• APPENDIXQ
    TINY HOUSES

    This provisions contained in this appendix are not mandatory unless specifically referenced in the adopting ordinance.

    User note:

    About this appendix: Appendix Q relaxes various requirements in the body of the code as they apply to houses that are 400 square feet in area or less. Attention is specifically paid to features such as compact stairs, including stair handrails and headroom, ladders, reduced ceiling heights in lofts and guard and emergency escape and rescue opening requirements at lofts.

    SECTIONAQ101
    GENERAL

    AQ101.1Scope.

    This appendix shall be applicable to tiny houses used as single dwelling units. Tiny houses shall comply with this code except as otherwise stated in this appendix.

    SECTIONAQ102
    DEFINITIONS

    AQ102.1General.

    The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this appendix, have the meanings shown herein. Refer to Chapter 2 of this code for general definitions.

    EGRESS ROOF ACCESS WINDOW. A skylight or roof window designed and installed to satisfy the emergency escape and rescue opening requirements of Section R310.2.

    LANDING PLATFORM. A landing provided as the top step of a stairway accessing a loft.

    LOFT. A floor level located more than 30 inches (762 mm) above the main floor, open to the main floor on one or more sides with a ceiling height of less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm) and used as a living or sleeping space.

    TINY HOUSE. A dwelling that is 400 square feet (37 m2) or less in floor area excluding lofts.

    SECTIONAQ103
    CEILING HEIGHT

    AQ103.1Minimum ceiling height.

    Habitable space and hallways in tiny houses shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm). Bathrooms, toilet rooms and kitchens shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 4 inches (1930 mm). Obstructions including, but not limited to, beams, girders, ducts and lighting, shall not extend below these minimum ceiling heights.

    Exception: Ceiling heights in lofts are permitted to be less than 6 feet 8 inches (2032 mm).

    SECTIONAQ104
    LOFTS

    AQ104.1Minimum loft area and dimensions.

    Lofts used as a sleeping or living space shall meet the minimum area and dimension requirements of Sections AQ104.1.1 through AQ104.1.3.

    AQ104.1.1Minimum area.

    Lofts shall have a floor area of not less than 35 square feet (3.25 m2).

    AQ104.1.2Minimum dimensions.

    Lofts shall be not less than 5 feet (1524 mm) in any horizontal dimension.

    AQ104.1.3Height effect on loft area.

    Portions of a loft with a sloped ceiling measuring less than 3 feet (914 mm) from the finished floor to the finished ceiling shall not be considered as contributing to the minimum required area for the loft.

    Exception: Under gable roofs with a minimum slope of 6 units vertical in 12 units horizontal (50-percent slope), portions of a loft with a sloped ceiling measuring less than 16 inches (406 mm) from the finished floor to the finished ceiling shall not be considered as contributing to the minimum required area for the loft.

    AQ104.2Loft access.

    The access to and primary egress from lofts shall be of any type described in Sections AQ104.2.1 through AQ104.2.4.

    AQ104.2.1Stairways.

    Stairways accessing lofts shall comply with this code or with Sections AQ104.2.1.1 through AQ104.2.1.5.

    AQ104.2.1.1Width.

    Stairways accessing a loft shall not be less than 17 inches (432 mm) in clear width at or above the handrail. The width below the handrail shall be not less than 20 inches (508 mm).

    AQ104.2.1.2Headroom.

    The headroom in stairways accessing a loft shall be not less than 6 feet 2 inches (1880 mm), as measured vertically, from a sloped line connecting the tread or landing platform nosings in the middle of their width.

    AQ104.2.1.3Treads and risers.

    Risers for stairs accessing a loft shall be not less than 7 inches (178 mm) and not more than 12 inches (305 mm) in height. Tread depth and riser height shall be calculated in accordance with one of the following formulas:

    1. 1.The tread depth shall be 20 inches (508 mm) minus four-thirds of the riser height.

    2. 2.The riser height shall be 15 inches (381 mm) minus three-fourths of the tread depth.

    AQ104.2.1.4Landing platforms.

    The top tread and riser of stairways accessing lofts shall be constructed as a landing platform where the loft ceiling height is less than 6 feet 2 inches (1880 mm) where the stairway meets the loft. The landing platform shall be 18 inches to 22 inches (457 to 559 mm) in depth measured from the nosing of the landing platform to the edge of the loft, and 16 to 18 inches (406 to 457 mm) in height measured from the landing platform to the loft floor.

    AQ104.2.1.5Handrails.

    Handrails shall comply with Section R311.7.8.

    AQ104.2.1.6Stairway guards.

    Guards at open sides of stairways shall comply with Section R312.1.

    AQ104.2.2Ladders.

    Ladders accessing lofts shall comply with Sections AQ104.2.1 and AQ104.2.2.

    AQ104.2.2.1Size and capacity.

    Ladders accessing lofts shall have a rung width of not less than 12 inches (305 mm), and 10-inch (254 mm) to 14-inch (356 mm) spacing between rungs. Ladders shall be capable of supporting a 200-pound (75 kg) load on any rung. Rung spacing shall be uniform within 3/8 inch (9.5 mm).

    AQ104.2.2.2Incline.

    Ladders shall be installed at 70 to 80 degrees from horizontal.

    AQ104.2.3Alternating tread devices.

    Alternating tread devices accessing lofts shall comply with Sections R311.7.11.1 and R311.7.11.2. The clear width at and below the handrails shall be not less than 20 inches (508 mm).

    AQ104.2.4Ships ladders.

    Ships ladders accessing lofts shall comply with Sections R311.7.12.1 and R311.7.12.2. The clear width at and below handrails shall be not less than 20 inches (508 mm).

    AQ104.2.5Loft Guards.

    Loft guards shall be located along the open side of lofts. Loft guards shall be not less than 36 inches (914 mm) in height or one-half of the clear height to the ceiling, whichever is less.

    SECTIONAQ105
    EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENINGS

    AQ105.1General.

    Tiny houses shall meet the requirements of Section R310 for emergency escape and rescue openings.

    Exception: Egress roof access windows in lofts used as sleeping rooms shall be deemed to meet the requirements of Section R310 where installed such that the bottom of the opening is not more than 44 inches (1118 mm) above the loft floor, provided the egress roof access window complies with the minimum opening area requirements of Section R310.2.1.

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