We are hearing more and more questions regarding the different types of Tiny Homes being offered today. "Wait, there is more than one type of Tiny Home?". The answer is "Yes!". Tiny homes come in all different shapes and sizes as well as with different titles. Tiny House RV, Park Model, Granny Pod, THOW are to name a few. The reason for the difference in names comes down to several things.
One, size. A park model is a much wider and taller tiny home on wheels. It requires permits in order to have them trailered to a location and are built as a more "permanent" structure. Meaning you aren't planning on towing it across the country on a whim. The second reason for a different name is an attempt to get around the laws for tiny home living. A Tiny House RV is the name given to Tiny Homes where the builder has purchased a certification upwards of 8k from RIVA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association). Since there aren't any laws yet that have caught up to the Tiny House Movement, most states have a legal minimum square footage that ranges state to state in order to live in a dwelling full time. Additionally, there are no laws on safety. "What do you mean by full time?". Tiny House builders (this pertains mostly to tiny homes on wheels THOWs) are restricted in selling their homes as permanent dwellings. The houses can only be sold for recreational (short temporary outings) use, such as camping.
"So how does a RIVA certification help me?". There are pro's and con's to having a RIVA certified Tiny Home. The pro is that many RV parks where you would stay over night with your tiny house will only allow RIVA certified structures. Additionally, your Tiny House will be safety inspected to the standards of a recreational vehicle (this is not to building code, i.e. hurricane ties etc). Some say that retail value increases if RIVA certified, yet there is little statistical evidence to prove this. The con's to having a certified Tiny Home is that it must be only used for recreational purposes. So when laws do catch up, your Tiny Home might not be eligible to be a full time residence. Your Tiny Home will cost more because the builder now has increased overhead. And lastly, your Tiny Home will not have the safety features that regular sized homes are being built with due to building codes. Many builders are refusing to become RIVA certified because they stand by their goal of making Tiny Homes legal permanent dwellings and not an RV you see at every campground. It is the politics of money.
A Granny pod is a name to help "sell" Tiny House living. They tend to be "shed-like" around 400sqft with cute home details to make your elderly parents or grandparents comfortable while staying close in ones backyard.
Tiny Home builders and owners have had to become creative in order to enjoy the benefits of the Tiny House movement. Many are fighting to remove restrictions and to make tiny living a more economical and sustainable way of living. You can join the fight and/or stay updated by joining americantinyhouseassociation.org/
We hope you enjoyed this article and if you want to hear more let us know!
Jacqueline and Mart Lepik are the owners of East End Tiny Homes. A company that offers high quality and comfortable living options to those whose desire the freedom to live without boundaries.