Arizona Tiny House Laws

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Tiny home regulations in Arizona vary depending on the county. Unlike many other states, Arizona has much lighter tiny home restrictions. Whether you opt to build your tiny home onsite in Arizona or move it there from another state, you’ll have to get it inspected by your local county official. 
Arizona is full of wonders: the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River, vast desert wildlife, and, more recently, tiny homes! Due to rising housing costs, many Arizonians are making the switch and going tiny—getting them out of the crowded suburbs and cities and more in touch with the natural landscape that surrounds them. 
But, it’s not as easy as just throwing together a small shack and calling it a day. To truly go tiny in Arizona, you’ll have to comply with your local building codes. And, if you want a tiny home on wheels (THOW), that’s a completely different ball game. 
Home and auto insurance broker expert and comparison shopping app Jerry is here with a guide to tiny homes in Arizona: where you can build, what you need to know beforehand, and the answers to all your burning questions about shrinking to tiny. 
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Tiny homes are not referenced in Arizona state statute or zoning codes. Some regulations can differ by county, but as a whole, building codes for permanent tiny homes more or less follow the same restrictions as the ones for single-family homes
Obviously, a tiny home is smaller than your standard single-family home, so there are some dimension-related differences to the building codes. As opposed to a standard home, a tiny home features: 
  • Ceiling height reduced from 7 feet to 6’4”
  • Less required insulation 
  • Fewer electrical circuits 
  • Smaller room dimensions 
  • Built on a foundation 
Once you move or build your tiny home to your desired Arizona location, you’ll have to get it inspected by your county to receive a Certificate of Occupancy. Without this certificate, you won’t be able to live in your tiny abode. 

Arizona cities that allow tiny houses 

If you’re looking to build your tiny home in a wide-open space, Arizona isn’t lacking in that department. But, if you’re looking to be closer to cosmopolitan living, the following cities are generally pretty tiny home-friendly: 
  • Sedona 
  • Phoenix 
  • Lakeside 
  • Tuscon 
Cocino County and Pima County are the two primary places in Arizona that are tiny-friendly. 

What kinds of tiny houses are permitted in Arizona? 

In the state of Arizona, any house that is smaller than 400 square feet is considered a tiny home. There are two kinds of tiny homes: tiny homes built on a foundation, and tiny homes on wheels (THOWs). The former must comply with the 2018 IRC Appendix Q; while a THOW is considered a mobile home and must meet those specific standards.  

What does a tiny house need to be up to Arizona building code? 

A tiny home must be larger than 200 square feet. It must also meet the same building codes as a regular single-family home, but with a couple of size-specific tweaks: 
  • Ceiling height of 6’4”
  • A bedroom. Lofts intended for storage space do not count as a bedroom unless they meet the ceiling height requirement.  
  • Electrical circuits. The specific number will depend on the exact load size of your tiny home. 
  • A minimum 60 amp electrical circuit panel 
  • Roof access window or skylight. This is not just an aesthetic choice, it is a requirement in case of an emergency escape. 
  • Decreased insulation, compared to that of a regular-sized home.    
Your tiny home must still meet all of the requirements of a regular-sized home, like those for ventilation, light, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and plumbing. 
The state of Arizona is also particular about loft space. If your tiny home has a tiny loft, you have to make sure that it has a floor area of at least 35 square feet, at least 5 feet horizontally, and have a ceiling height of at least 3 feet. 

What about tiny houses on wheels?

An Arizona tiny home on wheels is considered a mobile home and must follow mobile home requirements.  To build a THOW, you must first obtain an approved trailer and a building permit. After you finish building your tiny home on wheels, you must get it inspected before you’re able to move in. 
A tiny home on wheels must be at least 160 square feet in area. It may sound a little counterintuitive, but in Arizona, tiny homes on wheels must be built on an approved foundation site, like a mobile home pier-jack foundation. Tiny houses that are licensed as travel vehicles are considered nonpermanent housing by the state. 
So, while you can build your tiny home on wheels, you can’t exactly drive it all around the Grand Canyon State. If that’s more of the living situation you’re looking for, perhaps consider a trailer or an RV. 

Where can I build or park my tiny house in Arizona? 

Arizona is pretty flexible about where you can build your tiny home. They can sit on a wide variety of different zone types, like:
  • Multifamily zones 
  • Detached single-family zones
  • Accessory dwelling unit zones 
A tiny home on wheels is considered a nonpermanent structure, and therefore may only be parked in a zone that allows for a mobile home or RV. The good news? This means you can park your mobile home or RV in a state park—which you’ll find plenty of in Arizona! 

How to build a tiny house in Arizona 

You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to building your tiny home in Arizona. Other states often require permits, specific building materials, and other i’s to dot and t’s to cross before you can build the tiny home of your dreams. 
Tiny home building codes in Arizona do not specifically prohibit any construction materials, but they still must meet the safety and life construction requirements. 
We hate to break it to you, but that tiny home made of marshmallow you’ve dreamt your whole life of building? Arizona isn’t the state for it. 
Keep in mind that a tiny home on wheels is technically considered a mobile home. To build one, you must adhere to those specific building codes. 

How to find big savings on your tiny home 

There are plenty of reasons to make the leap to tiny living: it’s great for the environment, can build a sense of community, and can save you oodles and oodles of cash. But, just because you’ve downsized your home doesn’t mean you can’t find big savings on your home insurance
Jerry contacts your home insurance company to get the details of your current coverage so you don’t have to scale a mountain of questions. You get all the best prices and coverage with none of the legwork. And if that company isn’t for you, Jerry helps cancel your old policy.
The savings keep coming even after Jerry finds you great insurance at the lowest price. Before every policy renewal period, you’ll be presented with new competitive quotes, which means you’ll always have the best coverage at the best price.
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FAQs

A tiny home must be at least 200 square feet, while a tiny home on wheels must be at least 160. Keep in mind that a tiny home on wheels is technically considered a mobile home, and not a permanent residence.
No, no specific permit is needed to build a tiny home in Arizona. You just have to make sure to meet construction life and safety requirements.

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