This page is dedicated to the process of adopting Appendix Q: Tiny Houses into the building code of every state in the US. The appendix has been approved by the International Code Council (ICC) and is part of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), the model code for every state except Wisconsin. This page is a work in progress, so if you know of a municipality which has approved tiny house Appendix Q please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will list it below. Thank you!
• DOWNLOAD TINY HOUSE APPENDIX Q BY CLICKING ON THE GRAPHIC BELOW •
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS TINY HOUSE APPENDIX Q?
You may be wondering what the adoption of the 2018 IRC Appendix Q into your state building code means for you and/or for the tiny house community in general. In brief, Appendix Q is the language from the IRC which officially defines a tiny house and creates a construction code specific to the needs of tiny houses. When the appendix is adopted into a state/jurisdictional code, builders (both professional and DIY) can go to their local building department with plans that meet the code and, after the project is complete, walk out with a Certificate of Occupancy (CO)! This code and process is for tiny houses that are used as full time residences, and will not apply to tiny houses built to RV standards. Tiny house Appendix Q was co-authored by Andrew Morrison and Martin Hammer and presented by the following team at the Kansas City hearings: Andrew Morrison, Martin Hammer, David Eisenberg, Macy Miller, Beth Ann Norrgard, Jeremy Weaver, David Latimer, Zack Giffin, James Herndon, and Meg Stephens.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT ME?
If you want to build a tiny house with the intent of keeping it relatively stationary (not moving it more than once every 3 years or so) and using it as your primary residence, you will have a way to do that (assuming your jurisdiction has adopted the tiny house Appendix Q or is willing to recognize the appendix even if it has yet to be locally adopted). This assumes that your local zoning laws don’t have minimum square footage requirements that would thwart your efforts to live tiny in that location.
DOES IT ADDRESS MOVEABLE TINY HOUSES?
I had to make some last minute changes to the proposed code language to remove the word “moveable” from my original proposal entitled “Movable Tiny Houses.” Unfortunately, the head of the ICC code approval process said that he would not accept the proposal as written because he believed it was what they call in the industry a “hijack” of the original proposal. After many conversations and emails with the official, I decided to amend the proposal so that he would allow it to move forward. After all, when he said “if you keep the moveable details in there, I will throw the whole thing out” it became crystal clear what my options were.
That said, tiny house Appendix Q does take away the vast majority of the challenges a moveable tiny house would face, leaving the chassis/trailer as the last major potential roadblock (fear not, there’s good news to follow). As such, builders and owner builders alike can submit an application for the foundation design through Section R104.11 of the IRC entitled Alternative materials, design and methods of construction and equipment. This application simply needs to show how the chassis/trailer can be incorporated into a suitable foundation to meet the intent of the code. This design could likely draw heavily on Appendix E: Manufactured Housing Used As Dwellings, as the majority of that appendix focuses on mounting a chassis/trailer to a code approved foundation for manufactured housing. This is a great place to start for using the code itself to support your design and long term plans.
WHAT DOES TINY HOUSE APPENDIX Q ADDRESS?
The appendix addresses ceiling heights, sleeping lofts, loft access, emergency egress and rescue, and many other details. By removing all of the other issues that typically cause challenges for tiny house builders, each owner can use this appendix, along with section R104.11 to work with their building department and/or an engineer to create a foundation system that meets the intent of the code and does not require the complete removal of the trailer tires. See Does it Address Moveable Tiny Houses?, above.
WHERE DOES THE EFFORT GO FROM HERE?
Now that the tiny house Appendix Q went through the rigorous vetting process from the International Code Council (ICC), it is up to each state/jurisdiction to decide whether to adopt it or not. Currently, our efforts are towards that end. Since its approval in December, 2017, it has already been implemented in numerous states/building jurisdictions (ID, ME, GA) with many more in line (Oregon, Massachusetts, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico to name just the ones that we know about).
To help the effort financially, you can check out our GoFundMe campaign HERE. The campaign actually became a staff favorite by GoFundMe and they donated an additional $1,000 to our effort! The campaign is what got the entire team of presenters to Kansas City when we won the vote for a tiny house specific code. It’s also paid for the mentorship of Martin Hammer and the hours of work he has put into the creation of the code, before, during, and after the approval. Martin is a veteran code author, architect, and lover of the tiny house movement and is invaluable to our efforts. Finally, the fund helps pay for the travel costs that we incur when we speak with top building officials across the country in an effort to win approval for the adoption of the appendix. Andrew does not take any payment for his time in this work. It is all volunteer. He does, however, appreciate the help with his travel costs as they relate to his code work.
• BLOG POSTS DESCRIBING THE JOURNEY •
(from oldest to most recent)
HOW DID THIS EVEN BEGIN? Read this article for an understanding of how this all came about and what the implications are. Click HERE.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE TINY HOUSE COMMUNITY? Crowdfunding page goes live blog post click HERE. Read this article for a short video from Andrew about the importance of this proposal.
ASSEMBLING THE TROOPS! Hearing location and date release blog post click HERE. This article is call for any supporters to come and join us at the hearing.
A WIN THAT BEAT -ALL- ODDS!! Update after initial win at the Kansas City hearings click HERE. This article describes the scene and includes a short video with the entire tiny house team that presented.
THERE WAS MORE WORK TO BE DONE: Call to action blog post HERE. This article described the process by which people should reach out to their local IRC voting members.
THE SUSPENSE KEEPS BUILDING… Update on when final vote will be released click HERE.
THE FINAL, FINAL VOTE RESULTS! Final vote tally is released and we find out that we won blog post click HERE. This was the moment we had all worked towards.
OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY CONSIDERS APPENDIX Q (PART 1): Progress report for Appendix Q adoption in the State of Oregon. Click HERE to learn more.
WANT TO HELP LEGALIZE TINY HOUSES IN YOUR STATE/JURISDICTION? Learn how you can HELP GET THE APPENDIX ADOPTED in your state by clicking HERE.
IDAHO TAKES THE WIN AS FIRST STATE TO ADOPT APPENDIX Q! With a unanimous approval, Idaho becomes the first state to adopt the Tiny House Appendix, statewide. June 27, 2017. Click HERE to learn more and read HERE for our good friend Macy Miller’s recount of the adoption process.
MASSACHUSETTS WANTS TO LEARN MORE! Read about our invitation to present in front of MA state top building officials who want to work towards adopting Appendix Q.
COLORADO ADOPTING APPENDIX Q IN AT LEAST 4 COUNTIES: Some Colorado counties (Steamboat Springs, Oak Creek, Yampa, Routt County) will be putting Appendix Q into place Jan. 1, 2018! Read about it HERE.
HB2737 TINY HOUSE BILL PASSES IN OREGON! Andrew is appointed to the special committee to come up with language for a tiny house construction code to take effect Jan. 1, 2018 statewide. Watch Andrew’s summary videos and read about how the official meetings went HERE.
MAINE: State of Maine officially enacts Appendix Q! Read about it HERE.
Langley County: This is a MUST READ about how a county in Washington is approaching their affordable housing crisis by adopting Appendix Q.
• MEDIA COVERAGE •
Living Tiny Legally 2: Want to watch how exciting the Kansas City hearings were? Watch one of our favorite all time documentaries below and go behind the scenes to see how it all came to be!