People across the country are ditching their possessions and joining the tiny home movement. Some of these individuals want to save money ordinarily spent on housing costs to divert into travel or other activities. Others simply desire to live what they feel is a more simple and stress-free lifestyle. Regardless of why you might be thinking about investing in a tiny home, you need to be prepared to make a series of decisions about its style and placement, beginning with the type of foundation you’ll need. Here’s a quick run down about foundations for tiny homes so you can start evaluating your needs and putting your plan together.
Types of Tiny Homes
There are three types of tiny homes to choose from. Local building codes and zoning regulations likely determine the minimum and maximum size for each of these structures, and will also outline construction specifications for each.
- Permanent structures are attached to a foundation, and as their name suggests, are not intended to be moved.
- Temporary structures are built on a chassis or frame, often with permanent wheels to prioritize mobility.
- Transitional structures are those constructed as a response to emergency situations or to provide shelters for unhoused people.
As an example, you can find Oregon’s tiny home regulations on the state’s website. County and city municipalities may also have regulations for their areas.
Foundations for Temporary Permanent Structures
While a temporary tiny home doesn’t need a foundation, it will still be critical to work with a professional excavation company to ensure the ground where it will sit is cleared, leveled, and compacted. An excavation crew like those at Excavation Oregon will ensure there is also proper drainage to prevent water from seeping into the home or causing other damage to its structure.
Foundations for Permanent Tiny Homes
Before building a foundation for a permanent structure, contact your local building department to identify local laws and regulations about the types of foundations allowed in your area. You will likely find many building codes related to the construction of the foundation and you may be required to obtain a permit before placing your home on it.
Concrete slab foundations. Concrete slabs are one of the most popular types of foundations selected for tiny homes. Concrete slabs are relatively inexpensive to construct, have a fast drying time, and protect the home from flooding. To build a concrete slab, an excavation crew will remove about twelve inches of soil from the ground, set framework and steel reinforcement bars, and fill the area with concrete. In colder climates, a concrete slab can be prone to cracking, so be sure to get assistance from a concrete expert.
Pier foundations. Pier foundations are considered “semi-permanent” because it is possible to detach the tiny home from the ground and move it. Homeowners choose pier foundations over leaving a home on a trailer because a pier foundation accommodates a wider home–usually up to about twelve feet. A pier foundation is similar to the footings used underneath a deck. A system of piers is set in a grid underneath where the home will sit. A framework connects the piers together at the top, and then the home connects to the framework.
If you’re researching foundations for tiny homes, start by talking with the experts at Excavation Oregon.
At Excavation Oregon, we’re experienced with the terrain throughout Southern Oregon and beyond. We can examine your property and guide you about what it will take to excavate the area for your construction project. We will also work with you and your contractor to create roads or driveways required for construction teams to access your property easily. Contact us today for a free estimate.