In my post about Tiny Versus Small houses I spoke a little about our tiny house in the country and our small house in the city.
This got me thinking about the other divide among tiny house builders and dwellers.
It seems as though many tiny house people are split down the middle when it comes to wanting to live in the city or in the country and there are pros and cons to both.
So where to build a tiny house… in the city or in the country?
Read on to learn more about city versus country tiny house living.
City living in what we would consider a traditional tiny house – one on wheels – requires a lot more planning, some creative problem solving, and just a dash of civil disobedience. Tiny houses aren’t technical “legal” in many urban or even suburban areas. For this reason you need to be prepared to work around the system even as you try to work with it. This is why many tiny homes are built on trailers so they can be classified as RVs and registered with the DMV rather than be subjected to zoning restrictions and inspections. However, even this plan is not 100% guaranteed to work. Some cities have ordinances against RVs parked within the city limits for any period of time. Other cities require inspections of any structure being used as a living space. It is impossible to predict the requirements since they can be very different from state to state and even country to county.
Legalities, Building Codes and Zoning for Tiny Homes in the Country
Tiny houses aren’t necessarily any more legal in the country but often you will find rural counties are more lax about the rules. In fact, some areas may even have stricter building codes than their urban counterparts; they just don’t always enforce them. Mileage may vary, of course, because every rural county in every region in every state will handle these things differently. Our expansive nation is far from homogenous and a tiny house owner in Vermont can’t tell you what you need to do to be able to live in a tiny house in California.
Tips on Deciding Between the City and Country
So, what makes one better than the other for a tiny house builder when deciding between city and country? It is purely subjective. It is important to decide what you want out of your experience and what battles you’re willing to fight. If you want to live off the grid and learn modern homesteading, a tiny house deep in the country might be a great fit. If you want to have affordable housing in a relatively expensive city then you may want to look into how you need to make that happen. The issue isn’t cut and dry and may require some stops and starts with either choice. If you want to live in a city you could check out areas where you may be able to rent yard space. In the country you may be able to find several acres that are secluded from your neighbors. Regardless of the vision you have for your tiny space this lifestyle requires creative planning on your part. Consider if you’re prepared for that aspect of it before you start building.
I know I said last week that the first step to building a tiny house is to pick up the hammer. While that is generally true, the real first step is to determine why you’re doing this and what you want to accomplish. There are so many choices that need to be made when you start the downsizing process. Do you want to build on a trailer or a foundation? Do you want a small or a tiny house? Do you want to live in the country or a city? And many more. What do you think about these questions in relation to your journey? And where are you now?
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