Tuesday, July 5, 2016

PA Storage Sheds Are Being Promoted as Modular Homes

It seems like only yesterday that the tiny house became popular. It didn't have to pass any building codes and the only thing that was inspected in most cases was the trailer it was mounted on. Some of them were built by people that could hold their own with craftsmen from days gone by. There are even a couple of 'tiny house' factories and even the RV industry is building them.

So far I have not heard of anyone being killed in a fire in one of them but all it will take is a couple deaths and the different state housing agencies will descend on them with codes and regulations that could drive this fledgling industry into the housing mainstream and increase its' cost several fold. But at least they would be inspected and presumably safer.

However, there is something on the market that really needs state housing code enforcement to be aware of and hopefully take action. A PA manufacturer is promoting its utility sheds as modular living spaces.

Waterloo Structures in Parkersburg, PA not only is telling people they can use their sheds for living space but promoting themselves on YouTube with a video where they clearly tell you that housing people in their sheds is OK.

What happened to building codes? Apparently there aren't any if you call your product a shed and add a kitchen and bath room like their video says.

Does anyone know if sheds are allowed to be living space without building and code inspections and without building permits?


Kent R. Pipes said...

In NJ all structures intended to be lived in must either be constructed in accord with the IBC or the HUD code. They must contain 150 SF of living space, have water, sewer, electric and heat of some approved type to keep the dwelling at 68 degrees on a 0 degree day. They must have complete kitchen and bath facilities as well.They must be inspected during construction and pass all the regular building code requirements as well as zoning requirements, unless approved by a zoning variance issued by the municipality. These 'sheds' would not be legal in NJ.

William aka "Little Bill" said...

I guess we need Mark and Milt from the PA state office to investigate these claims.