The Future of Tiny Housing and the IRC

Likely by now you’ve heard of the proposed tiny house code for IRC 2018. But what are its implications for the future of tiny housing in America?

Andrew Morrison, the tiny house luminary behind this historic effort, recently joined us on Tiny House Expedition Radio to discuss the nitty-gritty of the proposal, what it includes and doesn’t include, and the potential benefits for those seeking to live tiny legally.

As Andrew explains, a tiny house appendix in the IRC code would mean more than you may imagine,

  • “And for all of us building tiny houses, it means that we will have a guidepost to building safe and healthy homes with a certificate of occupancy at the end of that road.
  • Simply healthy, safe housing that inspires people to live a life of joy, passion, and exploration.”

If you want to support the proposal:

  • You’re invited to attend the hearings in Kansas City on 10/22-10/24! Exact time of public hearing is not known. Learn more here.
  • Or sign this petition.
  • Lobby your voting ICC members: Per Andrew Morrison, “Please contact your local building departments and find out who is a voting member of ICC. Ask them to support the proposal with their vote. I believed they can vote electronically without attending the hearings, so it should be easy for them. Let them know that this proposal provides safe solutions to the difficult question of what to do with tiny houses. The more votes of support we have from ICC members, the better!”

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Larry Burns - October 17, 2016 Reply

I think it’s a bad idea, right now you can build s tiny home the way you want. When you have zoning involved you have to get a permit to change a door or install a water heater and like in Florida you are not allowed to do the work, you have to get a licensed contractor. The tiny home will cost three more.

    Alexis Stephens - October 17, 2016 Reply

    Larry, this is actually regarding building code for tiny houses. Zoning is essential for the placement of more tiny homes, and having a building standard for them will open up more areas and opportunities for tiny house placement. Though, I understand your concern that this may lend itself to an overly cumbersome permitting process and more much more cost. I still feel that it is necessary step forward. Also, this proposed appendix does only address tiny houses on foundation.

    Janet Abbey - October 17, 2016 Reply

    I agree Larry. What is this compulsion so many people have to get a certificate, legalize every little thing.All it does is add tax money to the coffers of local and state pocketbooks.

    Christopher Flener - October 18, 2016 Reply

    The efforts regarding the Appendix for the IRC are to help local authorities when it comes to determining whether they will allow Tiny Houses in their community or not. Local officials are often il-equipped to determine such things, and they look to the IRC for help.

    Getting this done is going to create more opportunities for people to have Tiny Houses all over the country.

    The issue of building a Tiny House to a certain standard for safety is reasonable (and this standard is not extreme by any means). If you have an issue with your local authorities requiring you to get extra permits or hire professionals, then you need to take that up with your local authorities…this does no such thing.

    As an additional note… I believe a Tiny House Manufacturer’s Association is also warranted at this time. An organization that municipalities can turn to who can provide a “seal of approval” on builders and homes would go a very long way as well. One that is solely focused on Tiny Houses on Wheels is necessary too. I’m currently in the early stages of working on such…and would be happy to have additional help.

Judy - November 9, 2016 Reply

I am interested in living the tiny home lifestyle. However, where are the lots available for this type of housing? I live in Alberta, but would love to situate a tiny home in the Chilliwack, BC area.

I believe that a Tiny House Manufacturer’s Association would be a very good idea.

Until such time as tiny home communities begin to be developed, it will be difficult for the majority of persons who are interested in tiny homes, to actually obtain them due to lack of available lots.

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