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Do you want to build a tiny house on wheels (THOW) and live in Tampa Bay? Not so fast.
We've seen the clever tiny homes featured on television - many have been built on wheels. When you build your tiny house on wheels, it is technically considered a Recreational Vehicle, or RV. RV's are subject to regulations that prevent you from taking up residence and parking anywhere you choose. If you want to live in Tampa Bay, before you pursue building a tiny house on wheels, consider this:
The bottom line is that in the Tampa Bay area, there are very few places where you can actually live in your tiny house on wheels (THOW).
The most likely choice is an RV Park.
As we mentioned in our previous blog post, there are rules about living in what is technically considered an RV. All communities have rules about where you can park an empty RV, and the rules are much more stringent when someone actually occupies the RV as a permanent residence. Your THOW is required to be hooked up to sewer and water, and there are only certain places that have the capability of offering those hook-ups – mainly RV parks.
We visited a few RV Parks and mobile home communities in the Tampa Bay area. We asked them if they would be willing to accept a THOW. We found that the majority are deed restricted and do not want home-built projects in their community. Others only accept selected manufacturers' "park models" that do not exceed 600 square feet. We did, however, find a very nice RV community near the Hillsborough River State Park that would allow temporary parking for your THOW, but would not allow for a permanent stay.
The Tiny House Community website offers a national listing of tiny house friendly RV parks; there are approximately fifteen of these RV parks in the state of Florida.
Even the RV Community is rejecting the THOW concept! We recently reviewed the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association website, and we verified a few things. There's a type of recreational vehicle known as a "Park Model" - here is what the RVIA says about these "Park Models"
"These RVs are used for recreational purposes only. They are not meant to be permanently affixed to the property, they do not improve property values in any way, and they are neither designed nor intended by their manufacturers to be used as permanent residences."
When asked the question, "Is a Park Model RV a Tiny Home" the answer is a resounding NO. RVIA explains:
"so-called 'tiny homes' that the media describes are not really homes either. That's because federal, state and local laws typicaly require that permanent residences be built to federal, state or local building codes or standards. Few so-called 'tiny homes' meet those standards."
If it is on wheels, then it is considered a "mobile home" and it needs to meet the requirements of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) - essentially making sure the structure is safe enough to be transported on the highway.
Your tiny house on wheels will be inspected. The DMV and local building officials will be checking to see if there is an Engineer Of Record (EOR.) Only the EOR can make modifications and additions to the building.
In order to make it a permanent residence, you need to have a licensed mobile home contractor strap it down with hurricane straps to ensure it can withstand Florida's Building Code Hurricane Requirements.
You are required to register your "RV" annually with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
It's a lot of fun to imagine yourself living in a tiny home. We understand that this lifestyle enables people to declutter, free up resources, and get outdoors to enjoy life. However, fully understand that local communities throughout the United States limit the short and long term placement and closely manage the construction of THOWs.
You should carefully plan ahead before you build a Tiny House On Wheels (THOW). As an alternative, a properly zoned and permanently built tiny home or Accessory Dwelling Unit should be seriously considered. For more information on such a structure, please contact Home Care Suites.
Below is a photo of one of our Accessory Dwelling Units under contruction in North Tampa. This tiny house was designed to meet local codes, properly permitted, and built to match the architectural design of the house.
We loved "Pure Wow's" article about how She Sheds are the New Man Caves. The gorgeous little sheds scattered across the country got our creative juices flowing.
Whether you want a rustic getaway or a shabby chic shack, Home Care Suites can help you create that girly getaway with our custom-built tiny homes – designed to suit your needs.
Busy women are turning their outdoor sheds into fabulous retreats. Conveniently located in the backyard; their personal private sanctuary is only steps away.
Are you dying to create your own private space, but don't know where to begin? Don't be overwhelmed -- we can help you with the layout, design, and structural engineering to make your "She Shed" the envy of the neighborhood.
Home Care Suites founder, and general contractor, Henry Moseley, will work with you to get an understanding for exactly what you are looking for.
We can help you take your "She Shed" to the next level, with all of the amenities to create the comforts of home – in your own private backyard escape.
Are you looking for an outdoor yoga studio?
A romantic getaway?
A cute little cottage?
A crafting corner?
A reading nook?
How will you decorate your "She Shed" will you incorporate crystal chandeliers and calla lillies? Will you perfectly organize all of your arts and crafts; with every item having it's own space? Will you set up an art studio with an inspiring nature view?
We want to help you create that special place that you've been dreaming about.
Enjoy these pictures that PureWow assembled, and tell us what you are looking for. We specialize in siting and zoning these accessory dwelling units, and can't wait to help you create the "She Shed" you've been dreaming about.