Tag: tiny house inspection checklist

Do Tiny Houses Get Inspected

Do Tiny Houses Get Inspected

Tiny House Inspection
Tiny House Inspection

When you own and live in a tiny house, you also have to deal with a few dilemmas. For would-be tiny house owners, one of their questions before buying or building and moving to a tiny house has to do with getting inspected.

Is it true that tiny houses also get inspected? Yes, a tiny house also has to go through and pass inspection. However, unlike the inspection of traditional houses, the process of inspecting a tiny house is different. When your tiny house gets inspected, the following issues will be checked:

  • Insulation
  • Power
  • Safety
  • Power

If you are beginning to feel discouraged about owning and living in a tiny house, don’t let the inspection process put you off. What you must know are the different considerations that come with tiny house inspection. These issues will be determined by your type of tiny house as well as your chosen location.

The Tiny House Inspection Process

Tiny House Wind Turbine Inspection
Tiny House Wind Turbine Inspection

Every tiny house inspector will have a specific set of measures. But then again, the procedure is just the same most of the time. When your tiny house is up for inspection, here are a few things that you should be expecting:

  • Heating and Insulation System

In a smaller house, keeping the heat inside is easier. On the other hand, in conventional houses, the heat has to fill up more space. When your tiny house is getting inspected, you have to make sure that it is without any leaks. It would help if you know which type of insulation is in your tiny house. Another important thing to keep in mind is that there are several options when you get your tiny house insulated.

  1. Denim insulation
  2. Fiberglass insulation
  3. Open-cell insulation
  4. Organic cotton insulation
  5. Wool insulation

You must take note, however, that every type of insulation has its advantages and disadvantages.

  • Electricity and Water Supply
Power Outlet Voltage Testing
Power Outlet Voltage Testing

When inspecting your tiny house, inspectors consider its access to electricity and water, which makes tiny house pass most inspections.

As for your tiny house’s power source, you have a few options – electricity or solar energy. So you better know which of these choices work best for your tiny house. On the other hand, making sure that you have a safe water source is not as simple as ensuring your power supply because you will need two sources of water – one for running water and the other for hot water.

  • Security

The most important factor that tiny house inspectors look at is security. They have to make sure about the safety of your tiny house. The inspectors will first completely check the foundation where your tiny house is settled on. However, when your tiny house has wheels and is attached to a trailer, the process of inspection will not be exactly the same.

On the other hand, if your tiny house rests on a permanent and more secure place, its structural reliability has to follow building codes. When your tiny house has already passed this inspection process, it will be certified as a safe dwelling.

Different Tiny House Inspections

  • NOAH

NOAH only conducts tiny house inspections with InterNACHI Professional Certified Inspectors. It individually inspects tiny house on wheels. Inspections by NOAH are done during the construction of a tiny house.

  • PWA

Unlike NOAH, PWA does not conduct tiny house inspections by letting its staff visit the house during or after the construction. Instead, the tiny house owner is asked to fill out a form and to take pictures to verify their qualification for the certification. The homeowner will also have consultations with a PWA inspector via phone.

  • RVIA

The cost of an RVIA inspection is four times more expensive than that of NOAH and PWA. In addition, RVIA inspectors conduct casual inspections every 90 days when the manufacturer has already been approved. They only inspect four times each year. In the event of finding any issues in the tiny house, a disciplinary action will be taken. This disciplinary procedure will differ and be dependent on the gravity of the defect.

Your Tiny House could Pass the Inspection if…

  • Inspectors never came to look at your house

In some instances, an inspector will claim that they had visited the tiny house location but did not show up. Their reason is because they have a tight schedule. In almost every city, it is required that inspections be done within a specific time span. However, because the quantity of tiny houses to inspect is higher than the number of inspectors, there isn’t enough time for them to inspect each tiny house. As a result, inspectors give their approval even if they haven’t really seen and inspected some tiny houses.

  • Assessing your tiny house would cost too much

Sometimes, a tiny house gets approved because condemning it and taking the decision to court would be costly. In some cases where condemning a tiny house would cost as much as $30,000 because of all the requirements constraints required by law, the inspector approves it to save on costs. Not only would condemning a tiny house cost a lot of money, but it would also be time-consuming.

  • Inspectors could not find your tiny house
Lost Tiny-House Inspector
Lost Tiny-House Inspector

As its name suggests, a tiny house is, of course, tiny.  Because of that, there are times when inspectors find a hard time looking for one. There are even tiny houses that cannot be seen easily because of all the trees that surround it. Also, in some cases, a tiny house cannot be seen from the road. For these reasons, inspectors do not exert extra effort in looking for a tiny house anymore. As a result, they approve it right away, so that they could save time and energy as well as avoid hassles.

So what does this imply? It means that not all tiny houses that you see are legal because some get the approval of inspectors because of these shallow and petty reasons. They were approved merely because they could not be easily seen or because the inspectors chose not to condemn them. Sometimes, they were not willing to spend too much time to come and inspect a tiny house.

But then again, there are also instances when tiny house inspectors are pressured. That is why they do the opposite, which is to condemn the house right away.

Tiny House Inspection FAQs

  • Since tiny houses are on wheels, does that mean that codes, as well as zoning regulations, do not apply?

The notion that just because your tiny house is on wheels means it is excused from codes along with zoning regulations is not true. This wrong notion is only spread by some individuals who want to earn easy money by selling tiny houses. One of their ways to convince people interested in owning and living in a tiny house is to tell them that tiny houses are exempted from complying with zoning regulations and codes.

  • Because a tiny house is only a tiny dwelling, there would be no issue, such as code noncompliance, right?

This statement is another one of those myths with regard tiny houses. However, there is a little truth to this idea, especially when a legit mobile home maker constructs your tiny house. This is for the reason that you have to be a certified manufacturer before you would be asked to comply with the building code.