Are you considering creating a dwelling space in your backyard or near your home? Here’s some info to consider:
WHAT IS A ADU?
An accessory dwelling unit (ADU), refers to a secondary residential dwelling unit located on a single-family lot. (These units can be referred to as a carriage house, granny flat, mother-in-law suite, auxiliary unit, English basement, or cottage; ADU is the technical term.)
A collection of ADUs built around one larger structure is known as a tiny house community. Both ADUs and tiny house communities are only allowed in certain states. “Construction codes tell you how to build your house,” explains Andrew Morrison, of Tiny House Build. “Zoning depends on where you’ll build your house.” Most of the country’s local building codes have been adopted from the International Residential Code (IRC) for one- and two-family dwellings, which contains size specifications like rooms (except bathrooms and kitchens) must be at least 70 square feet, while ceiling height must be at least 7 feet. Texas adopted IRC in 2001. Texas governor Rick Perry signed a bill to adopt the International Residential Code as the municipal residential building code for the state of Texas. It went into effect September 1, 2001, and gave cities until January 1, 2002 to transition and begin enforcing the new code.
Click here for the different building related agencies in Texas for their ICC info.
Zoning regulations are based off more local factors, and determine the size requirements of your home based on what zone it’s located in.
Click here for the Administrative Rules of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs 10 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 80
Check for deed restrictions. Real estate deed restrictions restrict or limit the way in which a property can be used. Deed restrictions generally run with the land regardless of property ownership. Deed restrictions can also take the form of conditions, covenants and restrictions.
UNRESTRICTED ZONING ORDINANCES
Texas has “unrestricted zoning ordinances”. As you might guess, this (lack of) zoning exists in mostly remote, rural areas throughout the country. The tiny house community Austin LiveWork is an exception, as it’s located 15 minutes outside of the city and is under no zoning governance. Builders are currently planning for tiny resident living over 10 acres of land.