We’ve all seen the HGTV shows dedicated to tiny homes, and the Pinterest pages that are all about small house decor. Ubiquitous though they may be, they all have one thing in common: they all stem from the desire to live more simply, sustainably, and economically. And here in Seattle, those are sentiments we tend to empathize with.
But are tiny homes actually feasible in a city of our size and density? Yes! In fact, Seattle has been legislatively trending towards a tiny home revolution. Consider this post to be a guide to how Seattle is becoming the country’s most enthusiastic supporter of tiny home construction. You might be surprised by the steps our city has taken to facilitate tiny home projects.
Lots Can Be Smaller.
In July of 2019, Seattle passed some of the country’s most progressive tiny home legislation. Whereas it used to be that the minimum lot size for building a detached accessory dwelling unit was 4,000 square feet, this new legislation reduced the minimum lot size to 3,200 square feet.
This legislation not only makes tiny homes buildable options for homeowners but reflects a Seattle desire for accessible, affordable housing in an increasingly dense market.
Tiny Homes Can Be Bigger.
In the same legislation, the City of Seattle also increased the permitted size that a detached accessory dwelling unit, or DADU, can be. (Link to other DADU blog from last week) Now, instead of maxing out at 800 square feet, tiny homes can be 1000 square feet. This is enough space to make a huge difference for an individual or a family living in a tiny home.
Main Homes and DADUs Can Now Be Sold Separately.
Using condo agreements, you can now sell a DADU separately from the main housing unit on a lot. This is huge because it allows for homeownership to be more economically accessible in a city that is growing rapidly.
Help from ADUniverse.
The Seattle Office of Planning and Development launched a website called ADUniverse in September of 2020. ADUniverse spells out great news for tiny home enthusiasts because it makes planning for your tiny home easier. ADUniverse features a gallery of pre-approved DADU designs, as well as step-by-step help for permitting and constructing your tiny home. This website is a clear sign from the city of Seattle that it wants to encourage tiny homes and make them feasible for more of the city’s residents.
Seattle: The Tiny Home’s New Frontier
Our city’s growing population and increasing density pose difficult questions for city planners and residents alike. But fortunately, Seattle is quickly trending towards legislative support of the tiny home movement. Tiny homes are bigger, easier to build, and more economically accessible than ever before. Curious if the tiny home lifestyle is for you? Check out our DADU lifestyle checklist here.