Cracking The Code: Tiny Houses And Building Codes

So many of you have heard about my ebook that I have been working on, I have been putting it together over the past few months and it is finally here!  You can check it out here

tiny house building codes

This guide is designed to help you navigate all the red tape when it comes to tiny housing. I have designed this manual to help you quickly familiarize yourself with some of the key bureaucratic road blocks, suggest possible pathways to building your home from the legal perspective, and several strategies to make it a success.  If you are hoping to build a tiny house, this is information that you will need.  For those who purchases this they will also get and additional 180 pages of reference materials and free updates on future versions!

This ebook came out of me trying to figure all this stuff out, after hours of working with local code enforcement, zoning, builders, trades people and tons of research we have this book.   This guide also helps you navigate getting all your utilities setup, which is more complex that many think.  The real strength of this is that I have actually been there and done this, so I grappled with the real world issues of tiny houses for you and shared them here to make living in a tiny house a success.

For anyone wanting to build and live in a tiny house, in the city or the country, this is a must read.

  Check it out here


  1. Hey Ryan – do you know if it is relevant information for Canada too?

    • I am not too familiar with Canada Regs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a good bit of overlap. I approach this from the perspective of the IBC.

    • Where in Canada are you Nicole?

  2. Is it geared toward a specific e-reader device?

    • It is in PDF format, so you should be able to read it on many devices and of course your computer.

  3. Is the information listed state by state, or by each general code? How do I discover the codes for specific states?

    • Because of the nature of codes they very county by county. There are 3,225 counties in the US so instead of cataloging each of their codes, which would be nearly impossible as they change often, I took a different approach.

      What I did was study a sample of the building code language to determine the most commonly used language and points to help readers understand the general concepts which they will most likely find in the verbiage of their own local code. They also learn the common terms so that they can discuss with inspectors.

      This is more useful to you anyway because it teaches the concepts and the purpose of the codes, not just the language which is an ever moving target.

  4. I ordered a copy yesterday but haven’t received the download link yet.

    • Hello Dan,

      Thanks for contacting me, I pulled up your order and for whatever reason it didn’t sent. I manually triggered a copy to be sent to your email address, I will also follow up via email. Thanks for your patience and please let me know if I can be of any further assistance. My email address is

      • Thanks for the speedy response (sorry for the slow reply). I got the link and I’m excited to see what you have to say. Building codes are one of my biggest concerns about starting this project. I work in the property tax software industry and hear stories from building and planning departments that make me nervous.

  5. You could post a sample page or the table of contents to give people an idea of what the book is like.

    • The book is roughly laid out like this, this doesn’t cover everything, but will give you a general idea of the topics covered:

      Purpose of the codes
      What is primary residence mean
      Habitable dwelling definitions
      Key requirements for heating, water, sewer, and electrical
      Working with Code Enforcement
      Risk Management for tiny houses
      Utility Connections
      180 pages of supplementary documents

  6. I live in Indiana and would love to hear from others interested in building a tiny home. you can reach me I plan on purchasing this book and have already purchased Jay Shafers book. I belong to several blogs and etc. I just haven’t found people here interested yet. I do have a RV country place to hook up for $100 a month if your interested in the rest of the information. Thanks Ryan for your book.

  7. Ryan, I am living in Ontario Canada and am trying to move me and my girlfriend into a tiny house. This being said, I have no idea what laws to look for and what i need to do to make it legal. I was planning on buying this book but will it help me since I am not in the United States. Is there any material you can direct me to which would help me more aswell?

  8. Is there any chance of a hard copy (paper copy)in the works? I am building a Reference library of related books that I can use in the future and am not very technical and don’t E read. Thank you for your time. =v=

  9. Hello,

    I am looking into developing a Tiny House community. Will this book help me understand how I can look for and create an RV park?

  10. Hello,

    does this book cover how to get the tiny house insured?

  11. Hello Ryan,
    will the book be completely useless to a European looking at a mobile, tiny house project within Europe?

  12. Greetings Dan:

    I thank you for your work in researching and publishing this ebook. However, have you updated it since momentum has been building over the years since then? Thanks.

  13. Lucinda do you have any updates with this I’m also curious

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