Which States Allow Tiny Homes?

Which States Allow Tiny Homes?

Tiny homes are super fashionable at the moment, and it’s not hard to see why.

The average home uses up a lot of energy, but with a tiny home your energy, electricity, and water needs are greatly reduced. Many believe that tiny homes could even be the solution to homelessness in the United States. 

Most tiny homes have less than 400 square feet of living space, which not only sounds pretty cozy but an appealingly simple and minimal way to live.

Tiny homes have only a handful of the complications associated with traditional homeownership, but not every state is on board with this sustainable way of living.

So before you start making plans to sell your current home and downsize, it’s definitely important to know which states are welcoming of tiny homes – and which are not. Even different cities, towns, and municipalities will differ when it comes to allowing tiny houses.

Laws relating to tiny houses will vary from state to state, as well as county to county.

Some places will embrace the sustainability offered by tiny homes and see them as assets to the community, while some places may consider them a passing trend or even a safety hazard (more on that later).

But even then, it doesn’t appear as though tiny homes are outright banned in any U.S. state. Although only a few states are considered tiny house-friendly. These states often have more flexible zoning laws and permits when it comes to building homes of this size.

For example, regulators in Colorado have waived Starway regulations, as well as waiving the minimum square footage required for a home and reduced the size requirements for exit doors.

Some states that allow tiny homes also just have a more environmentally friendly reputation that includes embracing tiny homes.

States that are the most accepting of tiny homes include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. Out of all these states, you’re most likely to find tiny homes in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

Which States Do NOT Allow Tiny Homes?

Meanwhile, the states that are the least accepting of tiny homes are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

It is not illegal to build tiny homes in any of these states, but there are rules and laws in place that discourage the building of tiny homes.

For example, certain states insist that tiny homes have emergency exits or meet the minimum ceiling height requirement. Even if you legally own the land you want to build a tiny home on, some zoning laws make this almost impossible. 

But since tiny homes are such a relatively recent and rare thing, a lot of states haven’t written up specific laws regarding building tiny homes, what amenities are needed, how big they should be, and the upkeep of them.

But even if your municipality has no laws regarding tiny homes, there might be some loopholes to watch out for if you want to live in a tiny home permanently. 

For example, tiny homes are not forbidden in the state of Washington, but certain counties may impose legal building restrictions on full-time dwellings. King County has stated in the past that tiny homes need to be built on concrete foundations. 

If you’re planning on building a tiny home, contact your local municipality to check what rules and regulations are in place and what ordinances or permits are in place. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Is A Tiny Home Safe?

A tiny home is generally considered a small home that is 400 square feet or less, although some can be as small as 60 square feet. As tiny homes increase in popularity, many people are taking the idea of a tiny home and running with it, building tiny homes that work for them and fit the needs of them and their families.

Your tiny home can have a permanent foundation, have an outdoor porch area, it can be on wheels like an RV, or even pop-out like a tent!

The possibilities may seem endless with a tiny home, but with so much scope to customize your home, you might be wondering how safe they actually are. With unpredictable weather and safety regulations to think about, it’s natural to ask: are tiny homes safe?

Zoning regulations vary by location, which is why it’s so important you contact your local zoning department before you start your tiny home project.

They will be able to fill you in on all the specific zoning laws and regulations, so you can go ahead with your build knowing that your house will be up to code. Still, there are a few regulations that are standard wherever you are. 

bathrooms: You will need at least one bathroom that is separated from other rooms in the house in all tiny homes.

Emergency exits: There is no minimum requirement for how many windows your tiny home can have, and this goes for homes of all sizes. But your tiny home must have at least one other emergency exit that isn’t the main entry and exit point. 

Minimum ceiling height: There are minimum ceiling height requirements for each room in a tiny home. A bathroom must have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet, 4 inches, while a common room (or a living room) must have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet, 8 inches.

Stairs: To reach the lofted areas of a tiny home, stairs or a ladder of some kind is required.

Utilities: A tiny home isn’t required to have specific utilities, and a lot of tiny homeowners avoid certain utilities in order to live more sustainability and to reduce their electricity bills.

Alternative utilities adopted by many tiny homeowners include using solar power, composting toilets, and forgoing running water.

Mandy Carlos
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Mandy Carlos

Hi, my name is Mandy Carlos, and I moved into my own tiny home around 5 years ago. My home is situated on my own plot of land in the country, and for the most part, I live off grid. Living in a tiny home has been incredible, and I love being away from the fast pace of city living. While tiny homes are becoming increasingly popular, there are still many people that are unaware of the best accessories, and necessities to purchase. This is why I decided to set up Clothesline Tiny Home, to share my experiences with others.

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