In the tiny house community we are often talking about the various building codes around the country, and the world, and how they affect tiny spaces. Tiny house bloggers often get asked the question “do you know the building codes in [my city]?”
Building codes are so location specific that they can vary greatly mile by mile. The only way to know for sure about the building codes in your area is to talk to the local government. Unfortunately, you can’t be surprised when they tell you that you can’t live in a tiny house where you want.
Fixing Tiny House Codes and Zoning
Tiny house builders do many things to get around this issue. Some will pick a location because of the friendly nature of the building codes. Some will build on wheels so the house can be moved if it ever becomes a problem. Some will build on unincorporated country land that isn’t likely to strictly enforce codes.
There is one more option that I’m not sure any of us have really considered.
Running for local government.
Click below to read more about my crazy ideas for extreme tiny house code reform.
How About.. A Tiny House Town?
This form of radical rule changing works best when done collaboratively. Consider this scenario: several families and individuals who aspire to build tiny homes move into a small town. They get to know the community and the city government. After the period of relationship building the group runs for city council. Once that is accomplished they work on changing the laws regarding the zoning and code regulations.
To make this work everyone who runs for office in the town needs to take the job seriously. While you’re main objective might be to change the codes to be friendlier to tiny house development the rest of the job still needs to be given the right attention.
There may also still be regulations that come from the state government but it is much less likely that that state, and even the federal government, would do much to challenge the local codes once they have been changed.
Creating a Safe Haven for Tiny Housers
Once the codes have been altered the town can become a place for tiny houses people to live without fear of being asked to move or tear down their homes. Other tiny house dreamers can move into the area to be with like-minded people. Not only would this foster change with the building code issue but would also create a de facto tiny house community.
Creating Tiny Home Communities Instead?
Additional ways to make this idea more viable is to have groups of tiny house builders buy larger plots of land and create a contract to subdivide. Land can be expensive if you’re buying multiple acres but buying it with a group of people can make it more affordable.
What Would You Do or Suggest?
I know this idea isn’t exactly perfect but I thought it might generate some discussion. Would you run for local government to change the codes for your area to be friendlier to tiny house builders? How could you make this happen?
Latest posts by Laura LaVoie (see all)
- Top 5 Things to do on a Rainy Day in Your Tiny House - October 20, 2013
- Top 5 Reasons I Love My Tiny House in the Fall - September 24, 2013
- 3 Tips You Should Know Before Building From a Tiny House Builder - September 18, 2013