Tiny Living is a Way of Life
L41 creates smaller home designs because they use less materials, labor, land, and energy usage. This means itâ€™s cheaper to build, buy and own. And the companyâ€™s goal is to provide housing for all while making the world better through sustainable architecture and design. Another great thing about the L41home is that itâ€™s scalable because itâ€™s prefabricated. This means it can be mass produced in the future to bring down costs even more. The company is shooting for affordability and quality for all. And since the homes are so small and flexible, they can be used for a variety of purposes like:
First-time home buyers
Hotel and resorts
And thereâ€™s more. The L41 homes can be tiny single family homes or they can be combined together like condos or villas. Or you can take the idea even further and stack them to create a high-rise building consisting of these beautiful, efficient little structures which are offered in the following sizes & configurations:
250 sq. ft. studio
350 sq. ft. 1-bedroom
450 sq. ft. 2-bedroom
In addition there are three other larger units at 550, 650 and 750 sq. ft.
The definition of a tiny house is subjective, but for me, it's a home of 400 square feet or less, either on wheels or a foundation. I consider a home of between 400 and 1000 square feet to be small. Due to size specifications for rooms, clearances and distances between fixtures, building codes are a little more difficult for tiny houses to meet. (However, it is possible. Please see "Navigating Minimum Square Footage".) Small homes can easily meet building codes. Zoning is a challenge for both tiny and small homes, as many communities require houses to be 1,000 square feet or more.
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. This book, No Building Codes, written in 2010 by Terry Herb, provides information on areas where building codes are absent or rarely enforced.
While the 2015 IRC has eliminated the requirement for a house to have at least one room of 120 square feet or more, states will need to adopt the new code in order for it to be effective. In addition, the IRC still contains other minimum size specifications that prove challenging: rooms (except for bathrooms and kitchens) must be 70 square feet, ceiling height must be 7 feet, etc. (additional code discussion). Accordingly, while it is possible for a tiny house to meet building codes, a house built on a foundation on its own land is more likely to be small (more than 400 square feet) rather than tiny. In addition, a building permit will probably be required.
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