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Building a Tiny House in Arizona – Is smaller better here in the desert?

WHAT IS CONSIDERED A TINY HOUSE IN ARIZONA

In Arizona, any home built below 400 square feet falls under the category of a tiny house and should follow all respective building codes. This includes size regulations that require any home built with a foundation to be no smaller than 200 square feet. For any tiny house built on a trailer, they must be larger than 160 square feet. The structure can be professionally built out of lumber, using a DIY tiny house kit, or made from a repurposed shipping container. All materials are suitable when building a tiny home in Arizona as long as it follows the building codes.

What does it take to have this view in Arizona?
BUILDING CODES FOR PERMANENT TINY HOUSES IN ARIZONA

For the most part, building codes for permanent tiny houses follow many of the same restrictions as they do for a single-family home. Some slight adjustments have been made to the dimensions, such as:
• Reduced minimum room dimensions
• Ceiling height requirement reduced from 7’ to 6’4”
• Fewer electrical circuits required
• Less insulation needed
A permanent tiny house includes any home built on a foundation or a trailer where all of the mobile aspects have been removed. Whether you are building your home on a property in Arizona or moving it there, you will need to have it inspected by the appropriate county. If your structure doesn’t adhere to their codes as is, you’ll simply have to make the required changes.

BUILDING CODES FOR A TINY HOUSE ON WHEELS IN ARIZONA

When choosing your tiny house on wheels drawings, remember that they follow a different set of building codes in Arizona, as they’re considered mobile homes. You will need a building permit before you begin construction, as well as an approved trailer. Once your home is finished, an inspection will be required. You won’t be able to receive a Certificate of Occupancy and live in your tiny house until you’ve acquired a permanent land site. This could be a rented property that you’ll use temporarily or a permanent piece of land for your residence.

ZONING CODES FOR TINY HOUSES IN ARIZONA

A tiny house built on a foundation has a variety of options when it comes to zoning. Unlike other areas of the United States where there are heavy restrictions on tiny homes, Arizona allows them to sit on a number of different zone types. This includes multifamily, detached single-family, and accessory dwelling unit zoning. There are also some tiny house communities popping up all over the state that allows you to live with like-minded people. Together you can build a community garden, have access to a laundry facility, a shared kitchen, and maybe even a few on-site restaurants. It’s little things like this that turn a house into a home. A tiny house built on a trailer, on the other hand, is considered a recreational vehicle. As long as the structure has the capability to be mobile, it doesn’t fall under the category of a permanent structure. These tiny homes can only be parked in zones allowing mobile homes and RVs, such as state parks.

Tiny Houses for Everyone

Building a tiny house in Arizona has never been more accessible than it is today, and it will only continue to get easier. By choosing to make this lifestyle change, you’re not only going to find yourself with more money in your pocket, but you can sleep better knowing that you’ve significantly reduced your carbon footprint. Tiny homes are known for being both affordable and eco-friendly, making them the top housing choice among millennials. Contact your county to get the appropriate permits and start building your tiny house today.


Freelance writer and art enthusiast, Rose Burke, often writes humorous essays inspired by awkward dating experiences and life’s cruel sense of humor. When she’s not doing that, she’s typically writing entertainment articles on women’s issues, politics, feminism, travel, and other trending topics her readers love. Author of the popular feminist blog series Writings of the Satirical Feminista (www.writingsofthesatiricalfeminista.com), Rose is currently focusing on a collection of humorous personal essays while she travels the world.

78 COMMENTS

  1. We bought 2 1/2 acres in Dewey

    , Arizona, just 4 or 5 miles out of Prescot Valley. Land in Yavapai county is usually between 4000 to 5000′ in elevation. The weather is nice year around and the populace is made up of folks from many other places making a place where everyone is open and kind. My point is that land can be purchased anywhere outside of towns that put you in the beautiful high desert and give you all the stores and civilization within 10-15 minutes! Land prices fluctuate but there are still many parcels for sale by private owners. Now the situation with tiny houses is confusing especially long distances but thinking of it towed behind a truck it could be considered an RV very easily. Here you cannot live in an RV on land unless temporarily as your home is being built. BUT…..With much more than an acre or so a home may be built and after completed the owner may construct what we call a mother in laws house up to 750′. Since Arizona considers a tiny home as a mobile home a tiny house may be put on that property as a secondary dwelling. Now I do want to add that in the country just outside of most towns folks kind of construct what they need to have built… some get a permit and some do not follow that path…..You know… if your family shows up in a tiny home… You park it under a tree and hook up what you have Not saying it is wrong or right… legal or illegal… just saying that it happens now and then and it seems often that it simply is. Property for say a couple of acres can be found for between 50k to 75k pretty much all the time. The way things are going these days the older folks I talk to say often that they, ‘d be more than happy to have a young couple rent a little place on their land… you know… for an extra hand now and then plus a few hundred dollars a month coming in. For what it, ‘s worth….. You only live once!

  2. We too are looking to make the move to a tiny home or park model. I know in the Yuma area there are developments where lots can be purchased but I’ve had no luck finding land in the Phoenix metro area! Would love to see someone build a development where lots can be sold that allows single family stick built homes as well as park models, rvs, and park models.

  3. Hello to everyone I have some questions since I’m french and living in France but I would like to install a mobile home on a small piece of land in AZ for my holidays. Do you think it is possible ? Thanks for your replies :-) Sabine

  4. We recently purchased parcels of land in the White Hills, AZ = there is a Dollar General and a Family Dollar within a 30 min drive + a small store all in a town called Dolan Springs.

    The White Hills have many areas where utilities are NOT close, so be careful checking on any land. The ones I purchased have power poles within 550′ which makes the connection free, but over 550′ costs about $3,500.
    We are 1 hr to Las Vegas/Henderson border or the other direction 1 hr to Kingman, AZ (Walmart + grocery stores)

    Also, WATER many people just have Water hauled in by a company or do it themselves, as drilling for a well is approximately $35k + (depending on how far down they must drill)

    I hope some of this information is helpful.

  5. Hi looking to relocate to arizona but not desert closer to ,or not far from suburbs 400 square feet on wheels, hans on if it will cut cost

  6. In my search for land it seems where you could put one you might have challenges with getting utilities to the location. We live in Massachusetts but want to buy some land in Arizona with the intention of moving there in 2 years permanently but looking online at land can be overwhelming. We would like to be within 30 min of a grocery store, access to get utilities and to preferably minimal snow. Would love to collaborate. Has anyone considered a Facebook page so people can get connected?

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