If You’re Building a Tiny House on a Foundation

Learn what building codes will apply:

  • Google building code plus your county and state, example – “building code orange county ca”. If you live in a major city, there may also be city codes, but it’s not as common. Here’s an example of a result from that query.
  • Most states follow the 2009, 2012 or 2016 versions of the International Residential Code (IRC), but many add or subtract a few specs. You can find the IRC code 2012 code free online here. Another handy reference is the Code Check.
  • Go to your office of your local building inspector and inquire. This is an important step, because as mentioned about, your community may have additional requirements beyond the International Resident Code.

If You’re Building a Tiny House on Wheels

Consider these options:

  1. Recreational Vehicle standard NFPA 1192
  2. ANSI 119.5 for park model recreational vehicles
  3. ATHA construction guidelines
  4. Some builders follow the building codes for homes on foundations (see box to the left) with the exception that the house is on a trailer.