Tiny house for sale in Vancouver — must be moved
$20000 / 250ft2 – Tiny house / cabin / studio (Vancouver)
12′ x 24′ footprint tiny house FOR SALE! Yes, the entire house!
So reads an ad on Craigslist for Vancouver, British Columbia. The catch is that the structure must be moved, and likely doesn’t comply with local building regulations. Since this is a tiny house built on a foundation, you can’t just hook it up to your pickup truck and drive away either. A professional house moving company would have to jack it up and move it at a cost that might even exceed the $20,000 purchase price.
The owner, Ches Lam, says that he built the backyard studio by converting an old garage/workshop. He seems to have done a nice job with the design, creating what looks to be a very livable space. The ad indicates that the structure is approximately 12′ by 24′ with 250 ft2 (23.2 m2) of inside floor space.
The bathroom is located right by the entrance and doubles as the laundry room with a stacked washer and dryer. Beyond the bathroom is the studio living space with a double mattress on a raised platform at the far end. The space under the bed platform is put to good use with a pull-out closet, dresser drawers built into the steps, and a crawlspace storage area. Windows run the length of the room, making the interior bright.
Unfortunately Ches didn’t bother getting a building permit, or even finding out what the legal requirements were, which is really too bad because Vancouver is one of the most progressive cities when it comes to allowing laneway houses and other types of accessory dwelling units.
Ches started renting the tiny house out to vacationers and all was well for a couple of years until someone reported him to the city. Maybe some of those vacationers were too noisy, or maybe the complainant was upset with Ches over something totally unrelated. If you’re going to have an illegal dwelling in your backyard though, it’s probably a really good idea to keep quiet about it and not draw attention with strangers lugging suitcases in and out every weekend.
Usually when a municipality discovers construction done without a permit, the owner is allowed to make it legal by paying the normal permit and inspection fees plus a fine, and making whatever changes are required to bring the structure into compliance with zoning, building and fire regulations. One problem is that Ches’s tiny studio doesn’t seem to be very well insulated with only R14 in the walls. Most building codes specify at least R19. Another problem is that Vancouver requires all new homes to be equipped with fire sprinklers. There could be many other issues as well, some of which could be extremely expensive to remedy, such as minimum setbacks from the property lines.
Ches likely determined that the cost to bring the tiny house into compliance was too great. So, he either has to remove it from his yard or turn it back into a garage/workshop. He decided to try selling it. For $20,000, you get the tiny house with all appliances and TV included.
Click a thumbnail to view a larger photo, then click on the photo to advance to the next one.
Photographs courtesy of Ches Lam. Via Treehugger.
Text copyright 2015 SmallHouseBliss. All Rights Reserved.
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On a slab like this, the cost of moving the house is going to be quite high. That’s assuming the slab was poured to code, which would be a big assumption based on the other shortcuts taken in this build.
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It’s not that ‘shortcuts’ were taken with the build, it’s beautiful. The cities and their damn codes are obscene. They basically criminalize anyone who doesn’t have the money to buy their damn permits and adhere to them, jumping through endless expensive hoops. I presume they would prefer the owner to be in jail or pushing a shopping cart around since that’s what the threat is all about? Or that a gorgeous and functional living space in a city with what I presume are hundreds if not thousands of homeless people be bulldozed? Sprinklers for such a small place are overkill, you could get out quickly in case of fire, and it costs little to heat such a small space. Interestingly enough, the code enforcement nazis are ‘held harmless’ if they go after people like this man with a vengeance, as long as it’s within the parameters of their ‘job duties’. In other words, instead of some kind of cooperation, a virtual gun is pulled on the owner (perhaps a retroactive permit at no cost, but then everyone would do that and the city wouldn’t make a killing on baseless laws, right?) Like drug laws that criminalize or worse being ‘in possession of’ a harmless and medicinal flower (because it causes you to rethink society’s narrow-minded and gobsmackingly destructive capitalist parameters) ‘permits’ are the equivalent of buying indulgences from the local con-artist ‘authority’ (money for entrance into heaven, a very successful scam that the Pope and his moneygrubbing minions encouraged for centuries). To hell with them all, if this was all about safety and adequate housing, they would work with people for free to provide information on safe, inexpensive housing for everyone that desired that, with no minimum SF requirements of any kind. None of that ‘but the neighbor’s RE values are an issue’ BS either. Do we now build houses based on what the other guy’s place will sell for somewhere down the road? It’s obvious that housing prices will rise to the point where no one will be able to afford one, and we’ll all be pushing our wagons filled with meager belongings past endless Trump Tower-like marble-layered hotels, monuments to our inability to fight back against insanity and greed. It’s high time for a class action lawsuit against this kind of personal freedom encroachment.
Just take out the Kitchen and call it a Art studio. Or change the foundation so it’s not permanent.
Would you happen to have Ches Lam’s contact info? I’m working on building a small home in my back yard and was wondering if he had blueprints. Thanks!