Are Tiny Homes Legal in Colorado?

Tiny Homes in Colorado
Legal StatusLegal, but the regulations vary from city to city. Tiny homes are officially recognized as legal/legitimate real property in Colorado. However, they are often categorized as recreational vehicles or dwellings and restrictions apply for full-time living.
Friendly CitiesRegulations vary significantly from city to city. Notable friendly areas include Peak View Park and the city of Walsenburg.
Building StandardsBuilding codes vary by city. Generally, tiny homes must meet the International Residential Code (IRC) standards or the city’s currently-adopted building code.
Minimum Habitable SpaceMinimum habitable space requirements vary by city.
Certificate of OccupancyDepending on the city, one might be able to live in a tiny home for a period ranging from 2 weeks to 180 days per year.
Tiny Homes on Wheels (THOWs)Tiny homes on wheels must meet ANSI RV standards. They are often categorized as recreational vehicles and restrictions apply for full-time living.
Plumbing and Electrical SystemsMust comply with the International Residential Code (IRC) standards or the city’s currently-adopted building code.

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Table of Contents

Tiny House Made Easy™

Tiny homes are recognized as legal/legitimate real property in Colorado, however, their legal status as a permanent dwelling varies by location. While House Bill 1242 recognizes tiny homes as a housing option amid skyrocketing home values, in most parts of Colorado, tiny homes are categorized as recreational vans or dwellings, and it is illegal to live in them full-time.

This means that, in many parts of Colorado, regulations state that you can only live in your tiny house for anywhere between 2 weeks and 180 days per year. Therefore, if you are planning to build or live in a tiny home in Colorado, you will need to thoroughly research the specific regulations in your area.

What are the zoning and building regulations for tiny homes in Colorado?

Zoning and building regulations for tiny homes in Colorado are as follows:

  • Tiny houses are permitted in RV parks, and they must meet ANSI RV standards.
  • Depending on the city, one might be able to live in a tiny home for a period ranging from 2 weeks to 180 days per year.
  • In some cities, like Aurora, tiny houses are considered single-family dwellings and must meet the same requirements as other single-family homes in terms of zoning, building codes, and permitting.
  • In other cities, like Walsenburg, a tiny house built on a permanent footer or foundation may be legal despite its small floor size.

It’s important to check with local city and county regulations to see if any restrictions are in place. Also, all tiny homes must comply with the International Residential Code (IRC) standards or the city’s currently-adopted building code.

What are the requirements for registering a tiny home with Colorado Building Codes?

To register a tiny home with Colorado Building Codes, you must ensure that your tiny home meets the requirements to be classified as a dwelling. Depending on the city, this can involve meeting the International Residential Code (IRC) standards or the city’s currently-adopted building code.

For example, in Golden, Colorado, to build a tiny home, you must comply with the city’s currently-adopted building code, which is the 2018 International Building Code. In Peak View Park, Colorado’s first legal tiny home community, tiny homes must meet the IRC standards.

If your tiny home is on wheels, it must meet ANSI RV standards. Note that in many parts of Colorado, it is largely illegal to live full-time in a THOW (Tiny House On Wheels).

Differences Between a Tiny Home on Wheels and a Tiny Home on a Foundation

Tiny Homes on Wheels:

  • Are often categorized as recreational vehicles and restrictions apply for full-time living.
  • Must meet ANSI RV standards.
  • Offer mobility and flexibility.
  • Are not considered a permanent dwelling in many parts of Colorado.

Tiny Homes on a Foundation:

  • Must meet the International Residential Code (IRC) standards or the city’s currently-adopted building code.
  • Are considered single-family dwellings in some cities.
  • Provide owners with home equity and can help build equity over time.
  • Are legal in some cities despite their small floor size.

Please note that laws and regulations can change and can vary from one municipality to another. So it’s always a good idea to check with local authorities or a local expert before you decide to buy or build a tiny home in Colorado.