Getting the project rolling
The rat race may have gotten to you and a friend may have suggested that you build a tiny home to ease the stress. It is a great idea and you begin planning on how you will do it and what it will look like inside and out.
What your friend may not have told you is that there are some regulations that need to be followed and one of those regulations may mean you need a license.
The regulations are murky
In doing research for this article, there was not one person, website, or government office that said you needed a license to build a tiny home. of course, that license is not a driver’s license but a contractor’s license.
But that doesn’t mean that regulation or requirement doesn’t exist... somewhere. What makes addressing this issue so difficult is that every state and almost every county in those states have different rules governing the construction of tiny homes.
If the state doesn’t have it, maybe one of the many counties in that state does. it is hard to say unless you live in the area you are going to build in. Then you can check the county to make sure.
You may need a building permit...or do you
This is another murky area and to date, there is no uniform building code or standards created for tiny homes. Again, you will have to go state by state to see what regulations apply and if you need to have a building permit to begin construction.
You may be able to build without a building permit but if a neighbor raises a complaint, the city inspectors can do a lot of harm to your project. Keep in mind, the city inspectors have all the power and can apply any rule they wish to stop the building.
Unfortunately, you will have no recourse if they decide to do that.
Maybe not a license but zoning laws still apply
It may be possible to build a tiny home without a contractor’s license but there is one hurdle you cannot get around. Zoning laws will apply whether your tiny home is on wheels or on a solid foundation.
Like the laws governing building a tiny home, you will have to contact your local zoning commission to see where you can build your new home and where you can’t. If the town is tiny home-friendly, you may have an easier time getting zoning variances. If not, then you may need to find a new county or state to build in.
Some final words
When you are building your own tiny home, it is not the license that will be your biggest problem. Most likely you won’t need a license if you are building your own home. But if you are building one for someone else, you may need one and you will have to check with your state and county offices to find out for sure.