The Tiny house Blog

Vermont's Tiny Home Rules and Regulations

Updated on:
June 9, 2023
Vermont tiny home rules

Vermont is a beautiful state known for its lush green mountains, rural countryside, and lake-filled valleys. The state has recently become a popular destination for tiny house living.

Due to the growing popularity of tiny homes, Vermont has developed building codes and regulations surrounding their construction and residency. Tiny homes in Vermont's major cities face strict zoning and building codes. 

This means tiny homes must meet certain requirements to be allowed in the city limits.

However, Vermont has some of the country's most relaxed tiny house rules and regulations. In rural areas, tiny homes may be exempt from certain building codes. 

In this article, we'll discuss the building codes and regulations related to tiny homes in Vermont.

Vermont's tiny home rules and regulations

Living in a tiny home in Vermont has become an attractive option for many people. But before building or purchasing one, you need to understand the rules and regulations that apply.

In legal terms, a tiny home may be classified as an RV or a mobile home. This simplifies the building process and makes tiny house living much more accessible in Vermont.

When building or purchasing a tiny house in Vermont, you must follow local building codes and regulations. These codes cover everything from the size of the house to the materials used in construction.

The rules differ for permanent structures, tiny temporary houses, and transitional structures.

Rules for permanent structures

Permanent structures are defined as tiny homes that are intended to serve as full-time residences. They sit on foundations and are subject to local building codes and zoning restrictions.

When constructing a tiny home intended as a permanent residence, you must adhere to the Vermont Building Code (VBC). This includes:

  • Some cities permit tiny homes as ADUs (accessory dwelling units). Burlington permits tiny houses with no minimum square footage requirement.
  • The tiny home must also be properly anchored to the ground and have a durable roof.

Rules for temporary tiny homes

temporary tiny home
Jamaica Cottage Shop

A temporary tiny home is a tiny house that is not intended for permanent residency. 

Temporary tiny houses will usually sit on a trailer and be used for recreational purposes such as camping or travel. They are subject to the Vermont Motor Vehicle Administration (VMA) regulations and the VBC. 

The VMA has specific regulations for tiny homes on wheels, including:

  • Tiny mobile homes must have VINs (Vehicle Identification Numbers).
  • The tiny home must meet the trailer towing weight requirements.
  • The Brattleboro Land Use Regulations offer tiny mobile homes equal treatment as residential subdivisions and developments.
  • Size varies by city, county, and town. For example, Williston only allows tiny homes a maximum of 1,500 square feet.

Rules for transitional tiny homes

Transitional tiny homes are tiny houses used as temporary residences until a permanent residence is obtained. They are subject to the same regulations as permanent tiny homes.

In addition, tiny homes intended for transitional use must meet additional requirements such as:

  • The tiny home must be properly anchored to the ground if intended to remain in one place.
  • It must be connected to a sewer system or have an approved septic system.
  • The tiny home must also be properly insulated and have a durable roof.

What Vermont counties allow tiny houses?

Most Vermont counties allow tiny houses. However, tiny homes must meet local zoning regulations and building codes before they are allowed. 

Some counties also restrict the size of tiny homes that you can build. Generally, a tiny home should be no more than 1,000 square feet and properly anchored to the ground. 

However, some counties have different rules, so check with your local government before constructing a tiny home. The best counties in Vermont to build tiny homes are:

  • Windsor
  • Rutland
  • Windham
  • Burlington
  • Chittenden
  • Brattleboro

These counties have some of the most lenient regulations regarding tiny homes and often allow tiny homes to be built without going through the normal building process.

Can you permanently live in a tiny house in Vermont?

Yes, you can use tiny homes as full-time residences in Vermont. The rules and regulations are not as burdensome as some other states, but tiny homes must still meet certain requirements.

The requirements may change by city, county, and town, so it's best to check with your local government before building. You also need to keep up with current tiny house regulations as they may change.

Rural areas are usually the best places to build tiny homes in Vermont, as they tend to have fewer restrictions and more lenient regulations. 

Tiny homeowners are choosing to live off-grid rather than in traditional homes, allowing them to experience the beauty of Vermont without sacrificing modern conveniences.

Living off-grid is a great way to experience tiny living without worrying about regulations and restrictions. It is also an amazing way to get in touch with nature and explore unknown grounds.

As long as tiny homes meet the regulations, they can be a great way to enjoy all Vermont offers.  These small dwellings are creating a new wave of tiny living, and Vermont is leading the way.

The high cost of living in the state has encouraged individuals to look for alternative ways of living.

How tiny can a house be in Vermont?

The size of tiny homes varies from city to city, county to county, and town to town in Vermont. Generally, tiny homes should be at least 100 square feet but no more than 1,000 square feet.

However, some cities and towns may have different limits, so it is important to check with your local government before building.

In addition, tiny homes must be properly anchored to the ground and have a durable roof. They must also comply with the Vermont Building Code and local zoning regulations.

The size of your tiny house may also depend on where you plan to place it. If you are building in a rural area, tiny homes can usually be smaller than those in a residential area.

Tiny houses must also be equipped with a septic system if they are to be inhabited full-time. This may require additional permits and inspections from your local government before you can inhabit tiny homes.

Where can I park a tiny home in Vermont?

Despite the strict regulations and building codes in urban and residential areas, tiny homeowners can still find areas to park their tiny homes. For example, in their backyards.

However, the tiny home has to be inhabitable and meet all the necessary regulations.

In rural areas, tiny homeowners may be able to forgo the normal building process and instead choose to live off-grid. This is a great way to experience tiny house living without as many restrictions.

If you don't have permanent land to build on, the best option is a tiny house village or community. You can get your own tiny house and park it in a tiny home community with other tiny homeowners.

These communities provide a safe and secure place to park tiny homes. They are usually located in rural areas, away from residential neighborhoods.

This convenience allows tiny house owners to build relationships with other tiny homeowners. 

It also enables them to experience tiny living without worrying about permits, inspections, and zoning regulations.

Most tiny house villages also provide tiny homeowners with access to utilities, such as electricity and water. 

Getting utilities in tiny houses can be complicated, as some rural areas may not have the infrastructure to support this kind of residence. 

In addition, tiny house villages provide tiny homeowners with a sense of community, which can be invaluable in Vermont.

Are there tiny home communities in Vermont?

Yes, there are several tiny home communities in Vermont. These communities allow tiny enthusiasts to connect with other tiny homeowners and enjoy the benefits of living in a tiny home.

Some of the most popular tiny house communities in Vermont are:

Headwaters Garden and Learning Center

Located at 40 Garden Way, Headwaters Tiny Home Community is ethic-modeled on the ideals of living sustainably while caring for the earth. 

This tiny home community aims to promote a sense of community and connectedness. The house types and sizes vary, including tiny houses on a trailer, foundations, container homes, and others. 

The community provides resources and amenities, such as composting toilets, solar panels, and rain catchment systems. It has a shared garden space and a communal kitchen for members to use. 

There are also various workshops, classes, and events to promote the tiny home lifestyle. Headwaters educates people on sustainability and promotes a sense of community amongst its members. 

The members offer arts, wellness, and lifestyle courses for people to learn about living sustainably. Joining the Headwaters Tiny Home Community is a process requiring a few steps. 

After attending their events in the community for some time, you can submit an application to join their community.

The group considers your application and decides if you are a good fit for the community. Once approved, members have to pay a membership fee and abide by the group’s guidelines.

The Headwaters Garden and Learning Center consists of eight dwellings, including tiny homes, a barn, a treehouse, and a garden area. 

The community is involved in many initiatives, such as growing food for their families and participating in local green initiatives.

The community also offers tiny home workshops to the public, focusing on sustainable materials and green building techniques for their homes.

Ten Stones Community

Another popular tiny home community in Charlotte, Vermont, is the Ten Stones Community. This community was founded by 17 families with humble backgrounds. 

They wanted to create an intentional living experience in a peaceful and sustainable environment.

Ten Stones is an 87.4-acre woodland meadow and wildlife habitat with agricultural land and half-acre home sites.

The community offers many amenities, such as a shared garden and orchard, an art gallery, and a swimming hole. The members share resources and support one another in their living experience. 

The community also offers workshops and classes focusing on sustainable living practices, such as permaculture and the principles of sustainable farming.

The Ten Stones Community also provides resources to help members build their tiny homes, such as access to eco-friendly materials and green building techniques. 

Aside from the tiny homes, the community also offers shared yurts and cabins for extended stays.

Vermont is also home to tiny living social groups such as Tiny House Fest Vermont and Vermont Tiny Houses. These groups allow members to connect, share stories and resources, and find support.

The tiny house movement is growing in Vermont, offering many options for tiny home enthusiasts to find the perfect community.

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

Vermont is a great place for tiny house enthusiasts to find the perfect community and live their dream of living sustainably. Before moving into a tiny home, it is important to be aware of the rules and regulations that apply.

Knowing how tiny houses fit into the local and state regulations is essential to ensure a successful transition. Researching tiny home communities in Vermont can help you find the right fit.

Affordable, sustainable, and eco-friendly living is possible in Vermont. If you are interested in the tiny house life, visit our website to learn more about how tiny house living can benefit your life.

With the right resources and support, you can make the transition to tiny living in Vermont easy and successful.

Did you enjoy this post and find value in it? Share it with your friends with the links below!

Need more info? Get

By submitting your email, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms

Subscribe to get the latest news

This is a new way to communicate faster than any communication platforms

Thank you!
Your submission has been received! Check your inbox for an email from with more info!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again or email us at Thanks!
Want all the latest tiny house inspo and news?

Get free resources, updates, tips & tricks, and special offers by joining the Tiny House Plan Newsletter.

No items found.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers — straight from the author — for the most common questions about this article.

Don't see your question here? Contact us!
No items found.

Join The Tiny House Community

Occasionally: Community Events, DIY Tips and Tricks, Tiny House Guides
Never: Junk or Spam and we don't sell or misuse your email.
Welcome to the fam! We're excited to have you join the community.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again or use the form below.