From the Desk #9

From the Desk #9


Following hurricane Andrew, Miami Dade adopted a new building code for roof shingles. Only two shingle manufacturers had a product which could meet the requirements. Many more shingle manufacturers have since come to the market with shingles that will withstand High winds.


Hi, my name is Robin Butler with NOAH and as I travel about the country, I get more questions like this, “To what standards or codes do I build a Tiny House?” I write this from the desk up to give my opinion of what things are happening in the Tiny House world. But this is just my observation and my opinion. There is my disclaimer.


One of the comments that I hear often is “I watch all the Tiny House shows on TV and I’m amazed at some of the creative storage and creative things that the builder puts into a Tiny House.” The challenge is to balance safety with creativity.


There are some who say requiring permission and oversight equals less innovation. The Tiny House movement was built on the backs of creative people, creating space, in a creative way, on a movable foundation.


An artist with a blank canvas can create some beautiful masterpieces. However, an artist starts with a canvas, a lump of clay, or a piece of stone. There is always something that the artist begins with.

As the municipalities try to allow Tiny Houses in for people to live in full-time, there are some parameters, building codes, and standards that the artist must take into consideration.


Four years ago, when NOAH began, there were a lot of gray areas surrounding the standards for constructing a Tiny House on wheels. Today, as Tiny House owners search for insurance and as the municipalities are attempting to allow Tiny Houses as accessory dwelling units or to be lived in full-time, in places other than RV parks; there seems to be two major camps.


One camp requires the Tiny House on wheels to be built to ANSI 119.5. This is the code for Park Model RVs. In Brevard county Florida you can live fulltime in your Tiny house, but an engineer must certify it constructed to ANSI 119.5. and in San Luis Obispo CA, you can have an ADU Tiny House on wheels built to ANSI 119.5. This standard has some structure and energy requirements, however, falls short in my opinion to today’s requirements.


The other camp wants the Tiny House on wheels to be built to IRC or the local building code. The home must be on an engineered foundation and a permit is required for the hook up of the utilities. What is the point in a trailer, axles, and wheels if the home must be put on a foundation?


This Summer, at the Innovative Housing Showcase in DC, Dr. Ben Carson of HUD and others made the case for better built housing as we explore innovation in housing. It seems FEMA has been overwhelmed and over stretched this year. Are there more hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and natural disasters every year? It could be, however, a house built to updated building codes has a much better chance of withstanding an event. This can help with insurance costs. In case of a natural disaster many of the newer homes built to the latest codes, have shown to receive little or no damage while older homes are devastated.


NOAH is an inspection company. For over four years we have been developing and refining an inspection process using high tech inspection software and hardware. Did you know that our inspectors can customize their inspections to your state and local building codes?


Our team of trained professionals include InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspectors, architects, engineers and ICC certified and licensed in plans review, mechanical, structural, electrical, and plumbing.

A well-built home is not subject to issues such as a leaky roof or walls or a moisture buildup inside of the home.