Tiny homes have garnered immense traction in the last couple of decades. The sustainability, charm, and affordability that tiny houses bring to the table make these affordable dwellings a better alternative to traditional housing. Getting in touch with a good tiny home builder is a great call. There are plenty of tiny house builders near me, but to find trusted professionals, sign up at TinyHouseMe. We help you connect with 100s of tiny home builders and assist you in booking an appointment with your favorite builder. A thorough idea of tiny house rules and regulations is extremely important before you lay your hands on a tiny house construction project.
If you want to set up a tiny home in Virginia, then this is a must-read. While Virginia supports alternative housing solutions, you should carefully navigate the tiny home rules and regulations. Doing so and conforming with the specific needs ensures a seamless building process.
Before building your tiny abode in Virginia, review the state’s zoning requirements and building codes. It must be pointed out that failing to adhere to the tiny house rules and regulations can land you in legal trouble.
Here we will look at the prime considerations of residing in a Virginia tiny house, including building permits, essential infrastructure for utilities, and the minimum size requirements.
Are tiny homes legal in the state of Virginia?
The good news is that tiny home construction in Virginia is completely legal in a majority of counties and cities. However, since there is no state-wide law that administers their legality, the rules and regulations may vary from one location to another.
The entire genre of tiny home laws and regulations can be broadly segmented into three levels if you want to build a tiny home in Virginia. Let’s take a look at them:
● Building Codes: Virginia follows the IRC, International Residential Code, to govern the construction and safety standards of all residential buildings, and tiny homes are no exception.
The code encompasses the different tiny house aspects you must comply with to make it a legal tender in your state. Here, you will come across a comprehensive guideline of ceiling heights, minimum square footage necessities, and additional structural requirements in the IRC.
● Zoning Regulations: The zoning laws of the state of Virginia govern the usage and development of land and may differ from county to county, city to city, and even from town to town. Some areas permit tiny homes only as ADUs or accessory dwelling units, while others allow tiny homes as permanent dwellings. You will also find areas that have enthusiastic tiny home communities.
You should research extensively to understand the detailed zoning regulations of your preferred locality, city, or county. This would help you in finding out the ideal place where you can lawfully install your tiny home.
● Local ordinances: Another big thing influencing the legitimacy of Virginia tiny homes is local ordinances. These ordinances are known to impose additional requirements and restrictions on tiny home inhabitants and vary widely from one state to another.
It is advisable to have a word with the local authorities to ensure that you comply with the applicable ordinances.
What are the prerequisites for a tiny home to cater to the Virginia building codes?
There are certain requirements that tiny houses must cater to comply with the Virginia building codes. Such requisites are primarily based on their categorization as a temporary, permanent, or transitional structure.
Let’s take a look at each of these regulations at length:
● Rules governing temporary tiny houses: Temporary tiny houses, like THOW or tiny houses on wheels, are legal in Virginia. If your house on wheels has an area of less than 400 square feet, you can register it as an RV.
The duration you can park your THOW on a designated area or private land varies from county to county.
● Rules governing permanent structures: The tiny houses that fall under the segment of permanent structures need to cater to the prerequisites in Appendix Q of the IRC and comply with the Virginia Residential Code. These requirements encompass the following:
❖ The square footage of your tiny house should be between 120-400 sq. ft.
❖ Virginia tiny homes can be constructed on a minimum area of 320 sq. ft.
❖ There must be one room in a tiny house with a closet and a window.
❖ The dwelling rooms must have a minimum height of 6’8″.
❖ Make sure the foundation complies with the local building codes, stability requirements and load-bearing capacity.
❖ The tiny house should be on a permanent foundation, like piers or a concrete slab.
❖ There should be customary emergency escapes in your tiny house that are IRC approved.
● Rules governing transitional structures: These structures meet the criteria of tiny homes and are considered legal in Virginia. These transitional tiny houses are often used as ADUs, but should be connected to sewage, electricity, and water systems.
Here, you should note that certain jurisdictions restrict the usage of ADUs for particular purposes, such as accommodation for physically disabled individuals, seniors, or family members.
Your tiny house should also feature appropriate safety equipment like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors. You must also comply with the egress necessities in case of emergency exits.
Can you reside permanently in a Virginia tiny house?
Yes, you can reside permanently in a tiny Virginia house. You need to ascertain that you are adhering to the regulations of the local building department. While some jurisdictions permit tiny homes on foundations, some allow them as permanent dwellings on wheels.
So, performing extensive research before picking up a locale for a tiny house in Virginia is highly recommended.
So, you see, Virginia is undoubtedly a tiny house-friendly state and is no less than a paradise for people aspiring to embrace the minimalist lifestyle. If you want to build a state-of-the-art tiny house in this beautiful state, you are in the right place. We at TinyHouseMe, bridge the gap between potential buyers and trusted tiny home builders throughout the US and Canada. You can now find trusted tiny home builders near me via TinyHouseMe, to get priority service and quick response from the builders. Not just that, we would place you in front of the line for the builders and help in planning and financing the tiny house project as well. Ask for a quote now.