Allowed to Build a Tiny Home?
The tiny home movement has captured the hearts of Americans in recent years. Many people prefer to have a tiny home lifestyle to save money or to be able to travel freely. Colorado is a perfect area for this lifestyle, specifically perhaps due to the variety of outdoor activities.
What is a “Tiny Home?”
There’s no legal definition of a “tiny home”. The term can refer to anything from a 100 sq. ft. miniature house on wheels to a house smaller than about 800 sq. ft.
What kind of Tiny Homes are allowed?
Many counties consider a Tiny Home to fall in one of the following two categories:
- Mobile Tiny Home
If a tiny home is on wheels without a permanent foundation in most counties, it will be treated as a recreational vehicle instead of a permanent dwelling. These types of Mobile Tiny Homes are generally not allowed in residentially zoned land for permanent living due to the counties’ safety, water, and sanitation restrictions.
Many counties allow property owners to camp in Mobile Tiny Homes for 2 weeks and some allow up to 180 days in a one-year period on vacant land without a building permit.
If you have an issued building permit for a single-family dwelling on the vacant land, the Mobile Tiny Homes are allowed as a permitted use for ‘temporary living quarters’ or ‘construction trailers’. The Tiny Home needs to be directly related to the facilitation and construction of a single-family dwelling on the subject property. Once the single-family dwelling is completed the Mobile Tiny Home can only be stored on the property and not occupied.
- A Tiny Home that meets building code and regulations for a Single-Family Home
Many counites have no minimum square feet requirements for Single-Family Houses. You are allowed to build quite a small home (e.g., 10 feet by 12 feet) in many counties if that is your preference and it can meet all state and local department land use codes and regulations for a single-family. However, please be aware that there is more to building a home than just the structure itself; among other things, a driveway, a water supply, and a septic system that meets County standards are part of this requirement.
Before building A Tiny Home, you should always do your due diligence by verifying with the county regarding their building restrictions regarding The Tiny Home. Then you may need to consult with your Tiny Home manufacturer to find out if your Tiny Home is constructed or able to be constructed to meet the county building code requirements for a single-family dwelling.
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