The Sky is the Limit Creatively, Regarding Tiny Home Building

Even before Thoreau wrote of his experiences at Walden Pond, people knew that downsizing can be an important part of living sustainably. Reducing waste, our carbon footprint, and our impact on the environment are all aspects of life many residents of Corvallis consider necessary. Over the past 15 years, extending these choices to the homes we live in has gained popularity not only in the Willamette Valley, but across the entire nation.

People in cities across the globe have been living in “tiny homes” for decades… it’s just that they are all attached to and stacked on top of one another. We call them apartments. However, apartments leave something to be desired in the realm of individuality, not to mention privacy. One option to consider is to build an entire home with a footprint that approaches the area of a small apartment. These architectural achievements measure anywhere from under 100 to fewer than 1,000 square feet and are termed “tiny homes.”

This increase in popularity of tiny houses, and particularly the rapid increase in the number of both amateur and professional builders, has led to concerns regarding safety among tiny house professionals. In 2013, an Alliance of tiny house builders was formed to promote ethical business practices and offer guidelines for construction of tiny houses on wheels. This effort was carried on in 2015 by the American Tiny House Association. In 2015, the nonprofit American Tiny House Association was formed to promote the tiny house as a viable, formally acceptable dwelling option and to work with local government agencies to discuss zoning and coding regulations that can reduce the obstacles to tiny living.

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)".

Tiny houses on wheels are considered RVs and not suitable for permanent residence, according to the RVIA. From RVBusiness, "The RVIA will continue to shy away from allowing members who produce products that are referred to as 'tiny houses' or 'tiny homes. (However, the RVIA does allow “tiny home” builders to join as long as their units are built to park model RV standards.)"

In 2014, the first "tiny house friendly town" was declared in Spur, Texas, however it was later clarified that a tiny house may not be on wheels but must be secured to a foundation.

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