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10 Big Questions About Tiny Houses


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Are Tiny Houses Sturdy and Safe?
This tiny house interior shows a ladder without rails going up to the sleeping loft. Some say this is hazardous. Tomas Quinones Used Under Creative Commons CC By -SA 2.0 License
This tiny house interior shows a ladder without rails going up to the sleeping loft. Some say this is hazardous. Tomas Quinones Used Under Creative Commons CC By -SA 2.0 License

A tiny house is typically built by the homeowner on a flatbed trailer, which is then parked on a piece of land. In this regard, it's similar to an RV or trailer, and more susceptible to Mother Nature's whims than a traditional home. But bad weather aside, the main point to keep in mind is that there's little regulation of tiny homes. They're not subject to the building codes of regular houses or even the regulations of RV construction [source: Alter].

Tiny house builder Rich Daniels pointed out some safety must-haves for a tiny house, even if they're not required by law. Since the beds are usually in a lofted area, there should be a sturdy railing alongside the home's stairs or ladder, and some kind of barrier in the loft so you don't roll out of bed and onto the main floor below. The window in the loft should also be large enough for escape, should the ladder or staircase be blocked.

Air quality and ventilation are also important issues. Tiny homes are often heated via a wall-mounted propane tank, and contain gas stoves. Since the homes are made of combustible materials, this creates a potential fire hazard. It might be safer if a tiny home is heated electrically — though it can be more complicated to set up. And do check that there's controlled ventilation so you always have enough oxygen inside [source: Alter].


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