Welcome to the world of tiny homes in the vibrant state of Louisiana!
If you’ve been dreaming of downsizing and embracing a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle, understanding the rules and regulations for tiny houses in this state is crucial.
The State of Louisiana allows tiny houses; however, regulations differ across cities and counties.
Whether you’re a prospective tiny house builder, an enthusiast seeking to join a tiny house community, or a homeowner looking to explore alternative living options, knowing the ins and outs of Louisiana’s tiny house regulations can make all the difference.
This post delves into the fascinating world of Louisiana’s tiny home rules and regulations.
We will discuss the legal structure of owning tiny houses in Louisiana, the types of tiny houses permitted in the state, the tiny house-friendly locations, and how much you should expect to spend if you want to invest in your dream tiny house.
Let’s get started!
The burning question on the minds of tiny house enthusiasts in Louisiana is whether these cozy abodes are legally allowed in the state.
Here is what you need to know:
These guidelines cover aspects like ceiling heights, loft requirements, and emergency escape and rescue openings.
You will typically find three main types of tiny houses described below in Louisiana:
These are immovable homes built on a foundation. Hence they are designed to live in one spot and last as long as any other house is expected to.
These are tiny houses constructed on a frame with wheels and intended as permanent dwellings on a set property. They are generally classified as manufactured homes.
This type of tiny house undergoes permitting and inspection through the State Fire Marshal’s office. Compliance with the HUD code or 2021 IRC guidelines of Appendix AQ might be required, depending on the specific design and construction.
Tiny Houses on Wheels (THOWs), often called recreational vehicles (RVs), are portable and travel-friendly homes. They are a perfect solution for those seeking a temporary dwelling.
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The tiny house building code for Louisiana is very stringent. Hence, tiny housebuilders must carefully navigate the state’s building codes which can vary based on their house classification and intended use to ensure compliance with regulations.
Let’s explore the rules for different types of tiny houses under Louisiana building codes:
Louisiana follows the 2021 International Residential Code (IRC) for tiny houses built on permanent foundations. To meet the building codes, a small house must adhere to the following guidelines:
Tiny house builders must ensure that their tiny house layout meets these specifications to comply with Louisiana’s building codes for permanent structures.
Tiny houses built on wheels are considered recreational vehicles (RVs) in Louisiana. As such, they must comply with the standards set by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Additionally, inspections by the Louisiana State Troopers are necessary to ensure compliance with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations.
In Louisiana, there are many transitional structures for people who don’t have a permanent home. However, the law is not clear regarding transitional structures.
The specific regulations depend on their classification and intended use.
If you want to build a transitional home, consult the closest municipal official close to you to ensure you meet the necessary standards for safety and compliance during the transitional phase.
Tiny house enthusiasts in Louisiana may wonder which counties permit the construction and placement of tiny houses in the state. YOu should also be aware that in Louisiana, counties are called Parish.
That said, we have mentioned that tiny houses’ regulations and zoning requirements can vary significantly from one county to another. As a result, there is no blanket answer to this question.
To determine which counties allow tiny houses, it’s essential to research and consult with local authorities in the specific county you are interested in.
Some counties may have more lenient zoning regulations that permit tiny houses on specific properties.
In contrast, others may have stricter restrictions that make building or living in a small house challenging.
Before embarking on a tiny house project in Louisiana, it’s vital to thoroughly investigate the regulations, building codes, and zoning requirements and get a building permit in the county where you plan to build or park your tiny home.
Living permanently in a tiny house in Louisiana is possible, but you must consider some factors, including its classification and compliance with building codes and regulations.
If your tiny house is one that is set on a permanent foundation, it is subject to the 2021 International Residential Code (IRC).
Hence, to be considered a permanent dwelling, it must meet specific criteria, as mentioned in the rules for permanent structures.
In contrast, living permanently in a tiny house on wheels is not allowed in Louisiana. Living in it is generally limited to one year.
Still, certain municipalities may have exceptions if an undue hardship is demonstrated.
Before living in it, register it with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles as an RV or trailer coach. The registration fee is $21 yearly and is valid for 5 years. Note that the registration process will include a background check for the homeowner.
That said, we advise that you consult with local authorities and zoning offices to understand the specific rules and requirements for living in a tiny house in the particular area you wish to reside.
In Louisiana, no specific statewide laws or regulations dictate the minimum size of a house.
However, specific building codes and zoning requirements may indirectly impact the minimum size of a tiny house.
Here are some requirements that guide tiny house size in the state:
Determining where to build a tiny house in Louisiana depends on several factors, including the type of tiny house, local building codes, and zoning regulations in specific areas.
With that in mind, here are some tiny houses friendly locations in Louisiana:
Houma is one of the ideal cities to build a tiny house in the state. It's about 55 miles from New Orleans and boasts of excellent Bayou culture.
There are various Rivers, swamps, and major attractions in this place. Houma has a vast land where you can park your RVs.
The state has a conservative area, and it’s a great choice for those who want to stay close to nature in the THOW.
You could also build your tiny house in the city of New Orleans. Land cost is low, and the cost of living is low.
Moss Bluff, located in Calcasieu Parish, is one of the nicest locations to live in Louisiana. And it is also tiny house friendly. The Residents in Moss Bluff enjoy a suburban and rural mix, and the majority own their homes.
Moss Bluff has a large population of families and young professionals, and its citizens lean conservative. It would be best to consider this area of Louisiana for your tiny home dreams.
The property tax implications for a tiny house in Louisiana depend on various factors, including its classification, whether it is on a foundation or wheels, and how it is used.
If your tiny house is built on a permanent foundation and considered a permanent dwelling, it will typically be subject to property taxes like other residential properties.
The property tax assessment will depend on the value and size of the tiny house and the property it sits on.
If your tiny house is classified as an RV and considered movable, it may not be subject to property taxes like a traditional home.
However, other fees or taxes may be associated with owning an RV, such as registration fees or RV park fees if you choose to park it in an RV park.
It’s crucial to consult with local tax authorities and assessors to understand your tiny house’s specific property tax requirements based on its classification and use.
Building and placing a tiny house in your backyard in Louisiana is possible. However, you must consider several factors, including local building codes, zoning regulations, and the classification of your tiny house.
For instance, some areas may permit accessory dwelling units (ADUs), which could include tiny houses in backyards. But, understand that such small houses must not exceed 25% of the size of the main house on the property.
To stay compliant, let your plan for a backyard tiny house begin with researching and consulting with your local city or parish zoning office before you begin your tiny house project.
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Parking a tiny house on wheels (THOW) in Louisiana can be a bit challenging due to varying city limits and zoning laws that can affect your options. However, here are some places you can park your tiny house on wheels in Louisiana :
Many RV parks and campgrounds in Louisiana offer spaces for short-term or long-term parking of RVs, which may include tiny houses on wheels.
Check with individual RV parks to see if they have any specific restrictions or requirements for THOWs.
You could also park your mobile homes in specific communities meant for those purposes.
These places allow people to park their RVs for as little as a week and years.
They offer shared amenities and resources, making it a great location to connect with other Tiny Houses on Wheels owners.
When considering where to put your THOW in the state, your first option is to ask people close to you.
Make inquiries if there is free land space from your friends. Paying for a mobile home space to people you know is safer and more secure.
If they have limited land space, ask if they know people who have. The probability of finding where to park your tiny houses is high with close friends and family.
If your friends and families can’t help you, seek landowners who are ready to lease or sell their lands.
Not all landlords understand tiny houses, so be prepared for some explanation.
After finding a private property to park your small home, note that you still need to obtain permission and ensure compliance with any local regulations or zoning restrictions.
In certain areas with lenient zoning regulations, you can park your THOW in the backyard of your property, but this is limited to a maximum of 180 days a year.
The cost of building a tiny house in Louisiana can vary widely depending on various factors such as size, design, materials used, labor costs, and location.
Generally, building a tiny house in Louisiana can range from $40,000 to $110,000 or more.
Read more: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Tiny Home?
In Louisiana, tiny home communities offer services to people who want to live in tiny houses.
These purpose-built neighborhoods provide shared resources, services, and a nurturing environment for tiny house owners.
Let's take a quick look at some of these communities:
Karen McCoy founded the Burleigh Plantation tiny home neighborhood, which is situated in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.
In addition to 11 tiny homes, this hamlet of tiny homes is located on 4 acres of land.
It was created on the idea of coexisting and not going through life alone to foster a sense of community among its members.
Santosha Village is a sustainable farming community, RV park, and integrated campground for those looking for financial freedom and an alternative way of life, with designs ready to be finalized in 2025.
The neighborhood aims to offer a vastly different response to the housing crisis. The community consists of RVs, tiny houses, and yurts, providing a supportive environment for its residents.
In addition to the above communities, there are online communities that tiny home enthusiasts can join to connect and share ideas, experiences, and resources related to tiny living.
Two such communities include:
This group is dedicated to the Tiny House movement in Louisiana. Members can engage in discussions about simplifying their lives, finding community, and connecting with others who share an interest in tiny living.
If you're looking to connect with homesteaders and farmers in Louisiana, this group is a perfect fit.
Members primarily discuss raising chickens and livestock but also delve into topics like living off-grid in the bayou.
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Before embarking on your tiny house journey in Louisiana, it’s crucial to understand the fundamental tiny house laws that apply to small homes.
Zoning ordinances, tiny house building codes, and parking restrictions can vary by city, town, or county, making it essential to do your research.
Understanding these regulations is crucial before you make any decisions. Check with local authorities and seek proper permits to ensure compliance.
For more valuable insights on tiny house living, discover the 3 Rules for Rookie Tiny House Landlords to help you make an informed investment decision.
Find answers — straight from the author — for the most common questions about this article.