Public Testimony Period For Proposed Changes Of Appendix Q Open Until Sept. 27th, 2019


Written By Janet Thome

On July 31st, 2019 the Washington State Building Code Council had a TAG meeting that was open to the public. The subject for discussion was IRC Appendix Q, Tiny Houses Sleeping Lofts. The building code council presented an amended version of Appendix Q. It was announced in the meeting that the public would be allowed to comment both in person and through written testimonies.

Senate House Bill ESSB 5383 mandated that the building code council adopt building codes specific for tiny homes by Dec 31st, 2019.

Washington State Defined Tiny Homes In Section Five Of ESSB 5383

“Tiny house” and “tiny house with wheels” means a dwelling to be used as permanent housing with permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation built in accordance with the state building code.

 Public testimony period for proposed changes of Appendix Q open until Sept. 27th, 2019.


Oral Testimonies

Spokane Valley: Sept 13th, 2019 and Olympia : Sept 27th, 2019

Written Testimonies

Go to the SBCC website and click Here. Scroll down and click on the 2018 International Residential Code to view the CR-102 – locations for public meetings are also in CR-1-102.

Senate House Bill ESSB 5383 Tiny Houses.

Effective July 28th, 2019

Section One: Appendix Q Can Provide A Basis For The Standards Requested In The Act

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.

Section Six: By December 31st, 2019 Adopt Building Code Standards Specific For Tiny Houses

Sec. 6. RCW 19.27.035 and 2018 c 207 s 2 are each amended to read as follows: The building code council shall:

(1) ( A )   By July 1, 2019, adopt a revised process for the review of proposed statewide amendments to the codes enumerated in RCW ; 19.27.031 and ;

(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 31st, 2019 Adopt Building Code Standards Specific For Tiny Houses

Amended Version Of Appendix Q And Minutes From July 31st, 2019

The TAG reviewed the attached proposal. This proposal was approved by the SBCC to solicit public testimony through the State’s Rulemaking process (CR-102). The TAG felt this proposal adequately addressed ESSB 5383 and no further action by the TAG was necessary. There were no dissenting votes.

 At This Time  Moveable Tiny Homes Have Not Been Addressed By The Tag Team

Approval Process

The approval process for a tiny home depends on where it is built

Tiny Homes: From Washington State Labor And Industries

A tiny home is a dwelling that may be built on wheels and is no larger than 400 square feet, including a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping/living area, and must be built to the Washington State Building Code. The approval process for a tiny home depends on where it’s built.

On this page, you can determine whether you need approval of construction plans and inspections from L&I or the local building department where the home is being built.

  • IF you are building a tiny home on the site where it will be occupied and used, then you do not need to read any further: Contact your local building department . You may also need an L&I electrical inspection.
  • IF you’re building a structure with wheels, that’s not a tiny home as described above, then you may be building a recreational vehicle or park model. L&I inspects and regulates these units. You will need to contact your local building department to find out where it can be located or placed.
  • IF you’re purchasing a manufactured home of any size, including a tiny manufactured home, then you will need to contact your local building department to find out where it can be located.
  • IF you’re building a tiny home somewhere OTHER than where it will be occupied and used, then move on to “building a tiny home” below.

Building A Tiny Home Offsite

L&I is the building department for the construction of tiny homes that are built at OFFSITE locations, such as a factory or even a back yard. L&I reviews plans and inspections for tiny homes built offsite from where they will be placed.

Building A Tiny Home Offsite

Washington Labor And Industries

L&I frequently receives inquiries regarding the rules and requirements for “tiny homes”. In Washington State “tiny homes” must meet the State Building Code requirements (RCW 19.27.031). Other types of units such as Park Model RVs (PMRV), Recreational Vehicles (RV) and HUD Manufactured Homes are not tiny homes even though people may be living in them.

Please note that while L&I inspects and labels several of these types of structures, or units; cities and counties are responsible for regulating how all structures, or units, including, RV’s, PMRV’s modular buildings and manufactured homes can be used within their jurisdictions.

If you have questions about using an RV, PMRV, modular building or manufactured home to live in, please contact your local building department first. L&I can only approve the construction of RV’s, PMRV’s and modular buildings, not how they are used or where they can be located.

Labor And Industries Tiny Home Hand Out

Photo Credit: American Tiny House