There are many questions when it comes to tiny homes.
What is a tiny home?
Where are tiny homes legal?
We get asked these questions a lot so we’ve started to assemble a series of questions and answers that we frequently hear from people.
This FAQ section will evolve regularly so if you have a question about tiny homes and tiny living this is a great place to start.
If we don’t have the answer to your question listed here let us know and we will be sure to add it.
What is our definition of a tiny home?
The definition of a tiny home is subjective for many but on LiveTiny Canada we define a tiny home as any type of home, either mobile or permanent that is 500 square feet or less.
Our definition of a micro home is a home, again either mobile or permanent that is 100 square feet or less.
Where are tiny homes legal?
In jurisdictions like Ontario where unorganized municipalities exist tiny living is something that can be done rather simply as prohibitive zoning by-laws that exist in other areas do not apply as no formal goverment structure oversees these unorganized municipalities.
Outside of unorganized municipalities the options throughout Canada are fairly limited at this time.
As the tiny house movement continues to grow across Canada, municipalities from coast to coast will adapt zoning by-laws and other restrictive planning processes to include smaller homes.
We’ve recently added a new page explaining what purpose zoning by-laws serve for municipalities, read on by clicking here.
What tiny home builders do you recommend?
At LiveTiny Canada, we are often contacted by people looking for recommendations on builders. One thing we’ve stuck firm to is putting the ownership of the decision back in the hands of the person that is asking us.
Currently, we don’t feel comfortable recommending builders to our readers.
We think it is important that you develop a relationship with a builder ahead of signing on the dotted line.
Like buying a car or house, a tiny home is likely one of the bigger-ticket items you will put money out for in your life.
But, unlike cars and traditional homes, tiny homes don’t have the consumer protection legislation and warranty programs in place that protect buyers from nightmare situations.
When buying a tiny home, it’s Buyer Beware!
To read more on selecting a builder and some suggestions on what to look for, click here!
Who do I contact to find out if tiny homes are legal in my community?
Your best place to start is with your planning and/or zoning department.
Depending on where you are in Canada, this department may fall under the purview of your municipal or county/regional governments.
If you’re unsure on where to start, we recommend calling your local city hall.
If they are unable to provide an answer then ideally they will be able to get you in touch with the appropriate person/department.
what prevents tiny homes from being legal in so many canadian jurisdictions?
Size, ignorance, antiquated bylaws and building codes.
Many municipalities have what is known as a zoning bylaw. The purpose of a zoning bylaw is to control the use of land in your community.
It states exactly:
• how land may be used;
• where buildings and other structures can be located;
• the types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used;
• the lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks from the street.
What role does the national building code play in the legality of tiny homes?
The National Building Code has been adopted by many provinces as the primary source of code requirements for residential developements.
The building code defines things like what a bedroom is and how many square feet it should be at minimum.
Definitions like those for a bedroom are where a tiny home becomes prohibited by the building code or at least in theory.