Below are some of the common, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- What is a tiny house?
Ask 20 different people, and you will get 20 different answers, but all with a common thread. A tiny house is a small, compact house, typically under 400 square feet, built using the same techniques that are used for a normal size house. They can be either site built or trailer built, with advantages for both.
- Which is better, site built or trailer built?
Neither is better, they each have their advantages and disadvantages, and which is better is dependent upon what is best suited for the owner’s needs. A trailer built tiny house is mobile, and is typically treated as an RV by the various authorities. However, in order to be moved down the road without incurring the costs of having “oversized load” escorts and permits, it must be within the “template” set by each state’s Department of Transportation (DOT). For Alabama, this is a width of no greater than 96 inches (8 feet), and a height no greater than 13 feet 6 inches, except on certain, designated roads where the width expands to 102 inches (8 feet 6 inches). For a listing of the size regulations for your state, AAA has compiled a list of them: http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/laws/trailer-dimensions/
A Site built house is not limited to the confines of the DOT template, and can be wider than 8 feet. However, it is obviously not mobile. It also is treated as a house by the authorities, which means that it falls under the jurisdiction of local building inspectors, and therefore must meet the requirements of whichever standard building code that the jurisdiction having authority has adopted. This typically results in securing a building permit, having your construction inspected at certain key times, and having to receive a certificate of occupancy from the building inspectors upon completion prior to being able to move into your new house.
- Can you provide a customized plan for me?
Not at this time. Ridge Runner Tiny Homes is closed for business.
- What about insurance?
Tiny houses that are site built are treated just like any other house by the insurance companies. However, trailer built tiny houses are a bit of a grey area. RV insurance policies do not work as the insurance companies require the insured item to be built by a certified RV manufacturer. Normal Homeowner’s insurance policies do not work as they are only for site built structures. Mobile home insurance polices do not work as the insurance companies require the trailer to be built by a mobile home manufacturer. Automotive/utility trailer insurance does not work as they do not cover the higher costs associated with a tiny house. So what is a tiny house person to do?
Well, there is one known insurance agency that has worked out a tiny home policy. The Darrell Grenz Insurance Agency in Portland Oregon has worked out a tiny house insurance policy through Lloyds, with premiums that average $495 a year. Darrell is working to expand coverage nationwide, but it is a slow process.
- If you have any questions that you think should be added to this page, just drop me a line!