Tiny Home Rules and Regulations in California

If you are interested in living in prebuilt tiny homes, California is a great place as numerous resources help you to live tiny. However, the rules and regulations vary from one community to the other. While some places are more tiny home-friendly, others have stricter restrictions regarding tiny houses. Although many tiny home communities in California and many RV parks and campgrounds allow tiny homes, it’s essential to do some research to buy prebuilt tiny homes for sale. At TinyHouseMe, we help you connect with 100s of tiny home builders to help you compare and choose the right builder. We accelerate your tiny home journey by helping you connect with the builder faster and ensure priority service. This article throws light on tiny home rules and regulations that are applicable in California.


Are tiny houses legal in California?

Yes, tiny houses are legal, yet there are plenty of rules and regulations that one needs to follow to live legally inside a tiny home. The two main ways you can live legally in a tiny house are by obtaining a permit or connecting the tiny house to an RV park. A permit for the tiny home can be obtained via the planning department of the county or city. Getting a special permit for living in a tiny home depends on your location, but you must complete an application and go through a public hearing. The approval for the permit comes when you follow certain restrictions, like maintaining a minimum lot size or placing the structure at a specific distance from the property line.

Which counties in California allow tiny homes?

Tiny houses are quite popular in California, but not all counties are open to tiny living. Here is a look at a few California counties that welcome tiny homes and the restrictions imposed on these small dwellings.

  • Los Angeles: Tiny houses are allowed as accessory dwelling units (ADU). These ADUs need to meet specific requirements.
  • San Diego: Tiny houses are permissible as ADUs, and houses on wheels are also allowed in all zoning districts. All tiny structures need to meet California Building Codes.
  • Fresno County: Tiny homes are allowed as ADU but must meet the strict size limits per local laws.
  • California City: Tiny houses are permissible as ADUs but must meet strict size limits.
  • San Luis Obispo County: Tiny homes are permissible as ADU and should meet specific size requirements.
  • Santa Cruz: Tiny homes on wheels are allowed in every zoning district, but they need to meet with California Building Code.
  • Santa Barbara County: Tiny homes on wheels are allowed in every zoning district and need to meet the California Building Code.

Can one permanently stay in a tiny home in California?

Yes, one can permanently live in a tiny home in California, and people are doing this. Even many tiny home communities have popped up around the state, making living tiny easier.

  • Firstly, one must ensure the prebuilt tiny homes meet California Building Codes.
  • Secondly, if the tiny houses are up to the code, you need to find a place to park the house. You can park the tiny home on your property or find RV parks and campgrounds that welcome tiny homes.
  • Lastly, you need to know the cost of living in a tiny home. Although more affordable than traditional houses, they still come with expenses. The plus point is that you save on the mortgage by choosing to live in a tiny home, which makes tiny homes a better alternative to conventional living.

However, before jumping on the bandwagon, get in touch with established tiny home builders to research and prepare for the challenges you might face by going tiny. At TinyHouseMe, we connect you with trusted tiny home builders across US and Canada.

The size of a tiny house in California?

Zoning rules and regulations vary depending on the county and city where you plan to have your tiny home. Check the local ordinances to know the exact size of a tiny home, as a minimum of 100 square feet of interior footage is ideal.

While in some areas, there might be restrictions on the size of tiny homes; you need to check with California’s relevant codes and regulations before deciding on buying prebuilt tiny homes for sale. If you are willing to research and learn more, sign up at TinyHouseMe to connect with our experts as soon as possible. We help you plan, design and also finance the tiny home project.

Rules and Regulations for tiny homes in California

As per data, tiny homes need to meet the rules laid down by the California Building Standards Commission. These include:

  • The ceiling height of the tiny home needs to be at least 7 feet 6 inches
  • The tiny home must have a room with a gross floor area of 120 square feet
  • The tiny home needs to have a net floor area of 70 sq. ft for all living spaces

The tiny homes also need proper lighting, ventilation, emergency exits, plumbing, and other amenities. The tiny homes should also have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Ensure the tiny structures are connected to water, sewer, and electricity facilities. Many structures need permits from the local authorities. 


Do you need to pay property taxes for the tiny home in California?

Even if you don’t own the land where the tiny home is parked, tiny homeowners can expect to pay property taxes, but the amount can vary based on the location. A tax professional can help you with this, or you can contact a professional builder via TinyHouseMe to learn more about tiny living in California.

Become a member to connect with multiple tiny home builders in California.

The 5 Tiny House Documentaries You Need To Watch!

As someone interested in living in prebuilt tiny homes, you must be curious about the tiny house lifestyle. Plenty of builders offer prebuilt tiny homes for sale, and the trusted ones are reachable at TinyHouseMe. However, before getting into the tiny home movement, why not watch a few tiny home documentaries to know the details about living in a tiny home? Here are a few tiny home documentaries that are worth a watch.


We the Tiny House People

Released in April 2012, this documentary features the journey of individuals looking for a minimalist lifestyle. These people want a simple and self-sufficient life by building shelter in trailers, tool sheds, caves, converted garages, riverboats, and even pigeon coops. TV producer, director, and internet-video personality Kristen Dirksen enlightened us about the realities of living in a tiny home. This documentary is an 81-minute runtime and gives you the real picture of the challenges faced when planning a sustainable off-grid lifestyle. You will find this enthralling documentary on Kirsten’s YouTube channel and it’s surely worth your time.

Living Small: A Tiny House Documentary

Stephen Hewitt directs this documentary and explores the world of prebuilt tiny homes through the lives of tiny home dwellers at the forefront of this movement. The focus of the documentary is on the spotlight of Anderson Page as he builds his first tiny home. The challenges and rewards of building a DIY tiny home are what this documentary is all about. Released in 2014, the documentary has a 41-minute runtime and will keep you glued to your seat until the end. You will find this documentary on Amazon Prime Video.

Small is Beautiful – A Tiny House Documentary

The mortgage-free lifestyle of tiny home dwellers has inspired many to switch from traditional housing to a tiny house. This documentary straightaway dives into the lives of 4 people building their own tiny house. The goal is to live a mortgage-free life, and as they build their own tiny home, they realize that living tiny is more than just living in a home.

While Ben faces issues to build his DIY tiny home, Nikki and Mitchell are a couple struggling to adapt to this new lifestyle with their pet dogs. As they build the tiny home, the couple faces challenges that test their relationship. On the other end, Karin realizes that a tiny home is a great alternative to traditional houses. This 2015 tiny home documentary produced by Tiny House Film shows us the challenges and doubts faced by these 4 people in their pursuit to live in a tiny home.

You can watch the film at https://www.smallbeautifulmovie.com/. This documentary has a 68-minute runtime, was directed by Jeremy Beasley, and was released on April 30, 2015.

TINY: A Story About Living Small

This documentary is about the life of two young couples who have decided to embrace minimalism by building their own tiny home. Turning 30, Christopher is interested in putting down his roots and wants to try the tiny house lifestyle after being inspired by the tiny home movement. However, the problem is Christopher has no construction experience and hasn’t built anything to date. This documentary will answer what a home is and how to find one. It highlights how families have transitioned to tiny homes that are even smaller than regular parking spaces. The documentary questions sustainability, innovation, and the changing American dream. 

Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller, who starred in the documentary, were winners of the Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2013 and have won the Green Planet Award. The documentary was also nominated for SXSW Film Festival 2013 in the Audience Award. Released on March 9, 2013, this documentary has a 66-minute runtime and is directed by Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller. You can watch this documentary on YouTube – released by Film Courage.

Summer of (Family) Love: Tiny Home VW- Road Trip Documentary

Another masterpiece from Kirsten Dirksen is on the list. This documentary has Kirsten and her family of five. The family has ventured on the road and attempted to live with the bare necessities. From Craigslist, Kirsten and her husband purchased a cheap VW Westfalia campervan and moved in to find out how much shelter her family needed. The family was limited to one backpack per person, and the kids had to learn to live in the 50 square feet mobile house. In this road trip documentary, you will meet tiny home dwellers like Steve Saucer, Tammy, Logan, and Dee Williams. 

Dee Williams used to live in a 200-square-foot house that had three big bedrooms. After traveling to Guatemala, she realized that her house was too big and decided to build a tiny home for herself. This tiny home was an 84-square-foot house on wheels.

On the other hand, Tammy and Logan downsized from their 2-bedroom apartment and started living a simplified life in a 128 square feet tiny home.

For Kirsten and her family, this trip was a realization of how simply they can live with less. Watch this one on YouTube and get inspired to live in a campervan.

Final Words

Tiny home documentaries, TV shows, and books help in offering ideas about the tiny home lifestyle. Living in prebuilt tiny homes is not a picnic; it’s a serious commitment that requires proper planning. To plan and build the tiny home of your dreams, connect with established builders only. The good news is that you can now connect with a trusted tiny home builder to buy prebuilt tiny homes for sale at TinyHouseMe. We ensure you get a quick response and priority service from established builders.


5 Tiny Home-Friendly States in the USA

Americans are now deciding to switch to tiny homes rather than staying in traditional places. The tiny home movement has attracted people from every walk of life with its downsizing ideology. Tiny homes are less than 400 square feet, and now you can live in a tiny house in the most simplified way. The simplification process of tiny living is great, but constructing a tiny home is not simple. To build a tiny home, your builder must follow certain building codes and regulations. If building codes are not followed, finding a space to place your prebuilt tiny homes can be demanding. However, there is little to worry about as some states in the US have relaxed state regulations and are welcoming tiny homes with open arms. At TinyHouseMe, we not only showcase high-end prebuilt tiny homes for sale, but we will also help you connect with a trusted builder. Going via TinyHouseMe will save you time as we speed up connecting with the right builder. Our platform has more than a hundred tiny home builders, and by becoming a member, you can receive multiple quotes to help you make the most competitive choice. But before all that, let’s check out the 5 states that welcome tiny homes and have relaxed zoning regulations.



In the Golden State, finding a place to park or build your tiny home is easy. In 2020, California executed statewide ADU laws requiring cities and counties to generate plans to incentivize ADU development. In addition, the California Department of Housing & Community Development has laid down the guidelines for tiny homes on foundations that must follow California Building Standards Code and the International Residential Code, or else needs to be pre-approved by alternative projects. So, for example, if the tiny home on wheels gets classified as an RV or a parked trailer, it must comply with a different set of guidelines. 


Everything is big in Texas, except for the burgeoning tiny home movement. ‘Texas’ is tiny home friendly as many counties don’t impose zoning regulations outside the limit of the city. The rural county-incorporated zones have free rein to build tiny homes, but you might still have to construct the home as per subdivision rules, transportation standards, local building codes, water supply regulations, and safety standards. And this means you might need a permit for the tiny homes in Texas. A real estate expert or a lawyer experienced in local zoning protocols can help you to build a tiny home in Texas.  


Regarding tiny houses, Florida is quite progressive, as Rockledge, Florida city has legalized both tiny homes on a foundation and those on wheels. Moreover, as per Florida Housing Coalition, around 11 cities in Florida, together with Tampa, Orlando, and Tallahassee, do allow ADU units in single-family districts, although restrictions vary based on lot size, dwelling size, and more. In addition, many counties in Florida have relaxed protocols for tiny house builds. Some cities and counties don’t have minimum sq. footage requirements, making planning the tiny home easier. However, there are still certain local zoning ordinances that you must comply with to meet the safety standards. 


This is the hot spot for tiny home living as they have flexible zoning laws, and permits are easily obtainable. Colorado is the home of many tiny home festivals like the People’s Tiny House Festival and the Colorado Tiny House Festival. It’s an idyllic setting for leading a tiny lifestyle. However, this state has strict regulations for a tiny home on wheels compared to others on the list. Counties like Centennial State don’t allow permanent residential usage for tiny homes on wheels. However, the good news is that El Paso County has passed the state’s 1st zoning ordinance for (THOW) tiny homes on wheels, which means things are looking brighter for tiny houses. When you plan to build a tiny home on land in Colorado, make sure your builder builds the home by abiding by the building regulations and local zoning ordinances that meet the safety standards of Colorado. 

North Carolina 

North Carolina, particularly Asheville, is now opening up to tiny homes. Some North Carolina cities have strict protocols, but these places are less restrictive when they are away from the cities. However, when you build a tiny home in North Carolina, the builder must stand by the laws and rules laid down by North Carolina State Building Residential Code. For building ADU units, North Carolina depends on local protocols and regulations. However, ADU units are allowed in Asheville, but Raleigh has recently adjusted ADU requirements to allow more zoning districts.  


Final Words 

More and more states in the USA are becoming tiny home-friendly and loosening the building and zoning rules for accommodating alternative housing types, especially in places where affordable homes are limited. If you are interested in tiny homes, we recommend you get prebuilt tiny homes for sale from certified and established builders only. A builder can guide you throughout the entire process of building and setting up a tiny home. However, connecting with a trusted builder is a real challenge. At TinyHouseMe, we simplify things by connecting you with multiple tiny home builders under one platform. Connect with our experts today to join our platform and set up an appointment with a trusted builder


Ways to Simplify and Downsize Your Lifestyle – The Downsizing Secrets of Tiny Homeowners

Downsizing can be overwhelming, and understanding the nuances can be challenging. The tiny home movement is immensely popular, and living in a minimalistic home is equally beneficial for umpteen reasons. Did you know an average American household has more than 300,000 items (LA Times), and 2 out of 3 Americans have no savings to cope with inflation (Forbes)? These paint a jarring picture of excessive accumulation and overconsumption. The perfect solution would be to start downsizing and living in prebuilt tiny homes. Many builders are now offering high-quality prebuilt tiny homes for sale, and connecting via TinyHouseMe will assure you quality, warranty, and helpful resources for planning and financing. The prebuilt homes ensure proper downsizing to reduce dependency on useless stuff and get your focus back to things that bring you happiness and serve your immediate needs. Minimalism can be a total lifestyle change and is worth it. Here are a few ways to downsize your life inside a tiny home.


Plan and get started – Take expert help 

Planning before you downsize is a great way to stay focused on what to let go of and what to hold onto. Connect with the builders through TinyHouseMe to plan your prebuilt tiny homes and customize the structure based on your requirements. You can check out our articles and read through the different ways to plan your tiny house. From kitchen ideas to plumbing systems and electrical arrangements, we have discussed everything under one platform to make a choice easier for the readers. To get a more detailed perspective and customized solutions connecting with the builders through TinyHouseMe is an ideal choice.

Get rid of multiples 

You need to start following Jenn Baxter, a tiny house dweller, and YouTuber. She talks about downsizing and decluttering and suggests getting rid of duplicates. Multiple kitchen utensils, identical jeans inside the wardrobe, and numerous bottles of shampoo and gels are a big NO-NO. You need to cut down to one item each to free up the space inside the tiny home. Even clothing and footwear should come down to what you actually need rather than what you desire.

Multitasking appliances 

An organized kitchen with multipurpose appliances is excellent for downsizing. Get rid of single-use items and embrace multipurpose tools and appliances. You will find a lot of clever gadgets in the market, like a pot lid that can double as a strainer and the small-scale, travel-friendly versions of electrical appliances like kettles and irons are all great choices.

Electrical Detox

Get rid of the technology you have hoarded for years. Your drawers with DVD players, outdated cell phones, and other obsolete items must go. Rethink whether you want to keep the video game consoles, giant desktop, or old VCR, and clear out your space accordingly. If you are nostalgic about some DVD and CD collections, then consider digitalization and move everything into cyberspace. Your pictures and other documents are safe in the digital world once you upload them to the cloud.

One-in and One-out rule

The greatest tip to downsizing your space is to follow the ‘one-in and one-out rule’. For example, if you get a new pair of shoes, then get rid of the old one immediately. This way, you will never be able to hoard much stuff inside the tiny house.

KonMari Method

Downsizing is a cathartic experience, and decluttering a home with tips from Marie Kondo makes things simpler. Although Marie Kondo may not be a tiny home dweller, she is the queen of minimalism. This Japanese consultant can offer you great tips to declutter and downsize. She suggests decluttering and organizing by category. For example, tackle books first and then go to the wardrobe. Hold each item in your hands and decide whether it brings you joy. If not, the item should go into the ‘to go’ pile. Neatly folding the clothes also frees up a lot of space inside the wardrobe.

Downsize in stages 

If you find downsizing overwhelming and challenging, gradually embracing minimalism can ease the process. Take one day at a time and move into a smaller room from a big apartment. Instead of making a sudden change, take your time and gradually move into smaller spaces and minimize your needs. Until you are ready to commit, downsizing in stages is a great way before you taste the practicalities of living in a tiny home.


Clever Storage 

If you still need to get more comfortable with downsizing, check out our blog (https://rb.gy/b2o1g9) to learn creative ways to store your possessions. Utilizing the space above window frames, gaps beneath the bed, and cupboard doors are a few ways to give yourself additional storage space.

Talk with the experts before downsizing 

You can now ask the builders whether the ongoing prebuilt tiny homes for sale offer customization and if you can go for larger spaces. Connect with multiple builders via TinyHouseMe for priority service. Book an appointment today.