Where in the World Can You Build Your Tiny House?

Move over McMansions, it’s time to think tiny. At no more than 500 square feet, a tiny house is sweeping the globe with their charming looks and functional features. With benefits ranging from eco-friendly to a smaller price tag, it’s no wonder more and more people throughout the world are interested in downsizing. Now before you buy tiny, it’s important to look into the legalities of tiny homes in the area you want to live. While many locations welcome tiny houses with open arms, it’s important to remember that this isn’t the case everywhere. In fact, some cities in the United States have revised zoning regulations and building codes to make it even more difficult to own a tiny house. Luckily for all of us, there are a number of places where it’s possible to live a tiny life. Let’s break down some of the tiniest house-friendly locations around the globe.


Canada Tiny Homes
Image by Molli McGee

O Canada! Land of the moose, plentiful trees, and delicious maple syrup! This country is one of the furthest ahead when it comes to tiny living. As a whole, Canada truly sees the benefits of supporting an affordable living option. For example, the National Building Code of Canada requires a home in a city to be a minimum of 400 square feet. To get around this minimum square footage, tiny house hopefuls can build their home on a trailer to classify as an RV (recreational vehicle). With a tiny house on wheels, homeowners will need to abide by standard RV laws. Rural areas are a slightly different story; owning a tiny house in rural areas typically leads to fewer restrictions. Be sure to check your local regulations before building or buying tiny!

United States

USA Tiny Homes
Image by Molli McGee

Despite the tiny house movement starting in the western US, there are quite a few states that have not yet acknowledged tiny houses. Fortunately for the American tiny house community, there are also a number of states that have. From experienced tiny house builders all the way to luxurious tiny house hotels; the US is certainly headed in the right direction when it comes to tiny living. It’s important to contact your local town or city hall to find out the specific laws for your area–particularly because these laws can vary widely from state to state.


Geilo Cabins

With housing becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to find, tiny houses appear to be the ideal solution for the countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The influx of refugees and students in many of Europe’s cities has made it even more important to look to tiny houses as an affordable option.

  • Sweden allows accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that are 25 square meters.
  • Norway is really into their log cabins and it shows. Tiny houses here are plentiful and welcomed in most areas!
  • Denmark is home to a number of tiny, sod-top cottages.

While owning a tiny home in rural areas is typically possible, it’s important to remember that the closer you are to the city the more strict regulations can be. Be sure to check with the specific city or town you would like to live in!


There are no specific building regulations for tiny houses in Australia! However, finding a location might present more of a challenge. In this case, you can choose to build on a trailer to classify your tiny home as an RV. Easy as. Do you know of other great places in the world to build a tiny house? Let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: This article is written by Molli McGee who is a U.S. citizen currently living in Cape Town, SA. Aside from writing about tiny houses, Molli loves to be at the beach and eat food (often at the same time). As an avid surfer and beach-goer, she does her best to promote a sustainable way of living.

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