Do you know about the Tiny House Appendix Q in New York?

By: Abdullah Haroon October 23, 2020

Share the Post:

Tiny houses are a way of life for many people around the country and are gaining popularity with time.  There was a lot of grey area regarding the tiny houses in NYS. People are working to make at the least the option of going tiny in NYC a possibility. It is increasingly becoming acceptable in the wider part of the country and municipal departments are accepting it as a lifestyle.

However, so far now, living in tiny houses is not allowed in the majority of the places but change is just knocking at the door and will be accepted as a new norm in near future.

Let us find out the latest developments regarding tiny houses:

  • Good News for New Yorkers:

It is quite challenging to get to know about the local laws about tiny houses as different houses have different laws for it. Most of the time, it remains in the grey area where you are not certain what to do next?

Tiny houses alls under Appendix Q had been adopted by the New York governments and is all set to become a law. Appendix Q lays down the foundations of construction codes for tiny houses.

Understand Appendix Q:

Appendix Q bears the laws which make sure the safety of tiny houses. The range in the area is 400 sq. ft. and under. Other house laws are still applicable.

Following are the features discussed in it:

  • Height
  • Minimum area, dimensions
  • Access
  • Stairway, lading
  • Fire emergency
  • Escape emergency


Can you build a tiny house anywhere?

A simple and short answer is, no. You cannot build it wherever you feel like. You need to know the zone regulations first. There are different regulations for different states and they vary from zone to zone. The best way is to visit the municipal authorities and for the instructions and laws.

If we talk about the NYC, tiny houses were not allowed earlier but since the adoption of Appendix Q, it is being allowed now.

Under Appendix Q, a tiny house of 400 sq. ft. or under is permitted but so far, there are no detailed instructions for how to build it safely. It is likely to take some time before they are being laid in detail.

Difference between the Zoning Code and Building Code:

  • Building code:

It deals with the safety measures for the new buildings to be followed. They are implemented to make sure of the safety of the people. Codes vary for residential buildings and commercial buildings.

  • Zoning codes:

It touches the idea of what kind of building is allowed and what location like you cannot build a commercial building at a residential surrounding. They are defined by the zoning boards and are exposed to public opinions and concerns. People may submit recommendations to improve the quality of the municipality.

Tiny House and Local Zoning:

Appendix Q is part of the state’s building codes and gives the legal grounding to the tiny houses in the state’s eye. It legitimizes it for the building inspectors.  States will be more inclined towards encouraging tine houses once the code is fully established and grey areas are removed.

Appendix about Tiny Houses on Wheels:

So far, Appendix Q deals with the permanently fixed tiny houses and do not touch the scope of tiny houses on the wheel. But since the debate is continued, it is likely to come under the umbrella soon. Stay in touch with the local authorities to get to know the latest developments.

Must-know Information:

You would have known by now that there no well-defined laws about tiny houses in most of the states including NY. Though you have room to play here and it can turn equally against you, as well. You are likely to face trouble when building a tiny house. Because, by the law of the book, you are supposed to follow the zoning regulations to even build a tiny house.

What goes in your favor is that you can take advantage of that space. If you are looking to build a tine home, just try to get the permit for it regardless of how big or small you want to build it. If you can get the permit, you are not likely to become the victim of zoning regulations.

Even bigger question comes after that. If you have successfully obtained a permit and have built a tiny house, what might be more difficult than those who are living in there, especially if you have been brought up in a spacious house?

Living in a tiny house is an art in its own right. You are likely to manage your sleeping patterns but staying all time there becomes difficult sometimes. That’s why people build it on a moving wheel to keep refreshing the surroundings.

Join Local Tiny House Communities:

If you are already living in a tiny house or planning to experience it soon, you are highly advised to build ties with the local tiny house communities and prefer to join their meetups.

It would give the company and relations of like-minded people. In addition to it, it would keep you informed about the latest developments in laws and instructions about tiny houses.

You may explore dedicated online platforms to get this information, as well.

The Bottom Line:

Living in tiny houses is quite a unique experience and is worth having it. If we follow the trends closely, it tells us that it is going to be a common lifestyle soon. Keep yourself tuned with the latest news and developments about tiny houses.