If you’re wondering on whether Seattle is a good city to settle in with a tiny home, the short answer is yes. Of course, like with most states, there are still some tiny home-specific regulations to follow that differ from a regular-sized house. Luckily, we’re here to tell you all about the things to look out for before you start building the tiny home of your dreams in the Emerald City.
Many have taken up interest in tiny homes in recent years in Seattle, due to its sustainability factors and becoming a reasonable solution to the housing affordability crisis. It costs significantly less than a conventional house and it’s an innovative way to change up your lifestyle.
Because of this, setting up a tiny house in Seattle and surrounding areas has become easier than ever. Some cities and counties allow tiny house villages, where tiny house on wheels (THOWs) can park long-term in the same vicinity. This is due to the trend of tiny homes becoming more and more acceptable and popular. In turn, this reduces restrictions of THOWs around the state of Washington.
Prices can be anywhere between $40,000 to $100,000 depending on the floor plans, materials, and amenities. Bear in mind that this won’t include the price of land, if you choose to build a permanent tiny home on a foundation.
Tiny House Rules in Seattle
According to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, tiny houses are no larger than 400 square feet. They also include a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping/living area. Tiny homes in the state have to also be built in accordance to the Washington State Building Code.
Before building, it’s essential that you get approval for your tiny house. This often entails submitting the plans of your tiny house to the local building department. Getting approval also depends on where the house is built. Make sure to contact your local building department to build lawfully and book an L&I electrical inspection.
Certain cities won’t permit tiny houses unless they comply with standard local size requirements and building costs. On the other hand, rural areas in the state may be more accommodating when it comes to the requirements, but it pays to always check with your local zoning for the most up-to-date regulations.
Accessory dwelling unit
A tiny house that’s a part of the same property as an existing house – also known as an accessory dwelling unit – isn’t legal unless a permit has been given.
In Seattle, you’re not allowed to live in a tiny house on wheels (THOW) on lots. Your THOW would have to be parked in a designated parking spot for large vehicles. THOWs are also inspected and regulated to make sure it can be placed legally.
Tiny House Builders in Seattle
Seattle Tiny Homes
Established in 2010, Seattle Tiny Homes has a full range of options of tiny houses to choose from. Select one of their existing plans that are fully customizable, or work together with them to design one from scratch. The brains behind the company believes serenity and simplicity can be found in small abodes, and are all-round better for the environment. The base prices of their homes range from $45,000 to $139,000 and are licensed as RV travel trailers once completed.
Bigfoot Tiny Homes
Have you got a more intricate design in mind? Bring it to Bigfoot Tiny Homes to take up the challenge. Their contractors have extensive industry experience from plumbing to electrical work, and they can build from the ground up within a reasonable time frame. To simplify the process, you can choose from five different packages – from the basics, which is just the shell and trailer, to a turnkey option, which has interior finishes and included appliances. Depending on what you choose, prices range from as little as $10,000, while move-in ready homes start from $34,000.
Prefab homes are becoming the go-to construction method when it comes to tiny homes, due to its affordability and shorter building time. Greenfab sells prefab and modular homes for those who want to buy a healthier and more energy efficient custom home, including tiny ones. Choose from three off-the-grid models, that starts at 150 square feet and up to 510 square feet. Since their models are not on wheels, they’re well-suited for those looking to settle into an ideal location out in nature and can be adapted to any kind of environment.
Tiny Homes You Can Buy Right Now in Seattle
The Cozy Industrial
Measuring at a generous 335 square feet, this cozy tiny home can be yours for $62,000. As it’s on wheels, it’s already RV certified, so you can take it out on the road as soon as it’s yours. Solidly-built and well-insulated with cedar-clad structure, it’s the perfect home to take with you on your travels. Inside, it has a contemporary interior design, as well as two 4-feet-high lofts that breaks up the space.
The Basic Tiny
A simple tiny home means you have a blank canvas to really make it yours. Take advantage of its simplicity by personalizing the home! This one was built by a carpenter who has more than 25 years of experience and costs $36,000 for 112 square feet of space. Bask in ample natural light, thanks to the big windows, and spend your days cooking on the maple countertop. There’s also a 7-foot sleeping loft above the kitchen area and bathroom, which is lined with reclaimed cedar for that sustainable design.
The Cabin-Inspired Tiny
Looking to live off-the-grid? This cabin-look tiny home on wheels has a composting toilet for that self-sufficient life. Just recently built in 2020, this home costs $40,000. It measures at 216 square feet and has enough space for a bedroom and versatile living space. The kitchen is also equipped with a mid-sized fridge and a 2-burner stovetop for the inner chefs. Sliding barn doors and wooden interior rounds up the whole cabin-feel on wheels.