Alabama - Is it legal to have a tiny home?

December 27, 2022 by
Michael Zatorski
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Alabama Zoning Regulations
The zoning regulations of Alabama vary from county to county. 
Even some cities or counties have their distinct and unique jurisdictions.

Tiny Home Regulations in Alabama
Tiny homes in Alabama cannot be larger than 400 SQFT.
Tiny houses are permitted only in certain areas of Jefferson County

Minimum Residential Requirements
The minimum habitable room size is 70 square feet. 
You will also be required to have a one-fire egress-size window.

Safety Measures
Your tiny home on wheels - THOW, needs to meet the American National Safety institute standard 11.

Importance of Zoning Laws in Alabama
The state authority can even take your home away from you if it doesn’t meet the zoning laws


Are Tiny Homes from U-Build Legal?
Legal it all depends on the states municipalities and what they allow for


Benefits of Tiny Homes
They are cheaper, easier to maintain, doesn’t cost much to furnish
Alabama is an amazing place to live. With its historic buildings and fascinating forests, each day seems magical. The beaches and coastline are packed with trees and marine life. Living in Alabama is like an adventure.
Tiny homes can elevate this experience to a whole new level. Imagine looking out the window of your tiny home and seeing the bright sun or the blue skies. How incredible the view would be. 
But hold your horses. Don’t just think of getting a tiny home right away. There are some laws and jurisdictions regarding tiny homes in Alabama. Neglecting them won’t be a wise thing to do.


Alabama Zoning Regulations
You can’t just park or build a tiny house anywhere in Alabama. First, you have to check with the local zoning department about the regulations in the area. The zoning regulations of Alabama vary drastically from county to county. Even some cities or counties have their distinct jurisdictions. 


Tiny Home Regulations in Alabama
Alabama isn’t a tiny home-friendly state. Rather it's far from it. The state is adapting slowly to the tiny home movement. Although many states haven’t permitted tiny homes officially, some have. For instance, tiny houses are permitted in only certain areas of Jefferson County.
Another bummer is that the tiny house can’t be larger than 200 square feet. Tiny homes that are not on wheels need separate building permits and will be treated as single-family dwellings.

Tiny Homes on Wheels
A tiny home in wheels is considered a trailer or RV. In Alabama, you can’t put tiny homes in wheels on its own lot. The only exception is if the lot is approved for trailers. 


If you want to live in a tiny home on your property, then you will require an administrative exception for temporary living quarters. You will also need a building permit before permission is given.
Tiny Homes on a Foundation


For tiny houses on foundations, your home will have to be designed to be permanently attached to a foundation. The house has to meet wind resistance requirements per IRC. Here you can use a trick that is quite handy. You can use foundation attachments that are accessible and removable. Therefore, your home won’t be completely permanent on a foundation.


But there is a complication to it too. Using such measurements will grant you the term ‘change in structure’ legally. The best way is to use anchor bolts to attach houses with foundations. Therefore, you won’t have any legal obligations. 
The regulations don’t end here. For certain cities like Huntsville, the tiny home must have permanent plumbing, sewage, and electrical attachments. The attachment must be hooked into the city grid. 


Minimum Residential Requirements
As of now, there are some minimum residential requirements that your tiny home needs to fulfill. These requirements are issued by the IBC (international building code) and IRC (international residential code), which is currently adopted by the state of Alabama. 


The requirements are quite precise. The minimum habitable room size is 70 square feet. There are some varieties in earlier versions that mention the size is 120 square feet. Your tiny home also needs to have one 3'x6'8 minimum door exit. That’s not it. You will also require having a one-fire egress-size window.
Safety Measures


As you go deep into the realms of tiny homes, you will know about certain safety measures. There are building standards that are applicable when constructing a tiny home. 


For example, if you are thinking of making your THOW then it has to meet the standards of a recreational vehicle industry association. It doesn't end here. Sometimes, you don’t want to take the hassle of building your THOW. You can simply purchase a prebuilt one. For cases like this, your THOW needs to meet the American National Safety institute standard 11. 


Importance of Zoning Laws in Alabama


It may seem much easier to neglect all the strict regulations regarding tiny homes. Just making or purchasing one right away may seem like the best choice. However, it might easily turn into a nightmare for you.
There will always be someone in your neighborhood who will notice the irregularities. If by chance they report you, then inspectors will examine you. And you can bet that the inspections will uncover something to cause a stir. You could end up paying a lot of fines as a result of this. So, it's crucial to abide by the zoning laws.


Are Tiny Homes From U-Build Legal?


The U-Build Tiny Home team is packed with professionals who have adequate knowledge and skills. We recognize just how tough it is to get permission for tiny homes in Alabama. That’s why, the team goes into hefty procedures to get the job done. All of our products meet the engineering and zoning requirements of Alabama. Not just that. We inspect each product to ensure that there are no flaws.


Benefits of Tiny homes


Imagine being in a place where there is no one to disturb you. Where there is only peace and serenity. It's hard to find a place like that in this chaotic world. But tiny homes are the place where you can find solace. It’s a much simpler life in tiny homes with fewer complications. Plus it will be your companion wherever you go. 


Final Thoughts

Alabama may not be the place for tiny homes right now, but the state is progressing in the right way. Many counties are making laws on permitting tiny homes. That’s why you need to know everything about zoning and building laws. Once everything is done, contact us at UBuild for an amazing tiny home.

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