Building Codes and Regulations on Tiny Houses/Cabins in the United States
When and Where you decide to live in your Tiny House or Cabin, there are several things to consider before you begin your process. Perform some due diligence and research, research, and research before you decide to build your Tiny House or Cabin and live in. You will live worry free that you didn’t break any laws when you do…..Here is what you need to research:
*Disclaimer: The information provided on this website should not be taken as an expert opinion, consultation, or advisement of any kind. Building codes, home building, zoning, and local laws etcetera are complicated and ultimately your responsibility to execute legally and safely. You must do your own research, consult with and verify with all applicable authorities, local officials, regulatory bodies, code and zoning officials, and city/state/federal governments.
Depending on the type of tiny home you’re looking for and what state you’re looking to build in, these will vary greatly. Certain states are more friendly toward the idea of tiny houses and tiny house communities, so it’s a good idea to figure out the laws specific to your location. Two important factors to consider are your locations building codes and zoning regulations.
- Building codes dictate how your house is built. Here are some of the essentials that your tiny house needs to have to be approved:
- Minimum ceiling height: The common spaces must have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches, while bathrooms can be a minimum of 6 feet 4 inches.
- Windows: There actually isn’t a minimum number of windows that need to be in a tiny house. It does however, need to meet the standard requirement for emergency exit points.
- Plumbing: At least one separate bathroom is required (and we totally understand why!)
- Stairs: Tiny houses need to have stairs or ladders in order to reach loft areas.
- Keep in mind that Building Codes are meant to provide safety for you and your family against substandard building and construction.
You can’t park or build your tiny house or cabin just anywhere you like. You will need to check with your local zoning department to find out more about the area where you’re thinking of building.
Keep in mind that while there are federal, state, local laws and local zoning regulations in place, you can still apply through your local Zoning and Planning Commission to build outside of the existing codes. This exception is sometimes called a Conditional Use or Variance. They aren’t always guaranteed. It really depends on how Tiny House friendly the areas are that you want to live and build.
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 by the Council it is now up to your state and local jurisdictions to adopt Appendix Q.
Some states may not be available here so please check back for updated listings. Click the states below to find your regulations:
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Editors Note: Many of the Tiny Home Regulations by State listings here are the results of sources available through states or local jurisdictions and media publications. Please note that laws, ordinances, and regulations are subject to change and may not always be accurate at the time of publication on our Page. We strive to do our best to keep this information as up to date and accurate as possible. It is always best to check with your local jurisdiction to obtain the best information available.