Nevada Tiny Home Zoning
Thinking of going tiny in Nevada? The desert state seems to be quite upbeat about tiny homes and the tiny house movement, though there is still a lot of progress to be made. Clarke County and Washoe County have helped pave the way for affordable housing options in the state, but zoning and land use regulations will vary by location. Deciding where you want to place your tiny home before committing to a tiny house build in Nevada will be crucial.
Zoning requirements and build codes can vary drastically from county to county, and some cities will have their own unique zoning laws. Whether a tiny house on wheels is lawful on any given piece of land will depend on the laws and regulations of both the state and local government. Additionally, there are certain specifications that tiny house builders must comply with such as square footage, dimensions, and sanitation requirements. Fortunately, some cities are more lenient than others.
While specific rules about Nevada tiny homes vary, the state is becoming more supportive of the tiny house movement overall. Below are some great resources to get you on your way to tiny house living in Nevada.
Nevada Tiny Home Building Considerations
Temperatures vary widely in Nevada throughout the year—or even throughout the day if you live at higher elevations. Much of Nevada experiences hot summers and cold winters, with certain areas experiencing some of the most brutal heat in the country. Investing in high quality insulation will go a long way. The better insulated your tiny home, the less the competition between inside and outside temperatures. This means you can keep your Nevada tiny home at a comfortable temperature year-round with maximum energy efficiency.
At Wind River, we construct our tiny homes with 2×4 framing and spray foam insulation. Spray foam has by far the highest R-value available for the tiny home application, and wooden construction allows less air infiltration than steel framing. Additionally, we use LP SmartSide for a low-maintenance and durable siding that won’t warp or change with fluctuating temperatures (and which can be painted in any custom color(s) you like). Also consider keeping your exterior color palette light for the hotter climate and choosing a galvalume metal roof that reflects heat from the sun.
Investing in solar power for your Nevada tiny home is also a great idea. We recommend a ground mounted array for a semi-permanent tiny home setup. Additionally, housing the heavy batteries in a separate outbuilding will allow you to make the most of your tiny home’s precious square footage while living an off-grid, eco-friendly lifestyle if you choose.
Another key design element for your Nevada tiny home is a deck. We recommend a combination of sunning space as well as a covered area for hotter Nevada days. The covered portion of your deck can also be screened if you’d like. Your builder should be able to assist with your overall site plan, and may even be able to create a set of deck construction documents to be used for building your deck on-site.
We recommend giving thought to the placement of your tiny home on your site. Set yourself up for energy efficiency by facing the long walls of your trailer to the north and south. This will mean less surface area penetration from the hot rising and setting summer sun. It also helps maximize your heat from the sun in the winter, which stays low in the southern sky. Consider landscaping that will increase the comfort of your home as well as its curb appeal. For example, planting trees and shrubbery to the east and west of the home will give you free added heat protection and shade in the summer months.