Tiny homes in Austin

2 Replies

Hi everyone!

A lot of my clients have been interested in either finding a home with a tiny home in the backyard or building a tiny home/structure on a lot/multiple tiny homes on a lot. 

I'm not very familiar with the whole concept, although, in the past couple years I have heard it come up more and more. I know the city of Austin is strict about permits...I just would like to know if anybody has any advice or words of warning, so that I can educate my clients and myself.

Thank you!

It's definitely a thing that's done in Austin and there are rules in place to cover it. They call them Alley Flats. It used to be the lot had to be at least 7,000 SF but I believe they were considering or did lower that number citywide. I believe some neighborhoods modify that requirement. There's also an impervious cover requirement -- a certain percentage of the lot has to remain uncovered by structure or asphalt so that there's less runoff to contend with; I think it's a 60/40 split but I can't recall which number is impervious and which is for the permeable. the living space itself was capped at 850 SF last time I looked and was usually done in an apartment over a detached garage. Finally you have to have access to the second unit so usually this is done on corner lots or lots with an alleyway behind them -- hence the name, Alley Flat.

Glenn Gurgiolo can tell you all about the rules and correct what I've got wrong. He has an account on BP but it doesn't look like he's too active. His company is Ladybird Ventures.

Thank you, Scott! I appreciate the information and contact. I'll definitely be getting in touch