Tiny Home Pennsylvania: What are Rules and Regulations?

Tiny Home Pennsylvania, where small living meets big possibilities. If you’re planning to build one on a foundation, it must follow local zoning laws and adhere to the Building Code 2018 and Residential Code 2018 of Pennsylvania.

tiny homes Pennsylvania


On the other hand, if it’s a tiny house on wheels, it’s considered an RV and must comply with the regulations outlined in the 2018 Board of Vehicle Act 134.

In Pennsylvania, knowing these rules can guide you in making your tiny home to meet top standards for safety and comfort. This means you can build without worrying about getting in trouble.

To learn about the rules for tiny home builders Pennsylvania, including where to park them, continue reading.

Pennsylvania’s tiny home laws and building codes

Pennsylvania follows certain rules for building homes, including tiny houses. These rules, known as the Residential Code 2018 of Pennsylvania and the Building Code 2018 of Pennsylvania, outline how homes should be constructed. Tiny homes must follow these codes and also comply with local zoning laws.

tiny homes Pennsylvania



Tiny home living is a bit different from regular housing, so Pennsylvania’s building codes don’t specifically mention tiny homes. However, the tiny house movement is gaining popularity because it’s seen as a way to live more simply and affordably, while also being better for the environment.

Some counties, like Lancaster, are changing their rules to fit the needs of tiny home communities Pennsylvania, while others, like York, don’t allow people to live in tiny homes permanently.

Zoning laws are like rules for how land can be used, especially for used tiny home Pennsylvania, and what buildings can be put there. They’re there to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy.

These laws decide what kind of buildings you can have on your land and if you can make changes to them.

If you want to put your tiny home in a city, the city’s rules are more important than the county’s.

To find out what rules you need to follow for your tiny home project, you should investigate the municipality you’re targeting. You can talk to the people in charge of zoning or planning there.

Local zoning ordinances in key Pennsylvania counties

In Lancaster, the rules about where you can put tiny homes are not very strict. They let you have tiny houses on wheels or on foundations, and they don’t say there’s a minimum size your house has to be. But in most parts of Pennsylvania, the rules are different. They usually don’t allow tiny houses on wheels and prefer ones that are built on foundations, especially when it comes to Amish built tiny homes in PA. Some places even say you can’t live in a tiny house all the time.

Bucks County

In Bucks County, they want you to put your tiny house on a foundation, especially when it comes to tiny home Pennsylvania living. That means you can’t live in a tiny home on wheels all the time.

They also have rules about how big your house can be and where you can put it compared to other buildings or land areas. So if you want to live in a tiny home in Bucks County, you have to follow these rules.

An art teacher named Tina shared her story with Insider. She lived in a tiny home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, but the zoning laws there didn’t allow people to live permanently in tiny houses. So, Tina had to hide her tiny home in a colleague’s backyard and act like she didn’t live there all the time. After two years, she decided to move to Lancaster instead.

Lancaster County

Lancaster is a friendly place for people who love tiny homes, especially when it comes to tiny home Pennsylvania living. In this county, even tiny houses smaller than the usual 70 square feet rule can be allowed. This is because of the rules at Ridge Run Campground. Because some people already live permanently in RVs there, the county decided to let tiny homes stay too.

After the campground closed permanently, a thriving community called Tiny Estates began in the same location (in Elizabethtown) in 2018.

You can now permanently park your tiny home on wheels in the community. The community also has tiny home rentals, especially for those interested in tiny home rentals Pennsylvania.

Beaver County  

In Beaver County, there are rules about how big a permanent home must be. It has to have at least 800 square feet of space to live in. This is much bigger than most tiny homes.

If you have a mobile home, there are special rules. You can add extra rooms or spaces, and those don’t count in the total size.

Also, in some parts of the county, you can’t use a mobile home as your main home, even if you put it on a foundation.

York County 

In most places in York County, tiny homes aren’t allowed as permanent homes, especially when it comes to tiny home Pennsylvania living. This is because the rules say a home must be at least 700 square feet or bigger.

Also, you can only have one main home on a property in the county. This means you can’t use a tiny home as an extra place for someone to live.

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is like an extra home on the same property. It can be attached to the main home or separate, like a granny flat. But you can’t use a tiny home for this in York County.

However, Hellam Township amended its zoning ordinance to allow dwellings with less than 699 sq ft floor area.

Rules for different types of tiny houses in Pennsylvania

tiny homes Pennsylvania


In Pennsylvania, the rules in cities and counties mostly support tiny houses, especially when it comes to tiny home Pennsylvania living, that are permanently built and have more than 70 square feet of space. But if your tiny house is on wheels, there are strict rules about where you can park it and if you can live in it all the time.

However, there are still some places in the state where you can live in a tiny house, either temporarily or permanently.

Rules for permanent structures

In Pennsylvania, if you build a tiny home on a solid foundation, it has to follow the same rules as regular houses. This means it must meet certain standards for things like where it’s built and how it’s built, just like other homes in the area.

When you buy a tiny house that’s on a foundation and is seen as a normal home, especially in the context of tiny home Pennsylvania living, it has to meet the State’s rules for houses. These rules cover everything from planning the building to putting in things like walls, roof, and heating systems.

These rules are there to make sure that homes are safe and healthy for people to live in. They cover things like making sure the house is strong, has enough light and air, and is big enough for people to live comfortably.

For instance, rooms where people live in, except for kitchens, need to be at least 70 square feet big and 7 feet tall in any direction.

If you’re building a tiny home in Pennsylvania, you need to follow the Building Code 2018 Of Pennsylvania. This code helps keep people safe and healthy.

Before you start building, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your local building department. They can give you all the latest information on the rules and what you need to do to follow them in your area.

Rules for transitional structures

In Pennsylvania, tiny homes that can be moved on wheels are seen as recreational vehicles (RVs). This means they need to follow the rules in the 2018 Board of Vehicle Act 134. These rules cover things like registering the vehicle, making sure it’s safe, and checking its weight and size.

When you want to park a tiny home on wheels in Pennsylvania, you should first check with your local government about their rules. Some areas don’t allow parking tiny homes on wheels because of their size or how long they are. But in other places, like mobile home parks, it might be okay.

Which counties are okay with tiny home Pennsylvania?

tiny homes Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, if you’re looking for tiny homes, Lancaster County is the place to be. It’s the friendliest county for tiny homes in the whole state.

In Lancaster, there’s a lively community of tiny homes called Tiny Estates in Elizabethtown. Apart from Lancaster, Philadelphia City also lets people have permanent tiny houses.

In Pennsylvania, living in a tiny home is allowed in some counties, but there are rules. You can live in a tiny house if you put it on a foundation or in places like RV parks that are approved.

But in other counties, living in tiny homes or extra units on a property isn’t allowed. It’s a good idea to ask the local government before you start building your tiny home.

What is the smallest size a house can be in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, tiny homes usually need to be at least 70 square feet big and 7 feet tall in any direction to follow the building rules, especially when it comes to tiny home Pennsylvania regulations. However, these size rules might change depending on the area’s zoning laws.

In Pennsylvania, some places might ask for specific things in the design of your tiny home. This could include having a solid foundation, a good sewer system, and all the necessary utilities.

For exact details, it’s best to ask the people in charge in your area.

Do I need to pay taxes for my tiny house?

If your tiny home is seen as part of the land, you’ll need to pay property taxes. To know if your tiny home counts as part of the land in Pennsylvania, it’s best to ask the local authorities.

In Pennsylvania, certain counties might ask for your tiny home to be on a solid foundation to be seen as part of the land. This means you might need to pay property taxes.

Besides, some counties might have other rules for your tiny home to be considered part of the land.

To get all the details about the rules in your area, it’s best to talk to the local authorities.

Where are good places to park a tiny home in Pennsylvania?

Apart from the Tiny Estates community in Elizabethtown, rural areas are the top choices for parking tiny homes in Pennsylvania. Many counties in Pennsylvania have their own rules for where you can put tiny homes. So, it’s important to ask the local authorities.

Usually, you need to put your tiny home on land that you own or rent, especially for tiny home Pennsylvania for rent.

In Pennsylvania, you might also be able to have a tiny house in your backyard if it follows the area’s rules. If your tiny home is on wheels, you can often park it in places like mobile home parks.

Tiny home communities in Pennsylvania

If you’re looking to live in a tiny home all the time, Tiny Estates is a great spot in Pennsylvania.At Tiny Estates, you can bring your tiny house that can be moved on wheels. They have lots of fun activities for everyone, like parties, festivals, games, and movie nights.

tiny homes Pennsylvania


Tiny Estates started in 2018 in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. It’s not far from Hershey and Harrisburg if you drive.

This tiny home Pennsylvania community is enclosed by gates and features two ponds. Residents enjoy a common area for picnics, fire pits, and socializing. It’s one of the largest such communities in the country, offering nearly 60 lots.

At Tiny Estates, there are no rules about how big your tiny home has to be, and you don’t need a special certification for your home to be there. Plus, they’re okay with people having pets.

Apart from Tiny Estates, there are other places nearby Pennsylvania where you can find tiny home communities. For instance, there’s Boiceville Cottages in Brooktondale, New York, and Cedar Springs Tiny Village in Ohio.


In tiny home Pennsylvania, those intended for permanent residence must adhere to standard housing regulations. Each room, excluding kitchens, must be at least 70 square feet and 7 feet wide.

Tiny homes need to have all the necessary utilities, like water and electricity, and a way to dispose of waste. They also need to meet all the other requirements for normal houses.

But for tiny homes that can be moved on wheels, they have to follow the rules for recreational vehicles (RVs).

However, Pennsylvania doesn’t have specific rules just for tiny homes. Instead, each county or city can change the rules as they see fit. So, you’ll need to check the rules where you plan to build your tiny home.

It’s a good idea to start by checking the rules in your local area and then see if there are any extra rules at the state level. Either way, you’ll have to follow all the rules. And if you’re not sure, you can always ask the local officials for help.

Are you thinking about moving to a tiny home in Pennsylvania for work? Check out our recommended tiny house kits that you can easily put together to make your dream indoor space.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I use a Tiny House Lancaster PA Airbnb as a Rental?

Renting out tiny homes on Airbnb can be a smart way to earn money because many people want smaller, cheaper places to stay. But remember, it’s essential to do your homework, plan carefully, and be patient to make sure your tiny house rental is successful.

Who are some Reputable Tiny Home Pennsylvania Builders?

Some reputable tiny home Pennsylvania builders include Liberation Tiny Homes, Lilypad Homes, and Hobbitat Spaces. These builders specialize in designing and constructing custom tiny homes tailored to the needs and preferences of their clients in Pennsylvania.



Aftab Tariq

I'm Aftab Tariq, a wordsmith with a deep passion for all things small and sustainable. Through my writing, I aspire to inspire and guide you on your journey towards embracing the beauty and simplicity of tiny living.

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