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The A to Z's of Modular Building Codes and how MicroHomes fit in.

Micro Homes are RVs

 

Kent Homes builds all sorts of prefabricated and modular buildings, including our rental fleet for job sites, commercial structures of all sizes and types, residential homes built under both A277 and Z240 building codes, Park Models built under the Z241 code, and our newest addition the Micro Homes built under the Z240-RV code.

 

Whatever type of home you dream of; there are many options with Kent Homes modular homes.  Let’s look at each of the residential structures…

A277 Banner

 

Modular homes built under the A277 building code are built within our plant, but do not come out of the plant “complete”, they are usually in more than one section and well ...let’s say they have “some assembly required”.   Now although that phrase strikes fear into the heart of any parent when printed on the box of a toy, or anyone when seen on a new purchase  (Ikea we love you but are certain you have possibly caused friction in some relationships)…when it comes to our homes relax, we have you covered.  Your Kent Homes Dream builder will arrange to have the sections of your home delivered, assembled and completed. 

 

As with all our housing products there are few limits, we can build you a cottage, bungalow, split level, two or three story home, Cape Cod or a combination of housing styles.  Your home can have a traditional exterior, or be modern and streamlined.  You can choose a floor plan we publish, and customize it, or bring us a plan you like and we will show you a modular version of it, or come in and meet with one of our dream builders to design your perfect home from the ground up.  We are more than happy to help, and we encourage you to come and visit us to see how these homes are constructed.

Z240 Banner

 

Homes built under the Z240 code are built within a single box and finished inside the plant, when they arrive at their location there is generally minimal work to be completed on the home itself other than setting it up, connecting services and adding decks, porches and steps and skirting around the bottom if required based on the foundation type decided upon.  Z240 homes are built with the same quality materials and the same insulation levels as our modular homes with the primary difference being the completion within the plant. The single box homes are only limited by your imagination.  They can be very small or exceed 1000 square feet.  Only the exterior walls are load bearing so the floor plans are extremely flexible, widths of 12, 14 and 16 feet are all common.  The exterior can be very traditional or contemporary, and the finish levels can be basic or very high end. 

Z241 Banner

 

Homes built under the Z241 are the Park Model homes.  They are intended to be moved around but generally just seasonally or less.  They are larger than the Micro Homes and require a special truck and license to move them.   Park models are 538 square feet or less.  These homes are commonly built in widths of 12 or 14 feet.   Officially park models can be lived in in each season, but are not intended to be lived in consistently as your primary residence.    They are generally built with slightly lighter lumber and lower insulation levels as this code allows but can also be ordered built with full 2x6 walls and higher insulation levels.

Z240-RV Banner

 

The Tiny or Micro Homes are built under the Z240-RV code which classifies them as a vehicle.    They cannot exceed 8.5 feet in width and can be no more than 400 square feet.  They are built on a single chassis and can be towed by a heavy duty vehicle, but do not require a special license classification.   They are considered a 3 season dwelling and again are not intended as a primary residence.  The vehicle classification means that at this time they are not subject to property taxes as long as you keep up your registration and do not attach them to a foundation (although the tiny home movement is relatively new and changes are to be expected).   

 

As RVs the Micro Homes are not subject to the same restrictions often faced when building cottages.  They are ideal for small cottage lots and can be placed right at the water’s edge, pulled up to your boat dock or in an orchard. 

 

One difference in the Micro Home line is these homes cannot be as easily customized as our other homes.  Each plan we develop is certified and although built in furnishings and many finish choices can easily change, location of plumbing and electrical details cannot.  This is not to say we cannot design a custom tiny home for you, we certainly can, but there will be additional cost and time involved in order to go through the certification process.  The Micro Homes are designed to be hooked up to services just like any other RV. 

 

The seasonal living issue…

 

Depending on where you hope to put your tiny home you can expect to have some hurdles to cross.  The more rural your property the less restriction on the type of dwelling, but many municipal areas are starting to recognize the demand for concessions for smaller homes.  Some areas will allow them as guest houses, pool houses, home offices, shepherd’s huts for agricultural use, and Tiny Home RV communities are cropping up all over.

 

Although intended to be a 3 season recreational use home many people use them in colder weather.  Because they are small they heat very easily and are comfortable if properly skirted.  

 

Now if a tiny home on wheels isn’t the answer for you; a dream builder can help design a very small Z240 home with full insulation levels and built for year round residency.  Some municipalities have rules that were established in the day when single box homes were “trailers” and the standards were lower than other homes.  The regulations put in place were to keep these trailers out because they could affect the tax base of adjacent homes.  Many municipalities are becoming more enlightened about the desire for tiny house living and will consider a single box home as long as it is aesthetically pleasing and the applicant has approached them with the right information and attitude.  In some cases the dimensions or minimum square footage is the issue but can sometimes be worked around by designing with some additional pieces that fulfil the requirements. 

 

If you have any questions on any of our products, modular homes in general, or a desire to tour our plant and see how building inside and inside out makes perfect sense just give us a call.  At Kent Homes we redefine “Thinking inside the box”.