Tiny House Video Explains Why Codes and Zoning Regulations are a Scam

I was expecting this to be just another tiny house video. Instead, this video does a fantastic job of explaining how building codes and zoning regulations are largely unnecessary and a huge drain on local economies. The video highlights some cities in Texas that are doing just fine without all this bureaucracy and added expense. As a result, housing costs per square foot are only a small fraction of many other US cities.

“Demand for housing in Washington, DC is going through the roof. Over a thousand people move to the nation’s capital every month, driving up the cost of housing, and turning the city into a construction zone. Tower cranes rising high above the city streets have become so common, they’re just part of the background.

But as fast as the cranes can rise, demand for housing has shot up even faster, making DC among the most expensive cities in the United States. With average home prices at $453 per square foot, it’s every bit as expensive as New York City. And the struggles of one homebuilder shows just why the city’s shortage looks to continue for a long time.

“I got driven down the tiny house road because of affordability, simplicity, sustainability, and then mobility,” says Jay Austin, who designed a custom 140-square-foot house in Washington, DC. Despite the miniscule size, his “Matchbox” house is stylish, well-built, and it includes all the necessities (if not the luxuries) of life: a bathroom, a shower, a modest kitchen, office space, and a bedroom loft. There’s even a hot tub outside.”


4 thoughts on “Tiny House Video Explains Why Codes and Zoning Regulations are a Scam”

  1. I appreciate the information in this video along with the perspective offered. I am in the early stages of learning about natural building. The biggest obstacle appears to be dealing with the system that has developed from these building codes. I have enjoyed pursuing knowledge about earthbag, cob & straw bale building. I get excited at the thought of doing that for myself and my family, but these – what seem to originally be well intentioned – codes sure are an apparent obstacle. I have read other website where experienced builders speak of paying many thousands of dollars to deal with multiple inspectors and/or structural engineers. I think I’m preparing for the reality that my young family does not have many options concerning natural building while we want to be involved with so much of our current-day activities and communities – homeschooling, church, etc. Thank you for sharing this video, Owen! I’m eating up the information!!

    • The codes were not well intentioned. The brick, steel, concrete and timber industries wrote the codes to favor themselves by creating a ‘barrier to entry’ for competing products.

      I suggest building post and beam with strawbale infill. Follow the advice on this blog post and you’ll likely sail through the permit process because strawbale has been ‘normalized’ due to the standardized components.

  2. Where are people supposed to live in cities? I think they expect everyone will live in tiny $1,500/month apartments.


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