Are Tiny Homes Legal in Illinois?

Tiny homes are happiness dwelling in a small space. But is it legal in Illinois? Check out this article to know.
January 13, 2023 by
Michael Zatorski
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Are Tiny Homes Legal in Illinois?

  • Illinois Zoning Regulations
    Since the state of Illinois is yet to adopt the state-wide building code, cities and counties adopt codes of their choices.

  • Tiny Houses on Wheels in Illinois
    The ceiling of the common space of the house must have a height of 6 feet and 8 inches
    Bathrooms can be a minimum of 6 feet 4 inches 

  • Illegal Permanent Residency in THOW
    Permanent residency isn’t permitted on THOW

  • Safety Measures
    You must adhere to standard measure 11.
    Importance of Maintaining Illinois Zoning Laws
    You can even lose your house if it doesn’t meet the zoning laws

  • Are the Tiny Homes from UBuild Legal?
    Legality of tiny homes from UBuild depends on the state’s stance of accepting tiny homes

  • Benefits of a Tiny Home
    Good for loners, cost-effective, requires less space

Tiny house movement can be called a social movement. With the motto of “living with less”, tiny houses help in downsizing living spaces and promoting minimalistic living. But not every state in America is ready for revolution.
The Illinois state, for example, permits the stationing of tiny houses in private properties, campgrounds, or mobile home parks. But it is illegal to station tiny houses in Chicago city.
Let us dig into the matter more deeply. There are some facts for you to know about tiny houses on wheels, or THOWs in the state of Illinois.

Illinois Zoning Regulations
Zoning includes the distribution of lands into districts. It helps in planning of land used by the community. Zoning is regulated by authorities as lands are distributed for specific uses. For example, running a household business in a residential area is illegal in the state of Illinois.
When we are talking about tiny houses, we must keep an eye at the zoning regulation of the state, as well as the Building Codes and Regulations. Tiny houses on wheels are mostly classified as a recreational trailer. You might also classify it as an additional family space to the authority. But to avoid dispute, it is advisable to learn whether its existence on a property violates the building codes or not.
Since the state of Illinois is yet to adopt the state-wide building code, cities and counties adopt codes of their choices. To know about the building code in your area, you can contact with your city or county code official, or check the CDB website. 

Tiny Houses on Wheels in Illinois
As per 2019, the suburbs, even the Chicago city, do not permit any stationing of tiny houses. So, first and foremost, check whether it is illegal to place tiny houses on wheels in a particular area or not. 
If your tiny house functions only as a recreational trailer, then you might not have to worry about the building code. But if you really use it for day-to-day use, you must abide by the building code of your area. 
Since Illinois does not have any particular regulation regarding the construction of tiny houses, we would like to present the U.S primary regulation regarding tiny houses.

  • The ceiling of the common space of the house must have a height of 6 feet and 8 inches

  • Bathrooms can be a minimum of 6 feet 4 inches 

  • The house must have at least one separate bathroom

  • Standard requirement for emergency exit points must be met.

  • There is no mention about the number of windows required in a tiny house

  • To reach the loft areas, stairs or ladders must be included inside the house

These are the standard regulations. However, we present some advance regulations adopted by other states regarding tiny houses.

  • The kitchen area must have working-space of at least 30 inches, excluding space for refrigerator, cooking equipment, and kitchen sink

  • Water closet, lavatory, shower, and a bathtub must be included 

  • Ventilation and light requirements must be fulfilled

  • Heating gear, hot water, pressure tanks should be provided

Illegal Permanent Residency in THOW
As stated earlier, major cities like Chicago and suburbs confront tiny houses as illegal. In order to place your tiny house inside the Illinois state, you have to look for grey area. Grey area is somewhere inside the state, where parking your tiny house will not raise a legal dispute. 
Laws regarding THOWs are classified by DMV representatives. Mostly, your tiny house will be considered as a recreational vehicle. You can park it in many campsites. But the parking must not be not permanent, otherwise you will get a legal notice. Parking in a private space should be done after going through the building regulations. As structures like tiny houses, can violate the local building codes. 

Safety Measures
To avoid legal troubles, we recommend you to consult with a land use attorney in your area. Otherwise, contact an expert on the local building codes who can help you in the permitting procedure.
Safety comes first. Always consult with construction experts to learn about maintaining safety protocols of your tiny house. If you want to register your THOW as a recreational vehicle, you have to get it classified by a DMV representative.
Learn about the American National Safety Institute standard 11, when you are buying a tiny house.

Importance of Maintaining Illinois Zoning Laws
Zoning laws help local authorities to keep order in a particular geographical area. Abiding by the zoning laws is considered as a greater good.
Although, this greater good can come up as an obstacle in the placement of your tiny house. Just do not go careless and station your THOW in your backyard.
As violation of zoning regulations can impose some serious penalties on your head. While relaxing in your tiny house, the last thing you would want is to have a legal notice, wouldn’t you?
Especially for states like Illinois, where tiny house concept is yet to get the green light from the authority, a little cautiousness will save you many times. 

Are the Tiny Homes from UBuild Legal?
Our agenda is to build efficient quality houses that can solve the housing problem for many people. Lands are getting scarce, resources limited. People at the bottom tier have to face the hard punch of hiking price in real estate. In this situation, tiny houses can bring a social change by sheltering many.
We keep the standard high. Our houses are built with proper safety procedures. They will easily meet the requirements set by many states regarding THOWs. So that you do not have to worry about discomfort or security inside tiny houses built by UBuild. 

Benefits of a Tiny Home
Your tiny house can be the passion-house for so many reasons. You can maintain it without spending the amount you would spend on an average apartment.
You can have your me-time more, when cleaning requires half of the time, and everything is at the reach of your hands. And minimalism, checked! 

Final Thoughts
With THOWs getting so popular now-a-days, we hope your tiny house becomes the locus of your everyday life - where desire meets comfort. Reach out to us at UBuild to build your dream home!

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