In this article, I will explain the details behind the scoring system we use to judge countries, states, provinces, counties, and cities for tiny house friendliness.
The first thing I do is break it down into 3 major categories. These categories are:
- Foundational Tiny Houses
- Tiny Houses on Wheels
- Tiny House Experience
The first two categories are fairly straight forward. They are separated into movable and immovable tiny houses, specific to those that may be interested in one or the other. Having an overhead view of each also helps you determine if one may be better than the other.
For example, let’s say a particular state has better laws for foundational tiny houses and only a handful of laws permitting tiny houses on wheels. If you don’t plan to be moving frequently, you may choose to build a tiny house on a foundation instead of wheels due to the ease of zoning navigation.
The questions that must be answered for foundational tiny houses are:
- What is the minimum building size?
- What is the minimum lot size a house can be built on?
- How much land is available for off-grid living?
- What sort of space is there for homesteading potential?
- What sort of building restrictions or ordinances are there?
- For example, some restrictions may require a contractor to build it while others allow homeowners to build it.
- Another example is whether or not the architectural plans must be approved by a certified engineer or not.
Some specific things I look for in scoring friendliness towards tiny houses on wheels are:
- Does it need to be certified?
- Are tiny owners allowed to park on their own land, or do the wheels have to come off?
- Can tiny houses park in residential back yards?
- What is the RV/tiny house parking timeframe? (How long you’re allowed to “camp” in a single location.)
In the last category, Tiny House Experience, I look at the overall development currently active in the state/province. I ask questions such as:
- Are there already established, legal tiny house communities?
- Are particular counties or cities already allowing tiny houses?
- Are there any news sites reporting on current changes or trends for the state/province?
From here, the scores are totaled and averaged for the state or province score.
The country’s score is an average of all state or province scores.
As the movement progresses and evolves, there will be additional things that will be added to the scoring system. For now, this is the current system I am using.
View the world map and start exploring the world’s tiny house friendliness scores.