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This weeHouse and its cool, calming interior serves as a simple 440 SF retreat space on the fairly remote site outside a small arts colony in West Texas. It is designed to be the first of three weeHouse modules that are planned for the site. The module arrived complete with an outdoor shed (housing w/d + hot water heater) and a fully finished interior and exterior, leaving only utility hookups, decks and sun-shielding canopies to be installed on-site. A stepped foundation provides a proud platform for sweeping views of an amazing landscape.
With the financial crisis of 2007–08, the small house movement attracted more attention as it offers housing that is more affordable and ecologically friendly. Overall, however, it represents a very small part of real estate transactions. Thus only 1% of home buyers acquire houses of 1,000 square feet (93 m2) or less. Small houses are also used as accessory dwelling units (or ADUs), to serve as additional on-property housing for aging relatives or returning children, as a home office, or as a guest house. Typical costs are about $20,000 to $50,000 as of 2012.
In Oakland, California, Gregory Kloehn builds small houses out of found materials, for an estimated cost of $40.
Small and tiny houses have received increasing media coverage including a serial television show, Tiny House Nation, in 2014 and Tiny House Hunters. The possibility of building one's own home has fueled the movement, particularly for tiny houses on wheels. Tiny houses on wheels are often compared to RVs. However, tiny houses are built to last as long as traditional homes, they use traditional building techniques and materials, and they are aesthetically similar to larger homes.
Some companies have put into motion plans to create tiny home developments.
In most towns, a building permit isn't required for a structure of 120 square feet or less. However, these small structures are considered sheds or workshops. Full-time living in a tiny building is generally not allowed. Some people live successfully "under the radar" but it's risky. A grumpy neighbor or diligent official could make your tiny life untenable.
To be a legal residence, a structure must be built in accordance with local building codes. Most states have adopted the International Residential Code for One- and Two- Family Dwellings. However, there is great diversity in the specific versions. Scroll down to see the US map. In addition to the IRC, a state, county or city may have additional codes that must be followed. Rare exceptions do exist. The book, No Building Codes, written in 2010 by Terry Herb, provides information on areas where building codes are absent or rarely enforced.
One of the biggest obstacles to growth of the tiny house movement is the difficulty in finding a place to live in one. Zoning regulations typically specify minimum square footage for new construction on a foundation, and for tiny houses on wheels, parking on one's own land may be prohibited by local regulations against "camping." In addition, RV parks do not always welcome tiny houses. DIYers may be turned away, as many RV parks require RVs be manufactured by a member of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association "(RVIA)".
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