|State Residential Building Code
|2021 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC)
|Building Codes Division
This is a fully integrated code based on the 2018 International Residential Code with Appendix Q – Tiny Houses. This code does not contain electrical or plumbing provisions.
The Small Home Specialty Code, established by ORS 455, requires that the 2018 International Residential Code, including but not limited to Appendix Q, be used for the design and construction of small homes. Statute defines a “small home” as a permanent single-family residence that is not more than 400 square feet in size. For more information about small home construction standards see ORS 455, including 455.616. This code speaks to the addition of smoke alarm and fire sprinklers or heat detector alarms.
The state defines “tiny homes” as structures designed to provide low-cost or minimally sized housing options for consumers. Tiny homes are subject to building codes and licensing standards that govern their construction and installation, zoning codes that dictate where they can be sited, and titling and registration or trip requirements for temporary tiny homes.
Construction regulations for tiny homes can be grouped into one of three categories based on their intended use: permanent, temporary, or transitional. Tiny homes attached to a frame or chassis (which may or may not have wheels attached) are considered temporary dwellings. Temporary dwellings prioritize mobility and allow for the use of space-saving features like sleeping lofts and ladders. Temporary dwellings may not be permanently affixed to land for use as a permanent dwelling unless located in a mobile home park. As of January 1, 2020, the State Building Code will no longer regulate the construction of temporary dwellings, including recreational vehicles, park model recreational vehicles, or tiny homes on wheels. Builders, developers, and consumers will need to work with municipalities to ensure their temporary tiny home can be legally sited and occupied.
To read all definitions, please read the Background Brief Tiny House Regulation 2019 by the Legislative Policy and Research Office.
For more information on building permit requirements, please contact your local building department.
Building Codes Division
1535 Edgewater Street NW
Salem, OR 97304
Updated: Loran – August 2021
THIA will be constantly updating the legislation data. Check back often. Suggest A Correction if you are aware of any missing or incorrect information. AND keep scrolling to learn more about getting guidance.
Building Code — Legislation that speaks to how to construct a tiny house.
Zoning Code — Legislation that speaks to how the lot will be used.
ADU — Accessory Dwelling Unit
DMV — Division of Motor Vehicles
IB — Industrialized Buildings
IRC — International Residential Code
PUD — Planned Unit Development
RV — Recreational Vehicle
SF — Single Family Dwelling
T — Transitional Housing
UDO — Unified Development Ordinance
Please Suggest a Correction if you find broken links or misinformation.
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