Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Big Problems!

Well, I've uncovered a couple of problems for Tiny Houses proposed within the state of Kentucky.

First, the Kentucky Building Code, Ninth Edition, 2007, Revised March 2010, includes prescribed Occupant Load:
...the occupant load shall not be less than that
number determined by dividing the floor area
under consideration by the occupant as set forth in
Table 1004.1.1.

This aforementioned table specifies that the minimum square foot of area should be 200sf for residential occupancy.  THIS could be a BIG problem for a Tiny House because it may mean that the smallest house that can be legally built for two people is 400 square feet using conventional methods  I have a friend that is an inspector for a neighboring county and I intend to ask his opinion.  I will also contact my county officials before I begin construction to be certain that I remain legal.

Secondly, the Kentucky Building Code, section 101.4.7, references the Kentucky Residential Code for compliance relating to construction of one and two-family dwellings that provides a definition of Housing in the opening paragraph of Chapter 2 of Definitions as:

Building is defined by KRS 198B.010(4) and means
any combination of materials, whether portable or
fixed, which comprises a structure or non-mine
underground area affording facilities or shelter for any
human occupancy, whether infrequent or regular, and
also means single-family dwellings, including those
sold or constructed under a trade or brand name.

This may force anyone interested in building a Tiny House in Kentucky to build on a trailer to avoid the restrictions of size as it relates to standard residential construction.  This will not come as a surprise to many who have already investigated this issue in their own area and emphasizes the instructions that have been posted on almost every Tiny House web site and blog that implores each of us to complete our own research before building so that you verify your local building codes.

In my case, it would seem as if Kentucky has already anticipated some of the construction issues or potential problems relating to manufactured and mobile home construction and has addressed them as early as 1974 with the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 presented by the Federal Government.  By building on a trailer, Tiny House enthusiasts simply change the governing body to which they are obligated to comply, in my case it may be the Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction: Manufactured Housing.  I intend to continue my investigation into regulation by including the Federal offices for HUD.

This is getting more and more complicated.  Glad I started before any work has begun.  I want to make sure I stay on the right side of the law as much as possible.  Aren't you glad you stopped by?  Let's get out there and make it a great day!

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

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