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Building Codes for Tiny Homes Relaxed

Bill Dickinson

A year-long effort to remove obstacles in the state's building code for Mainers interested in pursuing a so-called "tiny home lifestyle" has been deemed a success by a Maine lawmaker who originally sponsored a bill to address the issue.

"The Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code has in fact been amended and as of yesterday, it went live and we now have specific definitions and allowances for tiny homes here in Maine," said State Rep. Seth Berry, a Bowdoinham Democrat.

Berry said rulemaking by the Maine Building Codes and Standards Board will change the state's building code to permit certain features of the 100 to 400-square-foot structures that might otherwise have been in violation of the code.

"They still have to meet some standards and there still are some things that have to be resolved,” said Berry. “I think gray water is one, I think the whole question of wheels or no wheels is another. But issues like ceiling height, being able to have ladders instead of stairs, it's those kinds of things that have been addressed and dealt with in the new code."

Tiny houses continue to grow in popularity in Maine and elsewhere in the nation. The building trend promotes the idea of living simply.