Practical Considerations for Tiny Houses
Disclaimer: while Western Camera Buildings strives to provide accurate information, Western Camera Buildings makes no warranty, expressed or implied, and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any information contained herein.
Purchasers are urged to contact their local authorities regarding applicable laws and regulations.
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Legal status: where can I put my tiny house or filter studio?
Used as an accessory building, Filter Studio can be located wherever accessory buildings are allowed by local zoning rules, typically set back from property lines and a main building by minimum distances specified by the municipality. Filter Studio can also be built mobile, integrated onto a trailer.
All Camera buildings tiny houses can be certified as park model trailers either in the United States or Canada. This classification gives you the assurance that your building is constructed to accepted construction standards as well as facilitating insurance and financing (more under 'insurance and financing'). There may be additional lead time associated with certification.
As such, our tiny houses can be located wherever park model trailers are allowed. Since local zoning regulations and bylaws vary, consult the local authorities where you would like to site your building.
Insurance and financing for tiny houses
Certification under park model regulations facilitates insurance and financing for all of our buildings: consult your insurance broker regarding insurance, and while Western Camera Buildings does not provide financing at this time, many lenders are willing to finance park models.
Connecting a tiny home to utilities
With either 15A or 30A service, each tiny house is wired and ready to be plugged in via an exterior connection. As an accessory building, filter studio can be connected to electrical service by a certified electrician.
Tiny houses that include kitchens, bathrooms or both are designed to be connected to a municipal water supply using a potable water RV hose while sewage flows out using an RV sewer connection. Rainwater collection is possible, facilitated by metal roofing. Composting toilets are also available - let us know if you're interested in this option!
Towing and moving
Camera buildings are designed to maximize flexibility. Designed within a width of 8'-6" (2.59m) and height of 13'-6" (4.11m), oversize permits are often not required. Moreover, by keeping the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of our buildings beneath 10,000lbs many jurisdictions do not require a special driver's license to tow them.
State and Province transport regulations vary, and it is important to check the requirements of each jurisdiction along your route in addition to inquiring about the existence of any exceptional local restrictions.
Check with the dealer or manufacturer that the towing capacity of the towing vehicle is sufficient and whether any additional towing equipment, such as a transmission cooler, is required.
A qualified hitch installer should recommend and install the appropriate hitch depending on your vehicle and the GVWR of your building. The hitch should be fastened to the frame of the vehicle, not the bumper, and should be a load-equalizing hitch.
We can help you arrange delivery with a third-party transporter. Contact us and we will help you obtain a free quote. You are also welcome to pick up your building from us and tow it home. Delivery of a tiny house or filter studio is free within lower mainland British Columbia.
Heating and cooling
Camera buildings are well insulated and have a high degree of airtightness. Combined with their compact size, this makes them very easy to heat and cool.
Small spaces are easy to heat and cool thanks to the increased significance of incidental heat given off by lights, appliances, pets, and people, and our tiny houses can be well heated by a variety of heat sources.
When natural cross and stack ventilation aren't enough, a compact air conditioner can be installed for hot climates. We are also investigating the possibility of compact evaporative coolers. Let us know if this option interests you!
Ventilation and indoor air quality
Camera buildings incorporate ample natural ventilation, taking advantage of both cross and stack ventilation. Simultaneously, a carefully installed air barrier prevents draughts and unwanted air leakage. Indoor air quality is very important in small spaces. This is especially true in buildings built with a high degree of airtightness which, although very important to energy efficiency, prevents draughts from diluting interior pollutants. Camera Buildings use low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) interior finishes, materials, and adhesives to ensure the health of your interior environment. Rigid insulation and a wall assembly that is able to dry quickly are also used to prevent mold that might otherwise result from high moisture levels that can accumulate in small spaces from normal activities such as cooking, bathing, and respiration.
You can read more about indoor air quality (IAQ) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) here:
Concerned about headroom? Camera Buildings are designed such that the minimum ceiling height on the main level is approximately 6'-8". Since our buildings are built to order, however, let us know if height is a concern for you and we'll tailor your building to you.
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