011 How to choose between a Tiny house on wheels or a Tiny home on a foundation

Tiny house podcasts

What is the difference between a tiny home on wheels or a tiny home with the foundation. Today we discussed the different types of tiny homes. We start to think about one of the very first decisions you must make before starting to build a tiny home.

Resources and links

2015 International Residential Code

Podcast 011 How to choose between a Tiny house on wheels or a Tiny home on a foundation transcript

Hey guys thanks for downloading today’s broad cast, so today we are going to be discussing the two major styles of tiny homes and what’s kind of like the pros and the cons of each of them. Obviously there is going to be lot more but we are just kind of going on the overview the top five thousand foot view of the two different styles and basically it breaks down into a permanent structure a house built on a foundation or something like that or a tiny house on wheel but before we get going on that I just want to give you guys the credit you deserve without you guys this wouldn’t be possible.

I am getting tremendous feedback from you guys and I am really excited about it, it is going to definitely lead to future podcast and the direction that we are going to be heading so without you guys I am here till driving kind of blindly just brining you what I think you might like but it definitely help out he show a lot more if I get feedback from you guys and continue to get feedback so that’s kind of a way to get the direction you want to go so you can reach us either through the website lemonheadpress.com come you can go there and you can leave a post on any of the blog post associated with any of the podcast or any of the other podcast there also we have a contact form there you can also go to our you tube channel just go to you tube and search lemon head press and you will find us and I have videos there about the scope of us and the different steps we are on and we are also excited and we are working on different videos and should be coming out soon we have a lot of things going on at the same time and they are also related to stuff that we are trying to bring to you guys.

So soon there will be a good flow of videos and I am really excited about that also if you guys are downloading this podcast right it would be great if you can leave us a honest review there with I tunes with your reviews it helps this pod cast and allows other people to find us and hopefully when other people find us I will get more feedback from you guys it is kind of like snowball effect the more people find us the more information the more questions I get the better I do this show for you.

It is difficult when I am here by myself and I am trying to come up with ideas but when I am getting feed back from you guys the more this podcast gets out there the more feedback I will get so it is kind of like a cool thing that happen that we can create our own little tiny house freedom oriented podcast type deal so enough of that now on to the show.

So basically I am going to break it down into two different categories how I spoke about in the beginning I am going to start off with tiny house on foundations. Now the tiny house building on foundation there are going to benefits from doing it for having a permanent structure like that it gives you a lot better freedom on how the layout is going to go gives you more permanent type of plumbing electrical if it comes you are building just a standard house but a miniature you are just making it a little bit smaller also by making it just a standard house when I am communicating with people about this idea it is a little bit easier for me to kind of get feedback from kind of regular like builders contractors or something like that .

You guys need to hire a contractor they don’t look at you strangely when you talk about building a tiny house, well they do actually when you say you are building a tiny house once you get over that hurdle saying that you are thinking about building it on a foundation as if it was normal house just smaller you know.

It is easier for whatever reason for them to kind of get over that leap the initial leap of a tiny house but you of talking their lingo but basically you are building a regular house just smaller everything smaller even though you need a special contractor to kind of these smaller spaces because when you have these humongous house like what you were talking about in a previous podcast where they were pushing twenty five hundred square feet they have like infinite space practically to build the kitchen and island and so when you are thinking of these smaller spaces you really have to think about it differently.

Saying that there is benefits to building a house on a foundation it’s basically like any other house just smaller you know you have to think about it different but it is a little bit easier. Now the issue that I have and I think a lot of people run in to is building a house on a foundation a tiny house is the code restriction that you follow since you building this tiny house and it has the bonuses of being built like a regular house just smaller is that you start falling under the restriction of the code enforcement of your town your city and the United States and it puts up a lot of road blocks and it seem a lot of people through the country are having issues with that you know some people in certain states or some different town they are not allowed to sleep in the house that they built which is ridiculous I think it is absolutely ridiculous.

Let me not even get started on that at least not yet the codes that you have to work about is the IRC International Residential Code and it falls under section R304. Now luckily they have changed these regulations to have to be able to make it easier to build these tiny homes. The problem is these are not the only codes you have to obey depending on the state that you are in the town and the city or the county or the parish you will have additional codes and restrictions that apply to your area so you really have to try check in with your area the code enforcement go to your city hall and actually check in with them to see what other stuff you have to do to comply.

The major code that that changed before just recently 2015 was you needed to have a certain amount of square footage for you to be code compliant and the major one which was R304.1 which was you needed to have one hundred and twenty square feet of habitable area and it couldn’t be your room it had to be like you living room area that restriction is gone they took that out. You still have to comply with other restrictions but that one is gone which is great because it knocks out one hundred square feet of your tiny home that you don’t have to have anymore and some people that are building these

micro homes that are really small that was a big hurdle to jump so the next restriction that applies to that code is R304.2 which is seventy square feet now that still applies that has to be your sleeping are has to be 70 square feet also it has to be 7ft long so some people that are trying to build these micro homes basically that’s the size of the micro home that you want to build and more power to them if that’s what they want to do that what they want to do also there is a couple of other restrictions you need to have in your sleeping area it needs to be 5ft tall everywhere else in the house has to be at least 7ft tall and that doesn’t apply to just the tiny homes this is codes in general when you are building a house you need to follow certain parameters to be in compliance.

so the new one just to kind of clarify what’s going on here they just came out with the IRC of code of enforcement you can get that book by the way on Amazon it is about $115 if you are trying to comply with the codes and the codes in your area are more restrictive than this there maybe something worth getting that way if you ever get into tussle or confrontation with code enforcement or anything like that you have the book on hand you kind of flip through pages and you can point out exactly what your rights are but it is a little pricey.

I am thinking of getting one of the books even though I am not building a tiny home with foundation at least not yet maybe in the future it might be something worth getting so the new codes in 2015. The only ones that apply right now are 70square feet the 7ft long also that the sleeping area has to be 5ft tall and everything else has to be 7ft there are also things for it to be considered to be a habitable area and you need to have a bathroom area you also need to have a kitchen area for it to be habitable you need to have certain sizes to all of these areas now I don’t want to get into every exact little size you need because I am here doing this through audio and your are probable driving or doing exercise or whatever the case might be and it is better to have it where you can look and reference.

I am going to put this information on the website and links to different resources surrounding this specific codes but if you are trying to comply these things are important some people are trying to fly under the radar and I guess if you are okay with your neighbours and stuff like that for most part you probably will be able to fly under the radar for a while but sooner or later you know how it is you bound to get caught so just to avoid any situations it’s good to know your rights good to know what’s going on so that hopefully you don’t spend all this money like these people in Washington and there are certain places that they build these tiny homes and micro homes that are beautiful and they not allowed to live in them it is a shame.
What are the other types of tiny homes that you can build if you are thinking of building a house on a foundation remember it not that you have to build it with bricks and stuff and the foundation doesn’t necessarily have to be poured with cement and or anything like that it could be built on top of stilts it could be built on top of different things, again look at the code to see exactly what is considered a permanent structure.

You can start thinking of different methods of building materials that you might be able to use like you might be able to use shipping containers even though codes different codes may apple to that, you might be able to use like those supped up modified shed that are basically super cool but you are going to spend a little more if you buy a structure that is prebuilt because somebody has done the work for you so that cost is worked into that. If you are going to build it by yourself you could use wood you could use tin a lot of homes in Houston if you look it up a lot of homes in Houston the code enforcement there is none existent there in Houston so in Houston they use a lot of materials that are not used in many other cities specially in city that big that size which is pretty cool they use tin on a lot of buildings and in the beginning they were giving them a lot of hard time but now it’s like this symbol of Houston which I didn’t know until I started doing more research and it’s this thing like the feel of Houston apparently have to do with these tin structures. So you can use tin aluminium different materials , if you are thinking of building this on your own you can use and try to think out of the box doing these thing which opens the door to like endless possibilities also there is people that build houses like these earth ship that they basically build them into sides of mountains or just kind of dig out holes and kind of build them a little bit under to use the more stable temperature from the ground to regulate the temperature in the house they also use a lot of cool materials like old tires and glass bottles and things like that also different regulations apply to those types of homes and different codes so you need to make sure that you are complying if you want to comply with that stuff.

Also people building permanent structures out of airplanes like old fuselages of airplane s you know planes are pretty cool another thing to consider is I saw some peep out I was watching some show on discovery it wasn’t the tiny house show that’s on TV it was another one like that buy Alaska or something and some people built up the home out of a train like a caboose kind of thing which was pretty cool also, so you could start thinking of all of these different ideas and thing that you can do to build your dream house but you always have to consider these codes that you have to comply with.

The thing about these codes if you are living in a rural area and outside like we spoke about before you might not have to comply with many of these codes depending on where you at. You really have to pay attention to where you at they might not have any jurisdiction over you as far as codes if you are out of the big city and things like that so just make sure that you look in before you spend all this money and all this time doing this like for nothing we won’t be able to stay their either until you hope that they change the regulations, these are just some of the things and the regulations that you have to comply with.

Now I am going to talk a little bit about building a tiny house on a wheel now a lot of people have been going with this option because you don’t have to comply with any of the building codes you know when you building a home that has wheels and axle inside of a bus and RV you only have to comply with the DLT regulations, now DLT regulations the major things that you really need to worry about there is a GVWR which is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. I am going to go a little deeper on this sort of thing in a future podcast and really get into it but for now I just want to touch on it that’s basically the amount of weight that your vehicle can hand with everything on it.

You can get technical I am just giving you a bird’s eye view of it the whole vehicle plus everything that you build on it like your furniture you clothes all of that stuff and it basically applies to either trailers bus RVS school bus an old transit bus whatever the case maybe , this is one o the major things that you might need to make sure that you are following the rules also depending on the size of the trailer or the bus you need to have proper spacing of lightening like the litter marker lights on the side to display to other drivers kind of like a semi you have those little lights that go along the side that you see those semi with you need to have certain amount of those lights to be able to follow the rules to be in compliant.

Also the restrictions are basically you can’t get any wider than 10ft and you can’t get any longer than 45ft, also some states from my understanding when I was looking into it, it wasn’t so clear they need to have refrigerator heating some kind of plumbing and of course you have to comply with the size to be considered an RV this is if you are converting a vehicle like an old you know log haul trailers whatever the case may be you need to put these things in it for you to have it legitimately labelled as a motor home or RV, again you have to check with your DMV and ask them to give you the paper work associated with your state on the requirements to register your vehicle as an RV.

None of the sizes of the rooms the square footage the bathroom size none of that stuff applies because the DLT has no regulations nothing to regulate on those matters so it’s great it opens the door to be able to build these tiny homes structures with a lot more freedom in mind you can pretty much do what you want. Now some of the down falls of having an RV or mobile home or one of these vehicles that are being built on a trailer is that you do have time restrictions technically on the amount of time you could sleep as a permanent structure. They say you can only go up to thirty days now I read on different states websites and I have gotten different information not clear information basically if you unhooked it like if you have your RV or mobile home plugged in to a power source or the sewage of a camp ground or whatever the case might be as long as you unplug it and plug it back in you kind of reset the time.

Again this is pretty ridiculous I am really trying to stay away from going down this ramp but it is, who cares if you are living in your RV or your mobile home or your tiny home whatever the case might be like why are you telling me I can only live there for only 30days and then on top of it they say to tell me that all I need to do is plug it in and plug It back in and I am in compliance it is absolutely ridiculous whey even have that rule there. Another thing that you have to consider is that you might think I have this tiny home I built on a trailer or out of an old school bus or whatever the case might be and I could just go to camp grounds and just stay on camp grounds or go from one mobile homes park to another one, you might be thinking this but the reality is that a lot of camp grounds and mobile home places have restrictions on what vehicles can be parked there so you have to really try to think ahead before you go to these areas and just not show up and tell them what you are doing to be sure that they let you park your home there.

It is a shame I think that some people are starting to get hip to it and are starting to get a little bit open minded and allowing people to bring their tiny homes to these places and letting them park, but there is something you need to consider also some cities and town and counties have restrictions on the types of RVS and stuff you can park there, again this is ridiculous if I have my land why can’t I just part my tiny house there and live on it like why do I have , I don’t want to get into it.

So you have to make sure that your area allows you to park your tiny home or bus or whatever and let you park and live there, if you live outside of these bigger cities you have a lot less issues so that’s something you really have to consider if you are going down this life style probably going to have to live on the out skirts of these cities to be able to make these possible. I know some cities are starting t have more of an open door policy to this I know that Austin is becoming a lot more ease and some the path have become much more friendly to people with tiny homes.

There are other towns and cities throughout the united states that are starting to I know that Portland is starting to become a lot more friendlier to these tiny homes and I have a feeling that there is going to be more and more as this becomes a more main stream thing that there is going to be more and more towns and cities that’s going to become friendly to this and let’s hope that, guys remember if you guys are involved with any of your city or state governments this is going to take a different mindset, here come my rank normally the way we do stuff here in the united states is that we try to make now rules and new laws to allow new things to happen now achieve the freedom that I at least have in my mind has been something that I developed over awhile and it as allowed me to think of things a little bit different .

Instead of making new rules to allow these tiny homes to exist we need to start thinking of removing these rules. By removing these rules it gives us the freedom that we are trying to achieve, it’s not about creating a rule saying that to put these tiny homes in these cities, no, we need to remove the rules the prohibit us from doing this it doesn’t only give us as tiny home builders and a future home that we want to build, it gives us the freedom to put these houses where we want to put them, no it gives more freedom to everyone what we are trying to achieve or at least what I am trying to achieve with this lifestyle I am trying to do here is maximum freedom for me and my family so by creating new rules to allows us to supposedly have this freedom it is really restricting other people’s rights to do certain things so if we concentrate on removing these rules like the rules we spoke about earlier removing that R304.1 120 square foot thing instead of making a rule saying that you can’t do something.

By removing it, it is giving us the freedom to do this and by removing it is giving other people the freedom to do it so whether they are building a tiny home or not it allows them now to start thinking of smaller areas even if they are not saying I want to build a tiny house I just want to build a regular house that restriction is gone and it allows them when they are talking to their contractor well I want this room to be twenty square feet or whatever the square feet obviously there is still restriction of how many square feet but I gives us the ability that restriction is gone so by it being gone it allows other people to hopefully we can start guiding these people and allow them to even start thinking of these freedom.

So if we work towards taking away these restrictions instead of adding new rights for the tiny home movement I think in the long run it will benefit us much more and everyone around us giving us the freedom that we are trying to achieve here I think.

That was my rant I tried to hold it off but that was my rant for the day that’s, I want to touch a little bit on the type of tiny homes on wheels that you can build or maybe start thinking off and this little list like the list of the permanent homes like the airplane home these aren’t like these other things you can use this is just to plant the seed giving you that ability to start heading to the nest thing you want whatever it is that you come up with its your home that’s the whole thing like you can build it in whatever you want to build it.

So the tiny house on wheels let’s say you can use, you can obviously use the trailers you know that’s what you see on that tiny home TV show which is a pretty good TV show so if you guys haven’t watched it go and just search and it will tell you exactly what channel I think the season is over already but you know how it is you can always TiVo it download it I think you can even watch it with a website so you can use trailers there are a whole bunch of different type of trailers you can use we will get into that on another podcast you can do what we are doing we bought a school bus and using the school bus and converting that. That might be an option also a city bus maybe an RV you can buy an older RV and rip everything out or leave it it and make that into a tiny house .

You can convert like an old semi trick the back of a semi truck and if your are you know they have the smaller ones you can use one of those things and make that into a tiny house even just the regular size truck and just put a camper on top of that to do something like that, obviously this can go on and on and on you can just start thinking of the different things you can do to build your tiny home these tiny homes is then to achieve the freedom whatever that freedom is that you are searching for to give you that freedom and with that freedom it’s such a liberating thought of all of these different types of materials and structures and ways you could build your own house, the possibilities are just endless .

Let your mind go crazy try to go down the path and even if you think that might not be a good idea or whatever that thing that you are thinking of using to build it just play the tape all the way through and try to ask people that are familiar with working with these types of materials to see what is possible the possibilities are endless and we are here to do this together so I am excited to hear from you guys what you are thinking of building how you are thinking of building and the materials you are thinking of building so we can kind of share these ideas just like be free you know like what else can I say so that’s it that’s it for this podcast if you guys have any questions regarding this show you can leave a comment on the blog post associated with this podcast at lemonheadpress.com you can email me at [email protected] and I respond very quickly I even get on the phone with some guys I have been able to speak to a couple of you guys out there on the phone and it has been great I love talking to you guys on the phone because I hear people are super excited and I am able to bounce ideas back and forth which is awesome.
That’s it that’s all I have for this week next week I am going to have Katy on the Podcast again I have gotten real positive feedback from her being on the podcast and brining her point of view into it so I am going to really start to work her into this show that’s it guys I guess I will see you guys or talk to you guys next week alright bye.

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