Jenna from Tiny House Giant Journey addresses one of the biggest issues self-built tiny house owners struggle with–insurance!
“Here’s the deal: insuring a self-built tiny house is challenging. I’ve struggled. Others have struggled. Insurance companies don’t know how to categorize our strange, rolling homes, let alone insure them for damage and theft. Luckily, with the popularity of the movement growing, it is becoming easier to find tiny house insurance.”
“A “home-made, specially constructed, or kit vehicle” is a vehicle that is built for private use, not for resale, and is not constructed by a licensed manufacturer or remanufacturer. These vehicles may be built from a kit, new or used parts, a combination of new and used parts, or a vehicle reported for dismantling (junked) that, when reconstructed, does not resemble the original make of the vehicle that was dismantled.”
A vehicle verification done by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). You must start your application process with the DMV prior to contacting the CHP for a vehicle verification. DMV verifies trailers with an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or less.
Proof of ownership, such as invoices, receipts, manufacturers’ certificates of origin, bills of sale, or junk receipts for the major component parts (engine, frame, transmission, and body).
NOTE: A motor vehicle bond is required when proof of ownership cannot be obtained for parts valued a $5,000 or more.
Official brake and light adjustment certificates. When an official brake and light station that inspects specific vehicles such as motorcycles and large commercial vehicles is not located within a reasonable distance, DMV will accept a Statement of Facts (REG 256) from a repair shop attesting that the brakes and lights are in proper working order. Brake and light certificates are not required for off-highway vehicles or trailers weighing less than 3,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
A weight certificate for commercial vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less.
In July of 2015, the city counsel of Walsenburg, Colorado approved an ordinance changing the zoning of a parcel of land purchased by Sprout Tiny Homes, allowing a proposed 28 unit tiny home development. Waldenburg is located about 90 miles south of Colorado Springs.
The parcel of land is located behind the Walsenburg library.
Sprout Tiny Homes manufactures tiny homes on wheels up to 290 sq. ft. and homes that are secured to traditional foundations with up to 760 sq ft of living space, and are located in La Junta, Colorado.
Every state is different, and the rules can vary widely, but one tiny house owner in North Carolina describes the process necessary to legally place a tiny house on wheels on his own property.
The process for what was called “the custom modular” sounds fairly simple: hire a structural engineer to certify that the house was structurally sound; put the trailer on piers and strap it down, much like would be done with a mobilehome; then apply for a building permit.
The Berzins Family had their biggest tiny house fear almost come true in 2013. They were found to be in violation of the Universal Statewide Building Code in Virginia because they didn’t get a building permit prior to building their 168 sq. ft. tiny house.
As Hari Berzins writes…
The code in Virginia puts any dwelling into the jurisdiction of the local building inspector. So even though we built on wheels (constructing mostly in Florida) and have a license plate, we still needed to have a building permit and inspections.
Their story has a happy ending–the inspection process was painless and they got their Certificate of Occupancy. But if you’re living or building a tiny house on wheels in Virginia, it might be smart to read their story…
A new ordinance that went into effect on January 3rd, in Fresno, California, allows tiny houses to be placed on residential property legally.
According to the Fresno Bee, tiny houses on wheels are now… “considered backyard cottages thanks to changes in the city’s zoning and development code. That means tiny homes can be used as independent living quarters on the same lot as a single-family house granted it meets some requirements. Previously, the mobile units could only serve as temporary lodging.”
Pat Mosley, owner of California Tiny House, a Fresno builder, worked with Fresno City Council Member Esmeralda Soria on changing the code.
This 500 square foot tiny house on a foundation is located in the backyard of another house in Tampa Bay, Florida, and is meant as an in-law suite.
Home Care Suites is the builder, and they offer help figuring out the rules for accessory units for property located in the areas they serve, and also offer to help their clients meet all zoning requirements, including matching the siding and roofing to the main house.