Tiny House Regulations Iowa

  • Tiny house regulations and codes may vary by city, town, or county.
  • The Council of Iowa Falls adopted changes to City Code that reduces the minimum size for new homes from 600 square feet to 500.

While the tiny house movement is really catching on in metro areas with high housing and land costs, it doesn’t mean building your tiny house in these places will be easy. The major obstacle to tiny houses is found in the local zoning ordinances which dictates minimum square footage or lot sizes.

In many communities and counties across Iowa, minimum square footage requirements for residential dwellings are hindering the ability of many tiny home enthusiasts to build or to place a tiny home in an area that they desire. For example, in Iowa Falls, the local government adjusted the city’s minimum size requirement for residential properties to 500 square feet. This only accommodates larger tiny homes. However, this change actually lowered the minimum size requirement from 600 square feet, so it is viewed as progress in the tiny house movement.

In other areas of Iowa, the tiny home movement is being met with extreme resistance. For example, one proposed tiny house development near Des Moines was not permitted. For those who want to live in a tiny house in the Des Moines area, it may be necessary to look at land in rural or outlying areas around the city that have less stringent zoning regulations.