How Big Can a Tiny House Be?

Tiny houses are small gems, providing a more simple style of living and giving you the freedom of travelling with your home. They also provide cheaper, and sometimes more sustainable ways of living.

While the point of a tiny house is pretty much in the name, you may be wondering how big your tiny house can really be. You may even have kids, and want to know how many of you it can accommodate. Not to mention that a larger tiny house can be far more comfortable to live in. 

We’ll cover factors that affect the sizing of a tiny home, specifically those that vary between countries, states, and cities. At the end, we have also included some surprising facts about both the largest and smallest ever tiny homes in the world!

What Size Depends On

Generally, most tiny houses fall between 60 and 400 square feet. This usually alters depending on how many people it sleeps, wall thickness, and living spaces. 

One of the most important things to remember is that a larger tiny house will require a large power generator in order to function properly, just like a smaller house will need a smaller generator. One of the best choices for a tiny home would be a 15000-watt generator.

Although you can pretty much decide the size you want your tiny house to be, certain factors come into play when determining the size of a tiny home.

Let’s look in a little more depth.

Your Location

For regulations in a specific location, it’s important to start by checking with your local council, government or state laws regarding tiny homes.

If you’re in the UK, the rules are a little laxer when it comes to the size of your tiny house as they are classed as “campervans” as don’t have any specific regulations, as long as they are certified road safe. Many people tend to build tiny houses in their gardens, which doesn’t usually require any planning permission and can therefore be any size you choose.

On the other hand, if you are based in specific states in the USA, you may find stricter regulations. For example, California:

  • THOWs (tiny houses on wheels) should adhere to the safety standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
  • Rules differentiate between states so it requires information from local services.

Some states also provide rules on minimum square footage for tiny houses. Georgia has some specific regulations:

  • THOW’s (ting house on wheels) in the state of Georgia doesn’t have specific size regulations as they are defined as recreational vehicles
  • Modular or residential sized dwellings are required to follow standard building codes.

While the location can affect the sizing of a tiny home, your movement plans can too.

Wheels or No Wheels

Interestingly, the size of a tiny home can depend on whether or not it has wheels, and if it’s designed to move or not. It’s right to assume that tiny houses on wheels are smaller as they are easier to transport, whereas stationary tiny homes can afford to be larger. 

In the U.K, motorhomes (such as THOW’s) have size restrictions if they are to be driven. You can only register a tiny house vehicle that complies with a maximum length of 12 metres long and 2.55 meters wide.

Furthermore, most states in the U.S have a general regulation for tiny houses that will be driven around. The maximum size is up to 40 feet in length, 13.5-feet tall and 8.5-feet wide, plus an extra 25 feet including the towing vehicle. 

Some states also provide rules on minimum square footage for tiny houses. THOW’s (ting house on wheels) in the state of Georgia do not have specific size regulations as they are defined as recreational vehicles. Modular or residential sized dwellings that will be stationary are required to follow standard building codes.

A downside to those without wheels is that they require planning permission in most locations. This is something to check with your local council or government.

Largest Tiny House

What if we told you that tiny houses don’t have to be so tiny?

The largest every tiny house to date is the Traveler XL created by Escape Traveler! It measures at 30 feet long by 8 foot in width and 13.5 feet in height. It has a square footage of 344 sq/ft with both a first floor and lofts. With the large size comes a heavyweight of around 12,000 pounds!

Smallest Tiny House

If you think some of the regulations above are too stingy to craft a beautiful tiny home with, you are in for a huge surprise. 

One of the smallest tiny homes in the world is a 33 square foot home built on top of a tricycle in Beijing! The country’s People’s Architecture Office built this tiny home along with the People’s Industrial Design Office.

As well as a well-sized bed, this polypropylene tiny home includes basic necessities including a stove, bathtub, sink and water tank. What’s more, it’s completely powered by cycling!

Final Verdict

There we have answered your questions of how big a tint house can be. You should now have realised that the allowed sizing interchanges between locations, and is also affected by your plans with your tiny home.

If you’re going for a stationary tiny house, then the sizing can be larger as long as it adheres to building regulations. However, if you want to adventure around with it, no matter what country, there are more specific smaller sizing regulations.

Whatever the size, you’ll want to make sure it’s road safe and well powered with a generator!

Now that you are informed on the basics, what’s stopping you from turning to tiny house living!

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Stephanie McQueen

Stephanie is the content curator and resource hoarder of all things tiny houses. She enjoys collecting information about tiny houses and writing easy-to-understand articles that help you make informed decisions whether you're building, buying, renting, selling, or parking your tiny house. Only thing she loves to do more than hoard information? Share it! Connect with Stephanie through LinkedIn, her portfolio, or her done-for-you marketing agency, Employed By Life Online.

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