There is some debate among tiny house enthusiasts as to the maximum square footage a home can have in order to be considered “tiny”. The general consensus is that these homes have to be under 255 square feet. However, some people consider homes under 500 square feet to still fall into the tiny category.
Typically, though, when people talk about tiny homes they are referring to homes that are small enough to be built on top of a trailer. This isn’t just done for convenience. Instead, it allows these homeowners to avoid having to adhere to local building codes since their home is not built on a foundation.
While this may be an effective workaround for getting past building codes, it does limit the overall tiny house dimensions. In the United States, trailers or tow-behinds typically can’t be larger than 8.5′ wide and 30′ long. They are also usually restricted to no more than 13.5 feet tall. Towing anything larger than this behind a vehicle usually requires a commercial license. That means that the maximum square footage for a tiny home on wheels is approximately 255 square feet.
The floor space inside one of these miniature homes can be expanded by adding a loft. This effectively doubles the living space of the home. However you look at it, though, these homes don’t offer a lot of space.
What they lack in room, however, they typically make up for in charm. Careful space planning can make them both comfortable and practical to live in. Innovative design features such as hidden storage spaces and counter tops that fold away when not in use can help add functionality to the space without taking up much room.
There are quite a few challenges that come along with building a tiny house. For one thing, they need to be lightweight enough to be towed behind a vehicle. That means that every item that is added to the home during the building process needs to be carefully considered in order to avoid going over the weight limit. Additionally, the residents may need to keep track of the weight of their belongings so that they don’t overload the home.
Granted, most people who live in these homes don’t move them very often. Instead, they find a comfortable, affordable place to park them and leave them there year-round. However, if they are asked to move them for any reason, it is important that they can comply without having to make major renovations to the home.
If you are thinking of building a tiny home of your own, it is important to carefully consider the size. There are a number of rules and regulations surrounding tiny house dimensions that must be followed. A good place to start is by contacting your local building department. They should be able to provide you with information on the minimum size a home can be to still be in compliance with local building codes. You may also want to contact your state’s highway department to ask about the maximum trailer size that is allowed in your area.