Everything’s bigger in Texas, right? Well, based on how many Texans are looking to downsize, that might no longer be the case.
Whether it’s empty-nesters looking to sell their McMansions so they don’t have so much maintenance to worry about, or young families trying to pay down debt, Texas tiny homes are becoming a popular solution to people’s housing needs. Fortunately, there are several tiny home builders in Texas.
Texas Tiny Home Builders
Texas is home to tiny home builders that offer tiny houses on wheels, tiny houses on foundations, cargo container homes, and luxury tiny homes. With Austin housing prices skyrocketing over the last several years, it’s not surprising to see the bulk of the tiny house builders are in and around Austin.
- American Tiny House – Longview, TX
- Backcountry Containers – Houston, TX
- CargoHome – Waco, TX
- Hill Country Tiny Houses – Kerrville, TX
- Indigo River Tiny Homes – Dallas, TX
- Kanga Room Systems – Waco, TX
- Nomad Tiny Homes – Austin, TX
- Raw Design Creative – Austin, TX
In July 2014, the city council of Spur, Texas declared themselves the “nation’s first tiny house friendly town.” Located approximately an hour east of Lubbock, the town allows tiny home owners to set their homes on a foundation on a regular city lot.
Are Tiny Homes Legal in Texas?
Yes! At the state level, Texas has adopted the International Residential Code (IRC), which includes Appendix Q, a set of guidelines specifically for tiny homes on wheels (THOWs). Now that the State of Texas has legalized tiny homes, it’s up to each city to decide whether or not to adopt Appendix Q.
Fortunately, several cities and counties throughout Texas have adopted Appendix Q, making tiny homes legal in their jurisdiction. Whether you want a rural setting in West Texas or the urban setting of Austin, Texas has you covered.
Also, in March 2023, Texas State Senator, Paul Bettencourt, introduced a bill (SB 1787) that eliminated most lot size requirements in municipalities that are in counties with a population over 300,000. The bill was approved by the Senate and passed to the House on May 11, 2023.
Cities / Counties
Austin has relaxed zoning laws that allow tiny houses in certain areas. The city passed an ordinance in 2018 that legalizes accessory dwelling units (ADUs) of up to 1,100 square feet, which opens up opportunities for tiny houses.
Tiny houses on wheels (THOWs) are allowed in Austin, with some regulations. THOWs are classified as recreational vehicles (RVs) by the city, so they must follow regulations for RVs. Notably, THOWs cannot be considered permanent residences under Austin’s land development rules. However, this may soon change!
As of September 11, 2023, the Austin City Council is considering allowing THOWs and RVs as ADUs in single-family zoning districts. You can read their Tiny Home Resolution and follow along with the Council’s discussion on their message board.
In 2019, San Antonio approved accessory dwelling units (ADUs) up to 1,100 sq.ft. on lots zoned single-family residential. This allows for tiny homes on foundations.
Unfortunately, tiny houses on wheels cannot be inhabited as full-time residences in San Antonio. They must be registered as RVs and moved periodically.
Houston & Dallas
Houston and Dallas both have some allowances for tiny houses, but with restrictions.
A tiny house built on a foundation as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) can be allowed, but neighborhoods are allowed to restrict ADUs.
Tiny houses on wheels are allowed in Houston and Dallas, but they are considered RVs. As with RVs, tiny houses on wheels can be parked on private residential lots, but cannot be occupied as full-time residences.
Texas Tiny Homes for Rent
Want to see what it’s like to live tiny? You can rent one of these Texas tiny homes by the night: