Dan Grover Nelson 
Member since Sep 30, 2015


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Re: “Close Quarters: Inside Richmond's Tiny Houses

Conspiracy theories aside, house size increases have actually been driven by the market. As a contractor the easiest / cheapest way to boost the value of a home you're building is to add square footage. As a home buyer most people are looking for a good value. This usually gets interpreted by comparing square footage to cost. If you can move another mile out into the suburbs and get a house double the size for the same price you might think that's a great deal. It's probably not of course because you're not thinking about the cost of utilities, and the time it takes to clean a space that size, but you can see why people get suckered into it. Bigger isn't better, it's more work, more responsibility, and more crap you don't need.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dan Grover Nelson on 10/04/2015 at 1:36 PM

Re: “Close Quarters: Inside Richmond's Tiny Houses

Actually, we need to differentiate between Zoning, Building, and Property Maintenance Code. Size is actually determined by the Property Maintenance code, and depends on Occupancy, aka amount of people living in a building. These protections are about protecting low-income renters and students from slum lords more than anything else.

In order to actually live, or have people in a structure you need to gain "occupancy" for it.

The only Residential Code (IRC) requirement for building code for size was removed from the version soon to be adopted: http://sustainablebuildingcodes.blogspot.com/2014/10/tiny-houses-120-square-foot-requirement.html

Richmond zoning-wise is very anti-anything-on-wheels. I've talked to the zoning office for the city about it, and they are rather frank.

Either way, tiny houses have always been billed as "Guerrilla housing", even by Jay Shafer. The whole movement is based on code avoidance. Basically they're on wheels so if you get caught by the authorities, you can roll away.

Oh and as for the houses built out of shipping containers? Good luck. They're considered specialty building material, aka not studs. You better be ready to have an engineer on site for every inspection.

Again, not hating, I want to live in a tiny house myself. Just done a lot of research, keeping it real.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dan Grover Nelson on 10/01/2015 at 7:59 PM

Re: “Close Quarters: Inside Richmond's Tiny Houses

Zoning regulations are a double edged sword. I want to live in a tiny house myself, but it's important to understand why minimum size requirements were put in place originally. They were enacted to protect people from wealthy capitalists who were taking advantage of the poor through tenement housing, with multiple tenement workers living in awful conditions, with multiple bunks in one room. Don't think the same won't happen again if we remove these restrictions. Tiny houses are great when you build them yourself, but could be awful in the hands of unrestricted capitalism. We can't just simply deregulate, but we do need rules that allow for people who want to make the decision to do so without being taken advantage of.

37 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Dan Grover Nelson on 09/30/2015 at 12:07 PM

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