Thursday, November 30, 2017

Oregon About to Throw Tiny Houses Under the Bus

Modcoach learned about a significant change in the language for 2737, which is Oregon's interpretation of Appendix Q: Tiny Houses, from the 2018 IRC.

Oregon, once the bastion for tiny houses in the US is considering significantly changing their building code to exclude the very houses that brought on the tiny house appendix to the 2018 IRC Code in the first place.

The mandate from Oregon's HB 2737 was to create building code for houses "600 sf or less." That is not what BCD is proposing. BCD is now proposing the code language for "houses no less than 400 square feet and up to 1500 square feet".

If this code change goes through as written by BCD, it will make tiny houses impossible to build in the state of Oregon with code compliance under the IRC's tiny house appendix or the so-called state appendix for Small Houses, now entitled Workforce Housing. This means that all of the relief from standards that exist in IRC Appendix Q (ceiling heights, stairways, loft usage, egress, etc., would be available if your house is BIGGER than 400sf, but not available for anything LESS THAN 400sf (including lofts). This defeats the entire purpose of HB 2737.

To say that the tiny house people feel betrayed by the lawmakers in Oregon is an understatement.


William aka "Little Bill" said...

Thank you Oregon.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for their upcoming defeat, however in reality, what did they really think was going to happen?

Tom Hardiman said...

Hmm, I don't know that I agree with your assessment of this situation. Looks like they are ALSO amending Appendix Q Workforce Housing to allow for some similar exceptions that the tiny home guys want. But I don't read that as a replacement effort or a change away from the law requiring them to address homes under 600 sf. I see that as as a separate but related issue. I don't see where they have abandoned their effort to write codes for homes under 600 sf. Maybe I'm missing something?

THOW said...

Tom Hardiman, Oregon is definitely throwing us under the bus and we are fighting mad about it.
If the BCD is successful in limiting size you will see illegal tiny house encampments popping up all over the state similar to what the Hippies of the 1960's and European gypsy camps in the early to mid 1900's did.
Most of us simply can't afford even a starter home here any more. This was going to be our year to take tiny house living mainstream.
Now that appears to be in doubt.

Tom Hardiman said...

@ THOW, I'm guessing Oregon is like many other states in that the webpages are not exactly current with the conversations you are hearing? Is the BCD simply ignoring the legislation (which seemed pretty specific and clear).