Birthplace of the Tiny House
Birthplace of the Tiny House
In 2006, a quiet man named Jay Shafter appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s daytime talk show. On the show, he shared a look inside his 89 square foot tiny house on wheels. This was the first glimpse most Americans had of the impending Tiny House Movement that quickly swept the nation. Jay Shafer went on to start the original Tumbleweed Tiny House company in Sebastopol CA, though the company has since changed hands. The Tiny House Movement has shifted quite a bit over the last 13 years, but California remains the epicenter. What do you want to know about tiny houses in California? Here’s some interesting insight.
Are Tiny Houses Legal in California?
Laws on tiny homes change frequently and often city-by-city, so it can be difficult to keep up with them, but we’ll try our best. Did you know there is already a national tiny house code written? Appendix Q was adopted into the International Building Code just a couple of years ago and provides guidelines for legally building a tiny home. Not all states have voted to include the code, but it does help builders know how to handle many aspect of the process.
This article, written last year, has some great information on tiny houses and zoning. To be certain, make sure you’re talking to your local government about the options in your area.
Bay Area Tiny House Builders
The tiny house building game is highly competitive, so companies often come and go. That’s true in California and all across the country. But there are a few currently listed in the greater Northern California area that may be of interest if you’re looking to have a tiny home built for you.
You may also want to keep in mind that the current tiny house movement began in a very DIY fashion. A lot of the tiny homes that originally fueled the craze were owner built, and there are plenty of resources in California for that as well, including the Tumbleweed Tiny House company.
Bay Area Tiny House Communities
Once you have a tiny home, where can you live? Keep in mind that tiny homes are still a legal gray area in most municipalities so it can be difficult to find a place where you can live in your home on wheels full time.
Park Delta Bay in Isleton is north of San Francisco and, as of right now, it’s the only legal tiny home community in Northern California. There are a few in Southern California, but if you want to stay with proximity to the bay area, this will be one of your best bets.
Tiny House Festivals
Of course, for many people, the tiny house movement isn’t about tiny houses at all. Many people attend tiny house festivals to learn about simplifying or downsizing any residence and learning tips and tricks from those who live small. Since California is the birthplace of the modern tiny house movement, it’s no surprise that many events take place throughout the area.
If you’re in the San Francisco area and want to see some tiny homes for yourself, check out the California TiNY House Festival September 6th through 8th. Details are still being sorted, but you can follow along here.
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