Jay Austin's Beautiful Illegal Tiny House.... And Some Things You May Not Know About Building Codes

Categories: Home Stories

In the United States, zoning regulations dictate what you may build and where. Here's one man's plight on the use of tiny houses in fast growing Washington DC, and then watch the video that gives perspective on zoning and makes the comparison to one American City that hasn't had zoning regulations since it was founded 190 years ago:

Demand for housing in Washington, DC is going through the roof.

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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.

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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.

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"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.


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