of the adopted codes. You would need to contact those jurisdictions directly.

Outside of the deferred jurisdictions, the State of Alaska does not regulate detached single- and two-family dwellings. If the tiny house is being used for an application where you have more than two non-separated dwelling units (e.g. IBC Group R-2), then you’ll need to work the the State.

Mark Panilo- Chapter President;  Alaska Chapter of International Code Council

ARIZONA

Arizona Building Codes: Converting an existing shed, or building a new building at site, would fall under the local authority having jurisdiction at the site’s location. Anything built at one location and then moved to another location for installation would fall under the jurisdiction on AZ Dept. of Housing/Manufactured Housing Division (ADOH/MHD). Nearly all jurisdictions have adopted International Code Council codes, and the National Electrical Code, as well as local ordinances that address local requirements and conditions (zoning, snow loads, sprinklers, etc.). Tiny homes would be subject to these same codes and ordinances.

This link to ADOH website – https://housing.az.gov/manufactured-housing – will provide you with more details about MHD requirements. I have also attached a pdf from Coconino Co. as an example of what a local jurisdiction may require, though each jurisdiction will vary on their requirements.

https://www.azdor.gov/Portals/0/Newsroom/2017%20Tax%20Conference/Tiny_Homes.pdf

ARKANSAS

Arkansas Building Code: It appears many of the IRC enforced Building Codes are in Incorporated Municipalities of Arkansas, while very few exist in rural counties except Lawrence County and Walnut Ridge which require a 600 square foot minimum. In the incorporated areas homes of any size must be connected to an approved septic systems or public waste water system. Most of the State codes apply to Fire safety and commercial buildings.

CALIFORNIA

California Information Bulletin on Tiny Houses/Cabins: http://americantinyhouseassociation.org/state-of-californi…/

Special Thanks to the American Tiny House Association for providing this list. These are the most recent updates for the State of California and those jurisdictions Allowing. This list is comprehensive.

Click Here for Updated California List

San Luis Obispo California Now allowing Tiny Houses On Wheels for Homeless Veterans

San Luis Obispo California Ordinance Information

COLORADO

The State of Colorado and many jurisdictions in Colorado are considering Tiny Houses as Recreational Vehicles and must meet the certification standards for RV’s.  It is commonly known that it is not legal to live in an RV permanently. We have reached out to Colorado officials for the legislation on Tiny Houses and will post them as soon as we receive them. Below you will find a link for a recent news story on the difficulties in Colorado.

http://gazette.com/tiny-houses-running-into-obstacles-in-colorado/article/1607554

For a Shed to be converted to housing in Colorado, they must meet the current IRC and more. It is unknown if or when Colorado or any of its jurisdictions will adopt Appendix Q related to Tiny Houses.

Promising News for Colorado Springs area

Lyons Colorado Proposed Ordinance for Tiny Houses

CONNECTICUT

The current (2016) State Building Code (SBC) does not contain any provisions specific to tiny houses.

There are three broad scenarios to consider:

    1. A tiny house which is trailer mounted and portable: Would not be subject to the requirements of the SBC.
    2. A tiny house which is semi-permanent, in that they are chassis/trailer-based but connected to onsite electrical, water and/or drainage services: Would be subject to the requirements of the SBC. If it meets the definition of “Manufactured Housing as Dwellings” would be reviewed and inspected as such; if not, would also require all elements to be reviewed and rough inspections made.
    3. A permanently located tiny house, not on a chassis/trailer, would be subject to the procedural and technical requirements of the SBC.

As the extent to which the SBC requirements would apply to tiny houses is not currently restricted, we are mindful of the impact this would have on this developing market and would therefore consider allowing, by modification, use of provisions from the International Code Council’s 2018 International Residential Code Appendix Q, which relaxes various requirements in the code as they apply to tiny houses that are 400 square feet in area or less.

It is always best to check with your local jurisdiction of interest to ask if any additional requirements are needed.

DELAWARE

Building Codes are adopted at the county and municipal level; however the 2012 IPC, and the 2009 IMC and IECC have been adopted at the state level.  The IFC ( International Fire Code ) have been adopted at the State level.  Delaware has only three counties in the State:  Sussex, Kent, and New Castle and we have listed the codes for each below….

Sussex County Codes

New Castle County

Kent County

Also Included in this listing is the Adopted codes by the City of Wilmington Delaware…

City of Wilmington DE

FLORIDA

The State of Florida as a whole has adopted a statewide building code which is linked below:

Florida Building Code Standards

There are communities in Florida who have adopted or passed Ordinances which allow Tiny Houses or ADU’s ( Accessory Dwelling Units) in their communities. One of the most friendly communities in nation which now allow Tiny Houses ( and specifically name them in the ordinance) is Rockledge Florida on Floridas East Coast.  Below you will find the Ordinances for Tiny Houses:

http://www.cityofrockledge.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/933?fileID=9002

http://www.cityofrockledge.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/934?fileID=9004

Also Included are Ordinances pertaining to ADU’s in St Petersburg, Florida. Please keep in mind that ADUs are usually referencing what are known as Mother In Law suites or Guest Houses and most must be constructed in backyards of existing homes. Each location can have various rules and regulations that apply.  Check with your local jurisdiction to find out the particulars on allowing ADUs or Tiny Houses.

St Pete Florida ADU Regulations

 

GEORGIA

How Tiny Houses are Defined in Georgia

Atlanta City Councilor Proposes Tiny House Feasibility Study

http://www.dca.state.ga.us/development/ConstructionCodes/programs/documents/CodesUpdateWinter2016.pdf

Tiny Houses Face Tough Restrictions in Atlanta

Fact Sheet for Smaller/Tiny Houses In Georgia

IDAHO

http://www.ktvb.com/mobile/article/news/local/boise-proposing-new-codes-for-tiny-homes/496828879

KANSAS

City of Haysville, Kansas Adopts Tiny House Development Regulations. Follow the Link below:

City Tiny House Regulations Allowing TH Development

MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts Considers Tiny House Regulations

NORTH CAROLINA

Attached are the NC Manufactured Housing Guidelines for Tiny/Small Houses in North Carolina. These are ONLY Guidelines from the Office Of State Fire Marshal and Tiny Houses meeting these guidelines are still regulated or allowed by the local Jurisdictions. Some Jurisdictions may not allow them by local Zoning.  Its best to check with your local county or cities Building and Zoning Inspections Department to determine whether they are legal or not. The below Guidelines are for Manufactured Housing. Many Conversions or Tiny Houses are not certified as Manufactured Housing.

http://www.ncdoi.com/OSFM/Manufactured_Building/documents/Memos_Modular/102115%20Tiny%20Homes%20In%20NC%20Memo.pdf

OREGON

Tiny House Code Proposal for the State of Oregon Known as Oregon Reach. You can find the information at the link below:

Oregon Reach Tiny House Proposal

https://mailchi.mp/4ccf43a5eac6/summerupdates2018

PENNSYLVANIA

Lancaster County, PA Packet

SOUTH CAROLINA

The State of South Carolina adopted the International Code Council Building Codes. Some areas in South Carolina, particularly Aiken and Horry County are allowing Tiny Houses with restrictions on where they can be placed.

Beaufort SC allows Accessory Dwelling Units, however, they must be at least 240 Square Feet. Refer in particular to Section 5.3B Below.

http://www.cityofbeaufort.org/Data/Sites/1/media/Departments/planning/udo-revised-september-2012-web.pdf

TENNESSEE

Many Counties and Municipalities in Tennessee have opted out of the Building Codes. This means that  those areas do not require you to obtain a Building Permit to build a home.  You are still required to obtain an Electrical and Septic Permit from the State unless local jurisdictions have their own Building Inspections and Permitting. Health Departments without their own Permitting or regulations require you to seek State Approval for Septic or waste disposal through the TN Department of Environment.

Cities and Counties List: Building Permits Required

Updated List of Opt Out Counties with No Codes

If you are planning to Convert a Shed to a House in the State Of Tennessee, where local jurisdictions do not prohibit it, refer to the below link for the State law governing this. If you are planning to go “Off Grid” without the need for electrical or septic this applies to permitting.  Tennessee does allow the use of Composting Toilets as long as they are certified and you have potable running water.

Tennessee Law on Ready Removables