Tiny homes are becoming the rage amidst the high cost of housing in the United States. This isn’t surprising given they’re cheaper, more environmentally friendly and occupy less space. If you’re thinking of building a tiny home, you’ll want to know how much space you need. So, how many tiny homes can fit on an acre?
About 14 tiny homes will fit on an acre of land. However, there’s no exact figure, and it could be less. The variation is due to factors such as the minimum required size of homes by law, space between homes, the maximum number of houses allowed per lot, size and number of amenities, and utilities.
However, more tiny homes will fit on an acre compared to regular-sized homes. Here, we discuss the number of tiny homes an acre can take and the factors that determine this.
What is a Tiny Home?
A tiny house is a small-scale dwelling unit usually between 100 – 400 square feet in size. These houses are of two kinds, the mobile home, and the stationary home. The mobile home is on wheels and legally referred to as a recreational vehicle. The stationary ones have a foundation and are known in law as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). If you’re building a tiny home on wheels, the law requires you to register it as an RV with the state. In a case where it’s self-built, the law usually requires an inspection before you can get the license plate.
For an accessory dwelling unit, the building process is more complex. There are zoning and building regulations that may prohibit this type of home in some locations. When it comes to places where you can build tiny homes, the best states are California, Colorado, Florida, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, Texas, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. All these states have towns with very flexible rules for tiny homes.
Due to the size of tiny homes, you can build many of them on an acre. So while you can build a maximum of five regular-sized homes on an acre, you can build as many as 14 tiny homes. But that’ll depend on whether you add parking space and other amenities. When you have to add parking, the number can drop to 10. The design will eventually determine how many tiny homes you can homes.
Factors That Determine How Many Tiny Homes Can Fit on An Arce
There’s no exact number of tiny homes that can fit on an acre. The maximum is around 14 – 15, but there are usually fewer. The lack of an exact figure is due to several factors such as:
1. Minimum Size of Homes Under Law
The minimum size of homes under the law will determine how many tiny homes can be on an acre. No state directly outlaws building tiny homes, but each state regulates how you build your home. one of the best places to build a tiny home in the US is Pennsylvania. Here, the law prescribes that one room must be at least 120 square feet, and other rooms must be at least 70 square feet. In addition, the kitchen and the bathroom can be smaller. This makes it possible to build a tiny home with three or four rooms.
Other states aren’t that flexible with the size. Arkansas requires that homes be bigger than 600 square feet, which exceeds the size of a regular home. In Alaska, the permit for tiny homes is temporary and conditional, just as the RVs permit. This makes it almost impossible to build tiny stationary homes. The northernmost state also requires tiny homes to only be in certain areas. The zoning regulations in Connecticut don’t allow for tiny homes.
Rural zoning may require a minimum of 1 acre for a home. But in urban areas with less space, it’s possible to build as many as 12 tiny homes or even more on an acre. The best place to build a tiny home is an area zoned for multifamily development. The American Tiny House Association has resources on the rules and regulations for tiny homes in several states.
2. Space Between Homes
State and municipal laws also regulate the space that must be between homes. This’ll determine how many homes you can build on an acre. There are variations in the minimum distance that must be between buildings. Most states have a minimum requirement. But there are also places where there are no rules on the minimum distance. So, your location will determine what’s applicable, which affects how many tiny homes can be on an acre.
3. Maximum House Per Lot
The laws also regulate how many houses should be on a lot, and this can also determine how many tiny homes you can fit into an acre. In some US states, you can only build one house per lot. Most homes in the US use about half-acre or more, which means in those states, you can only build two houses per acre. The size of the lot varies, of course. There are several areas where you can build more tiny homes on your land.
Every home usually has additional amenities such as a parking lot or garages. Garages will take more space than a parking lot. With tiny homes, building amenities on the lot requires planning to maximize space. If you’re building tiny homes on an acre, you have to place amenities such as playgrounds, green space, parking lots, etc., where it’s accessible to everyone. Home structures also have to be at least 25 feet away from the road so that the city can erect any other amenities such as street lights and sidewalks when they want to. You’ll have to take this space from the acre.
Another factor to consider is making space for utilities such as powerline paths, hydrants, etc. You’ll have to set aside a part of the land for this, which means you can’t build on that part of both for safety reasons and convenience. That means less space for you to build on.
Between 10 to 14 tiny homes can fit on an acre of land in the US. But that’ll depend on several factors such as the laws in place, the size of the home, other amenities, etc. Either way, it’s important to plan when you’re planning to build a tiny home so you’ll know the conditions you have to meet,