Appendix Q: 2018 Residential Code
First Printing August 2017
Provisions Contained In This Appendix Are Not Mandatory Unless Specifically Referenced In The Adopting Reference
It Is Up To Each Municipality And State To Adopt Appendix Q As A Model Code
This Page Will Be A Work In Progress As Municipalities And States Are Added
Tiny Homes On A Foundation: 400 Square Feet Or Less
Written By Janet Thome
Appendix Q-Adopted into the 2018 International Residential Code ( IRC ) building code to provide regulations and standards for tiny homes on a foundation that is 400 square feet or less.
The International Residential Code is a comprehensive, stand alone residential code that creates minimum regulations for one-and two family dwellings of three stories or less.
The IRC brings together all building, plumbing, mechanical, fuel, gas, energy and electrical for provisions for one-and two-family residences. Appendix Q was adopted to the IRC building code standards through the ICC Code Development Process.
Jurisdictions may use Appendix Q as a model code to adopt, reference or amend. Builders or even jurisdictions that have not adopted the 2018 IRC or the Appendix, can seek approval ”on a project basis through the alternative materials and designs provision” in the IRC.-David Eisenberg, co-author of The Strawbale House Book.
Adoptions of the IRC
The International Residential Code (IRC) is in use or adopted in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wisconsin is the only state not applicable to IRC building codes. In Alaska the IRC is not adopted statewide. The “Deferred Cities” can adopt additional codes and some jurisdictions adopt the IRC and the IECC.
As a model code, the IRC is intended to be adopted in accordance with the laws and procedures of a governmental jurisdiction. When adopting a model code like the IRC, some jurisdictions amend the code in the process to reflect local practices and laws.
Appendix Q is applicable to tiny homes used as single dwelling units. Tiny homes shall comply with this code unless otherwise stated.
ICC: ANSI Standard Developer
ICC, the International Code Council, an ANSI Standard Developer ( ASD) is a nonprofit organization that develops and publishes standards related to building safety and fire prevention. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States, ICC standards have been codified and enforced in all 50 American states, as well as in various foreign countries. With nearly 340 chapters worldwide, each with many members, ICC building safety standards are used everywhere.
Goal Of ICC
Utilize a process open to all parties with safeguards to avoid domination by proprietary interests. ICC Governmental Consensus Process achieves this with the final vote resting with those administering, formulating or enforcing regulations relating to public health, safety and welfare
The International Code Council develops construction and public safety codes through a governmental consensus process. This system of code development has provided the highest level of safety in the world for more than 90 years. The ICC governmental consensus process meets the principles defined by the National Standards Strategy of 2000, and the OMB Circular A-119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities (1998). It complies with Public Law 104-113 National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995. The following principles are adhered to in ICC’s governmental consensus process:
- Balance of Interest
- Due Process
- Appeals Process
The International Codes
- Are innovative and coordinated.
- Cannot be influenced by vested financial interests.
- Are efficient and effective.
- Are developed through the efforts of public safety officials.
- Are up to date and state of the art.
- Are updated every three years.
- Are economically viable and practical.
The Benefits of Participating in the Code Development Process
Imagine a world where you can shape the regulations that ensure the health, safety and welfare of the people who live in, work in and visit the community you serve.
Governmental Consensus Process
The governmental consensus process leaves the final determination of code provisions in the hands of public safety officials who, with no vested financial interest, can legitimately represent the public interest.
ICC Code Development Process
Code Addition Every Three Years
Upcoming Version: 2021 IRC Development
The International Residential Code provisions provide many benefits, among which is the model code development process that offers an international forum for residential construction professionals to discuss prescriptive code requirements. This forum provides an excellent arena to debate proposed revisions.
The International Residential Code has a Big Vision for Tiny Houses February 1st, 2018
Appendix Q Tiny House is the first set of building standards for dwellings ever incorporated into a model code. The story of how the appendix came to be is a great example of how the Code Council works together with stakeholders and industry professionals to develop model code standards for new and innovative technologies as they emerge.
At the hearing, however, one person had testified in “friendly opposition” to the proposal: Martin Hammer, an architect who had co-authored the IRC’s straw-bale construction appendix. Following the hearing, Hammer received a call from his friend Andrew Morrison of TinyHouseBuild.com, a builder and educator who had helped Hammer write the appendix. “Andrew asked if I thought we could submit a different proposal,” Hammer recalled.
Tiny-house advocates across the country reviewed the draft language and donated funds to pay for Hammer’s time as a consultant and to help Morrison and others travel to Kansas City to attend the public hearings. Morrison also received helpful feedback from the International Code Council, which he incorporated into the draft.
ICC Podcast: Episode Nine
List Of Municipality Or State That Has Adopted Appendix Q
Please due your own due diligence. If you see a state or county listed, check with your municipality to clarify that they have the same jurisdiction
Alaska: In Alaska the IRC is not adopted statewide. The “Deferred Cities” can adopt additional codes and some jurisdictions adopt the IRC and the IECC.
The IBC, IFC, IMC in Alaska are adopted by administrative rule making by the Alaska State Fire Marshal. The adopted code by state agencies are mandatory and fall under state inspection programs unless a local jurisdiction has been delegated by the code program as a “deferred jurisdiction.” When this occurs, the local jurisdiction administers and enforces their local program of the adopted state codes.
Juneau, Alaska has NOT adopted Appendix Q at this time, however, they are usually it as a Guide for residents to build tiny homes on a foundation. I spoke with a few officials and it will take years for any new code changes. August 1st, 2019.
Note: Arizona is one of the friendliest states in the country regarding tiny homes, including tiny homes on wheels. I will be including information for tiny homes on wheels and park models, even if Appendix Q has not been adopted as helpful information.
Sedona Spoke With Steve Mertes on July 29th, 2019 – Appended Q is in the works and will be adopted in the next few months- I will be following up with Steve
Camp Verde: On Oct. 24, 2018, the Camp Verde Town Council approved an agri-tourism use permit for a community of tiny houses on wheels, vintage recreational vehicles and agri-tourism events. The 15-acre parcel that would house the complex is owned by Camp Verde residents Carmen Howard and her husband David.
Apache County: Apache County – 2015 Residential Building Code: Appendix Q Not Adopted
Yavapai County: Effective July 1st, 2019 : For Unincorporated Areas Of Yavapai County
A Park Model is allowed as a Dwelling Unit per Section 565 of the Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Ordinance. A permit is required prior to installation of a Park Model Unit
California: Mandatory Across All Local Government Jurisdictions: Effective January 1st, 2020
California Building Code Update (6/17/2019) – Appendix Q Tiny Houses: In recent discussions and emails with key staff of CA Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), we have confirmed the following:
1) HCD has adopted the provisions of Appendix Q which will make its provisions MANDATORY across all local government jurisdictions.
2) We were able to confirm with HCD, that factory-built housing (FBH) next year can be built to CA Residential Code standards, inclusive of Appendix Q, (for units 400 sq. ft. or less).
3) Such FBH units built using Appendix Q standards would be permitted anywhere is California, subject of course to zoning codes.
4) The California building code update will go into effect January 1, 2020.
For the past several months we have been quietly working with California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to ensure that provisions of the 2018 International Residential Code, including our tiny house Appendix Q code provisions, were properly implemented into the California Residential Code. Our concern was that we wanted Appendix Q code items for tiny homes to be, not only adopted by the state, but made MANDATORY in all of the 540 local government jurisdictions.
In past California code update cycles, the various Appendices were left as local option.Why is this important? One can only imagine the effort it would take to convince 540 cities and counties to adopt Appendix Q – a task which would take years to accomplish. Also, if Appendix Q provisions were not adopted across the board for all of California, it would be virtually impossible to factory build tiny house units for wide distribution.
FINAL STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR PROPOSED BUILDING STANDARDS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT REGARDING THE 2019 CALIFORNIA RESIDENTIAL CODE CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 24, PART 2.5 (HCD 04/18)
Special Shout Out To Martin Hammer
A special shout out to Martin Hammer for, not only his work with Andrew Morrison in writing Appendix Q, but his efforts to stay on top of state bureaucrats to implement it properly in California.
Source: Dan Fitzpatrick, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy for ATHA
Archuleta County: August 28th, 2019 Spoke to planner John Shepherd
Colorado Appendix Q News : Archuleta County Public Meeting Of The Commissioners Adopting 2015 and Appendix Q : Public Welcome Sept 5th,
2019 at 8:30 Am at Archuleta County Administration Office
398 Lewis St, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
Details Call Mary 907 264 8308 / They welcome written comments before the meeting; Send to mHelminski@archuletacounty.org
Denver: Public Forum End Of October=Date to be determined- In Progress- Effective Date Fall 2019
La Playta County: Effective January 2018
Town Of Lyons
Confirmed on Sept 24th, 2019 from Joseph V. Cassidy P.E. State Building Inspector- They are considering adoption of Appendix Q as part of our 2020 State Building Code. They are in the technical development portion of our process now. There will be a public comment period for the completed draft code early next year.
Anyone interested in receiving informational and update emails may request to be included on our email list by sending a request to DAS.CodesStandards@CT.gov.
Florida: Status Appendix Q- Reserved: Spoke to the building dept August 28th, 2019 Modification # F7942
Georgia: Effective Jan 1st, 2020 : 2018 IRC And Appendix Q
The 2012 IRC has been amended to change the minimum habitable room size from 120 sf to 70 sf and add a new Appendix for Tiny House Construction. However, the Appendix must be adopted locally to be enforced.
Appendix Q has all ready been adopted: Referred to as Appendix S until their code cycle change in 2020
Hawaii is using the 2018 IRC : They have not adopted Appendix Q at this time-we have sent them information so they can start the discussion. Spoke to Howard Wiig on Sept.17th, 2019
Howard Wiig 808 587 3811
Idaho: First State To Adopt Appendix Q: Added to 2012 IRC Code 3/20/17
Illinois: Received Email After Inquiring On Sept 24th, 2019
Currently the Office of the State Fire Marshal does not have any regulations regarding tiny homes, unless they are used as day care home or some other state licensed facility. In Illinois you need to go to individual municipalities to see what their requirements might be. Illinois does have a statewide building code, but it is only a default building code used for those areas that do not have a building code. That would be the 2006 or later edition of the International Building Code/International Residential Code. So you will need to determine which municipalities are using their own adoption or are using the default IBC/IRC adoption. I am not sure if the IBC/IRC has adopted language regarding tiny houses (a colleague I am with today does not believe so).
Cathy Stashak, Section Chief
Technical Services Division
Yorkville, Illinois: Effective Jan 1st, 2020
Confirmed On Oct 1st, 2019 through email from Pete Ratos
United City Of Yorkville
Building Code Official
Manhattan, Kansas Effective January 1st, 2020
Riley County July 28h, 2019- Need to do further investigation
Riley County requires a permit but does not enforce building codes. The inspector does inspect how a home is being inspected.
Sedgwick County/City of Wichita, Kansas August 21st, 2018
18 Smaller Cities and 2 adjacent Counties
Kentucky: State Mandated Amended Version And Defining Appendix Q Effective Jan, 2019
Kentucky specific amendments are below:
HBC enforces statewide standards for building construction. The agency ensures fire and life safety in existing buildings; licenses/certifies plumbers, electricians, boiler contractors, sprinkler and/or fire alarm contractors and building inspectors. The main DHBC phone number is 502-573-0365
Louisiana: Adopted December 20th, 2018
Amended current Rule to add the 2018 International Residential Code ( IRC ) Appendix Q Tiny Homes to the Uniform Construction Code. The Rule allows for inspection and permitting of said homes in any jurisdiction of the state.
Maryland Statewide: Adopted Statewide Left Up To Local Jurisdiction
Massachusetts: Effective January 2020
The newest complete edition of the MA Building Code will be released in 2021. However, effective 1/1/2020, Appendix Q, also known as the Tiny House Appendix, is anticipated to be adopted into the current Massachusetts state building code.
Michigan: Appendix Q Is A Selected Option In ”Select IRC Options Use With The Michigan Residential Code”
The Home Builders Association of Michigan (HBAM) and the International Code Council (ICC) have joined forces to publish a targeted book of changes in the 2018 IRC to allow Home Builders Association of Michigan members and others to benefit from their new ability without having to buy the entire code. The book is titled ” 2018 Select IRC Options For Use With The Michigan Residential Code.”
Michigan Is Staying With 2015 IRC Until 2021 Is Adopted
The Flex Code Law, Public Act 504 of 2012 allows Michigan to choose to update the Michigan Residential Code every three or six years. Michigan chose not to update to the 2018 edition of the IRC published by the ICC and will be staying with the 2015 MRC until the 2021 edition of IRC is available and adopted.
MN has a statewide building code. The state building codes division is preparing to adopt the 2012 editions of the I-Codes.
Spoke with Joel Binkley on July 31st, 2019. He said they will probably follow Springfield’s lead and Adopt Appendix Q.
Spoke to Ime Usukumah on July 31st, 2019. He confirmed that they are adopting Appendix Q by the end of the year.
Spoke to Tim Lloyd: Last day of public comment is Sept.20th, 2019: Tim said they were planning to adopt and did not see much opposition
Send comments email@example.com
(a) Appendix Q, Tiny Houses. Appendix Q may be adopted by a certified city, county, or town building code jurisdiction. Tiny houses do not meet the building code requirements for commercial or business occupancy and are therefore prohibited for these types of uses. The department will apply Appendix Q to factory-built buildings which meet the definition of a tiny house as having 400 square feet or less in floor area excluding lofts, and which are intended to be mounted on a permanent foundation and used as a single-family dwelling.
New Jersey: Effective Sept. 3rd, 2019
New Hampshire: New Bill To Study Tiny Homes: Effective November 1st, 2019
New Hampshire Established A Bill To Study Tiny Houses: Effective November 1st, 2019: House Bill 312
Those issues include defining the very structures themselves: “The committee shall determine what constitutes a ‘tiny house,’ both on a permanent foundation and on wheels.”
Proponents of tiny homes say they can expand the state’s housing options by providing a relatively low-cost place to live that might help ease labor shortages and keep young adults in the state.
New Mexico: Effective January 15th, 2018
New York : Adopting 2018 IRC Including Appendix Q Estimated Effective Date March 2020
Public Comments Until September 10th, 2019
If you have suggestions on how the proposed rule amending the Uniform Code could be improved, suggested alternatives the proposed rule amending the Uniform Code that the Department of State could consider, or any other comments on the proposed rule amending the Uniform Code, please contact Jeffrey Hinderliter by mail at New York State Department of State Division of Building Standards and Codes, 99 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12231-0001; by telephone at (518)-474-4073; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spoke with Gerard Hathaway on August 6th, 2019. Gerard confirmed Appendix Q was approved on Sept.27th, 2019.
Gerard Hathaway, R.A.
Assistant Director of Code Development
New York State Department of State Division of Building Standards and Codes
One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Suite 1160, Albany, NY 12231
Phone: (518) 474-4073
Fax: (518) 486-4487
North Dakota : In The Process Of Adopting 2018 IRC: Have NOT Considered Appendix Q At This Time
On September 5th at 8:00 AM CST at The Great River Energy Building, 1611 East Century Ave., Bismarck, ND, a Voting Meeting of proposed building code amendments will be held for the participating jurisdictions and organizations.
The purpose of the meeting will be to vote on the proposed amendments from the public and Building Code Advisory Committee, 2018 International Building Code, 2018 International Residential Code, 2018 International Mechanical Code, 2018 International Fuel Gas Code, 2018 International Existing Building Code, and the prior amendments to those codes. These amendments will become part of the updated North Dakota State Building Code effective January 1st, 2020.
Spoke with Bruce Hagen with the North Dakota Department of Commerce on August 5th, 2019
I asked him if they are considering adopting Appendix Q for Tiny Homes. Bruce told me it had not been brought to the council yet. For information about the State Building Code or to submit a Code Amendment, please contact Bruce Hagen . It is too late in their code cycle process for the council to consider at the Sept 5th, 2019, but you can submit a recommendation using the code submittal form.
at (701) 390-4806.
Ohio Adopted 2018 IRC: Did NOT Adopt Appendix Q
Personally spoke to the state of Ohio- on July 25th, 2019 – They have adopted 2018 IRC – But have NOT adopted Appendix Q at this time. I spoke with Jay Richards and he explained that Ohio does not typically adopt an Appendix, they prefer to wait until it is written into the body of the model code. Their focus is on safety, sanitation and energy conservation. The state has no minimum square footage requirement for a size of a home. It is possible to request a variance and local jurisdictions might have different size requirements for homes. The do not regulate tiny homes on a chassis.
Greenville, South Carolina: Tiny Houses 400 Square Foot or Less Residential Permitting Guidelines
The Code of reference for a site built small house is the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) and as a case by case alternate method the 2018 IRC Appendix Q Tiny Houses as allowed by. (2015 IRC Alternate Method per section 104.11.)
Sioux Falls : Effective June 1st, 2019
- The International Residential Code, 2018 edition, including Appendix E, Appendix G, Appendix H and Appendix Q as published by the International Code Council Inc. as amended, is hereby adopted as the residential building code by the city for regulating the design, construction, quality of materials, erection, installation, alteration, movement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, removal, and demolition of detached one- and two-family dwellings and town houses not more than three stories in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures, and provides for the issuance of permits and the collection of fees therefor.
- (b) The adoption of the International Residential Code, 2018 edition, will become effective June 1, 2019.
Knoxville Adopted 2018 IRC And Appendix Q Effective January 1st, 2019
Lake Dallas Tiny Village : Approved As A Planned Development Referencing 2018 IRC Appendix V- Adapted By Approval Of Lake Dallas For Tiny Homes On Wheels
Amended Ordinance 20190502-LD Ord Amending Tiny Home PD Ordinance-107709
Amended Ordinance Ordinance 2017-14 Amending Zoning Ordinance Gotcher
Note: Appendix Q was previously called Appendix V
San Antonio: Adopted 2018 IRC and Appendix Q Effective June 21st, 2018
Leslie A. Zavala
Sr. Plans Examiner
Development Services Department
Utah Effective July 1st, 2019
Salt Lake City: Adopted Appendix Q Effective July 1st, 2019
Building Code Review & Adoption Amendments, was signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert; this will go into effect July 1, 2019. Plans not previously accepted and fees paid for plan review to Salt Lake City Building Services, will be required to be designed & reviewed under the new codes.
Appendix Q of the 2018 edition of the International Residential Code, issued by the International Code Council;
Virginia : In progress including the 2021 edits thanks to the hard work of Thom Stanton and Dan Fitzpatrick!
All 2018 code cycle information is available on cdpVA
Sept 13th, 2019
Written Comments Regarding Appendix Q excepted until Sept 27th, 2019. Send to email@example.com
SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5383 : Effective July 28th, 2019
Section One: Appendix Q Can Provide A Basis For The Standards
The legislature recognizes that the International Code Council in 2018 has issued tiny house building code standards in Appendix Q of the International Residential Code, which can provide a basis for the standards requested within this act.
The building code council shall: Adopt Building Code Standards Specific For Tiny Houses
(1)(a) By July 1, 2019, adopt a revised process for the review of proposed statewide amendments to the codes enumerated in RCW919.27.031;
(b) Adopt a process for the review of proposed or enacted local amendments to the codes enumerated in RCW 19.27.031 as amended and adopted by the state building code council.
(2) By December 31, 2019, adopt building code standards specific for tiny houses.
Final Bill Report ESSB 5383
The Council must adopt building code standards specific for tiny houses by December 31, 2019. Appendix Q of the International Residential Code is recognized by the Legislature as a potential basis for the adoption of new building code standards for tiny houses.
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
The only state not applicable to IRC building codes. Effective May 1st, 2018 WI adopted and enforce the 2015 editions of the IBC, IECC, IMC, IFGC, and IEBC.
Wyoming is using 2018 IRC. This is one of the least restrictive states regarding building codes. Waiting for their response regarding Appendix Q.