The Tiny house Blog

Arkansas's Tiny Home Rules & Regulations

Updated on:
July 16, 2023
arkansas tiny home rules and regulations

If you’re considering the tiny house lifestyle in the Natural state of Arkansas, it’s crucial to know the rules and regulations that apply to tiny homes. 

In Arkansas, every community has its own set of rules. While some counties are stricter, others offer more freedom when placing your tiny home.

Therefore, as an aspiring owner of a tiny home or enthusiast. Knowing what tiny home guidelines are in place regarding your location of interest is crucial to help you navigate the legal landscape and ensure a smooth journey toward your tiny home dreams. 

This post delves into Arkansas tiny home rules and regulations, exploring their legality, building code compliance, permitted locations, minimum size requirements, and more.

Let’s get started! 

Are tiny houses legal in Arkansas?

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. The regulations surrounding tiny houses vary significantly between cities and counties in the state. 

While some areas embrace the small house movement and create opportunities for tiny homeowners, others have more restrictive rules that make living in a tiny home full-time challenging.

What kind of tiny houses are permitted in Arkansas?

The regulations vary depending on the location and zoning requirements. However, finding both tiny houses on foundation and wheels is common.

Are tiny houses on foundations permitted in Arkansas?

Tiny houses on foundations can be allowed. However, it varies by county and city. Some areas of the state are welcoming, while others have restrictions that make living in a tiny home full-time difficult.

Are Tiny Houses on Wheels permitted in Arkansas?

Living full-time in a tiny house on wheels in Arkansas can be more challenging due to the state’s classification of mobile homes, including tiny houses on wheels, as recreational vehicles (RVs). 

As a result, tiny houses on wheels are typically subject to the regulations and restrictions applied to RVs in Arkansas.

Recreational vehicles in Arkansas, such as travel trailers, motor homes, and camping trailers, are often limited to RV or mobile home parks and can only be used as temporary dwellings. 

This means that living permanently in a tiny house on wheels outside designated parks may not be permitted under current regulations.

However, efforts are underway in some cities to recognize tiny houses on wheels as RVs, potentially leading to more legal freedom and accommodation for tiny homeowners. 

Tiny Houses on Wheels
View Kubrick, a minimalist tiny home.

What does a tiny house need to be up to Arkansas building codes?

Building a tiny house in Arkansas requires adherence to the state’s building codes and regulations. However, it’s important to note that the specific requirements vary depending on whether the tiny house is a permanent or temporary dwelling.

Rules for permanent structures

For a tiny house to comply with Arkansas building codes as a permanent structure, it must meet the standards set forth by the International Residential Code (IRC) adopted by the specific jurisdiction. 

These codes include size and square footage, accessibility, structural integrity, fire safety, electrical wiring, plumbing, and energy efficiency. 

It’s essential to consult the state’s building codes or hire a licensed architect or builder experienced in tiny house construction in your location of choice to help ensure compliance with these codes.

Rules for temporary tiny houses

Temporary tiny houses, such as those on wheels, may fall under different regulations in Arkansas. These structures are often classified as RVs or mobile homes. 

Compliance with RV or mobile home standards, including size limitations, electrical systems, roadworthiness, and safety which must meet the American National Safety Institute, is typically required. 

Additionally, depending on local ordinances, you may need to obtain permits for parking or residing in your temporary tiny house.

Also, since they are classified as recreational vehicles, using them as permanent residents is prohibited in Arkansas.

Rules for transitional structures

Transitional structures refer to tiny houses that are in the process of being relocated or awaiting permanent placement. These structures may be on wheels or have temporary foundations. 

They are subject to local zoning rules and regulations. Check with the jurisdiction where you plan to set up your transitional home to determine the requirements and restrictions for such dwellings.

What Arkansas counties allow tiny houses? 

tiny home with a stylish interior
View The Brooks, a stunning and spacious tiny home with a stylish interior

The permissibility of living in a tiny house in Arkansas varies depending on the county and its specific regulations. 

While some counties have embraced the tiny house movement and created favorable conditions for tiny house living, others have more restrictive rules. 

Here are a few Arkansas counties that have shown more openness to tiny house living:

Faulkner County

Faulkner County does not impose minimum size requirements for houses, providing more freedom for tiny house enthusiasts who may feel constrained by laws in other Arkansas counties.

However, independent cities, subdivisions, and neighborhoods have the authority to create regulations not governed by the county. 

Before you set up your tiny home in Faulkner County, check with the local municipalities.

Washington County

In Washington County, tiny homes are allowed. However, it must be at least 120 square feet in and near Fayetteville.

They also cannot be on wheels. Tiny houses must meet specific design standards and have pitched roofs in order to be approved as independent dwellings.

Lawrence County

Tiny homes are allowed in Lawrence County. However, the city of Walnut Ridge specifically is not as welcoming to the idea as some other Arkansas counties. 

It voted on an amendment that limits houses to a minimum of 600 square feet. 

Because most tiny homes are around 400 square feet, this can be limiting for Lawrence County tiny house enthusiasts.

Can you permanently live in a tiny house in Arkansas? 

eco-friendly tiny home from Vessel Houses
View V7P, a fabulous and eco-friendly tiny home from Vessel Houses

It is possible to live in a tiny house in Arkansas permanently. However, as mentioned earlier, compliance with building codes and zoning regulations is crucial. 

Some counties consider tiny houses as permanent dwellings, while others may classify them as temporary or transitional structures.

If yours is classified as a temporary tiny house, permanent residence is prohibited.

How tiny can a house be in Arkansas?

The size of a tiny house can range from 100 square feet to 700 square feet, which is on the large side. Because Arkansas uses multiple IRC codes to decipher buildings, your home’s size is determined by where you live.

Read also: Tiny Home Living Made Easy: How Self Storage Can Maximize Your Space and Simplify Your Life.

Where can I build a tiny house in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, the permissibility of building a tiny house can be influenced by zoning designations, building codes, and land use restrictions.

Here are a few Arkansas cities with some flex on tiny house living:

Bentonville, Arkansas

Bentonville is becoming more tiny house friendly. The city has rezoned specific areas, such as near Bella Vista Lake Park, to allow for the development of tiny houses. 

The R-MH zone is currently the only zone that permits the purchase of manufactured homes from elsewhere and their placement on the property. This area is located off Forest Hills Boulevard on Robin Road.

However, ensure you consult with local authorities before starting any construction.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs has amended its building code to permit both tiny houses on foundations and wheels. However, a particular use permit is typically required for these structures.

Note that regulations can change over time. Hence, always verify the current rules and guidelines with local authorities before making any decisions.

Rogers, Arkansas

Rogers, Arkansas, is relatively tiny house-friendly. In contrast to many other cities, Rogers allows small homes in residential areas if they are built from the ground up on the property and have a foundation.

These homes, however, must be built on the property and not moved there as a pre-built, prefabricated model, as many tiny homes are.

Rogers currently forbids rezoning land for mobile homes, which include tiny houses on wheels that are manufactured and then moved onto land rather than being built on site.

You may also like: Tiny House Living for Retirees: Downsizing for Financial Freedom.

Do I have to pay property taxes for my tiny house?

As a property owner in Arkansas, you are generally required to pay property taxes, regardless of the size or type of your dwelling. 

Property taxes are assessed based on the property’s value and contribute to funding local government services and infrastructure.

Where can I park a tiny house on wheels in Arkansas?

If you have a tiny house on wheels in Arkansas, finding a suitable place to park or place your tiny home can be a crucial consideration.

Here are a few options to explore:

  • RV Parks and Campgrounds
  • Mobile Home Parks
  • Tiny House Communities

Can I build and put a tiny house in my backyard in Arkansas?

tiny house in my backyard in Arkansas
View the E7P, built with convenience in mind.

Building and putting a tiny house in your backyard in Arkansas is possible. However, it’s important to note that many cities, subdivisions, and neighborhoods may have their covenants and restrictions, so it’s crucial to check if any specific regulations apply to your property.

There are two types of tiny houses: those on a foundation and those on wheels. Tiny houses on a permanent slab are considered habitable structures and can be approved by the neighborhood association, making them legal. 

On the other hand, tiny houses on wheels are classified as RVs and can be lived in but must be placed in an area zoned for that purpose, such as a mobile home park.

How much does it cost to build a Tiny House in Arkansas?

The cost of building a tiny house in Arkansas can vary depending on factors such as size, design, materials, and labor costs. 

On average, constructing a small house can range from $20,000 to $100,000 or more. 

Creating a budget and consulting with builders, architects, or tiny house experts is advisable to obtain accurate cost estimates for your specific project.

Read also: How to Choose the Right Materials for Your Tiny House Construction.

Are there tiny home communities in Arkansas?

Monocle with a unique design and well-laid-out floor plan
View the Monocle with a unique design and well-laid-out floor plan

There are tiny home communities in Arkansas where like-minded individuals can come together to live a simpler, minimalist lifestyle.

These communities allow tiny home enthusiasts with similar values and goals to connect with each other.

You can find the following tiny home communities in Arkansas:

Eagle Homes (Rogers, Arkansas)

Eagle Homes on Monte Ne is a community that promotes tiny house living in a supportive environment. It consists of 50 tiny detached homes. 

Each home is approximately 400 square feet with one bedroom and bathroom and a space to park one car.

The community offers customizable homes for purchase, and residents can personalize their living spaces. 

Contact creators Dave and Chris Gallo if you want to join their tiny community.

Sanctuary Escala (Pine Bluff, Arkansas)

Sanctuary Escala is an intentional living community that embraces various alternative housing styles. 

The community features tiny houses, yurts, teepees, geo-dome homes, treehouses, tents, cargo trailers, RVs, converted buses, and naturally built structures. 

They practice sustainable living with off-grid systems and communal spaces for shared activities.

To join this community, email to inquire about renting or owning a space on the property.

Tiny house community of Northwest Arkansas (online community)

The Tiny House Community of Northwest Arkansas is a Facebook group that serves as a platform for tiny house enthusiasts in Arkansas. 

It provides:

  • A space for sharing ideas.
  • Posting tiny houses for sale.
  • Offering design and building tips.
  • Organizing group events or fundraisers. 

The group primarily focuses on connecting individuals in cities like Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale, and Rogers interested in the tiny house lifestyle.

Takeaway: Learn the key tiny house rules in Arkansas before moving into one

Arkansas offers opportunities for individuals interested in tiny house living to be part of supportive communities. 

However, understanding the state’s rules and regulations regarding tiny houses is vital for a smooth transition into tiny house living.

Remember that every community in this state has its own set of rules. While some counties are stricter, others are more lenient when placing your home. 

Hence, it is vital to familiarize yourself with Arkansas tiny home regulations to make informed decisions and ensure compliance with the law. 

If you are looking to start a tiny house living lifestyle but worry if it is possible with kids, in that case, you should read our article: Tiny House Living with Kids: Challenges and Rewards.

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