Legitimizing Tiny House Building and Residency

While owner/builder options exist for those building on conventional foundations, the homes of DIY tiny house builders remain mobile. In many municipalities, this could cause continual issues and a lack of certified occupancy.

DIY tiny houses are often built to specs that "meet or exceed code minimum," though it will become increasingly important to determine a route that allows DIY tiny house builders to legally park and live in their tiny house long-term. Similarly, the same exists for professionally built turnkey tiny houses.

For many municipalities this could be a stretch due to their need for regulation, zoning, permits, and inspection during a build. While tiny houses on wheels are often classified as RVs, we're pressing for an allowance that they can be used as legal domiciles, not just overnight camping.

Defining the difference between an RV and a "tiny house" may require the county to establish a new classification for tiny houses (sub classification of on-wheels, on-skids). This could be good thing, though might also come with lots of extra regulation.

For many of us, living so simply is a dream we're wresting into reality. While off-grid and under-the-radar are options for tiny house homeowners, those of us working in the business professionally need to be aware of this shift in the market and its legal implications.

Here's hoping those among us in the Tiny House Movement find a way to quickly smooth this bumpy road!

Source: Interview by Jeff Katz of WRVA in Richmond, Virginia