How Do You Build Tiny Houses in California?

In order to build tiny houses in California, make certain of the regulations, codes and land or communities available that allow tiny houses, decide upon a design and obtain permits, materials and building plan before proceeding with the build. There are many online resources for both considerations of building a tiny house, from addressing building basics, HVAC and electrical systems to actual building ideas, building kits and blueprints.

Follow these steps in order to build a tiny house in California:

  1. Obtain the state's required building permits and understand California's rules, codes and zoning
  2. The myth that houses under a certain amount of square feet are not subject to needing a permit is truly a myth. For any structure with personal property that functions or is being built as a dwelling, a building permit is required regardless of size, according to With that said, there are various loopholes and variables for each state. A resource for building codes for every US state is the eBook "No Building Codes," by Terry Herb.

  3. Address the building and parking site
  4. There are currently three tiny house communities in California as of 2015 reports Before building a tiny house in California, addressing issues such as where to build, what available communities exist and what options are available for electrical, gas and water systems is imperative. "Tiny House Parking: How to Find Safe, Practical and Affordable Land for Your Tiny House" is an eBook available for free on and can be a valuable resource to explore land issues.

  5. Decide upon the design, budget, materials and blueprints
  6. Blueprints and ideas exist for every budget, from under $10,000 to over $25,000. Blueprints and floorplans are available online from sites such as or building kits are available at