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    Tall tiny house question

    Hello everyone! I'm in the planning/design stage of my tiny house project (via SketchUp), and I'm considering making my THOW slightly taller than the standard maximum height of 13.5 ft. Right now, I have it at 14.5 ft. The reason is because I'm fairly tall (over 6 ft.) and want ample headroom both in the loft and the downstairs bathroom. I know that this adjustments means I would have to get special licensing permission when moving the house, but I don't plan on moving it often. Besides that, are there any cons to think about before expanding the height of my house?
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    #2
    A license won't keep the top part of your house from hitting the underside of a bridge. The 13'6" is not a suggestion (you will get a ticket) and if the house ever moves, you will need to take it down to max height before you put it on the road. This is not to say that you couldn't design it in two pieces and have the top part installed (maybe by crane) when you get to where you are going. And maybe a tiny house is not for you. Perhaps you should build a small, stick-built home on a site of your choosing and then you get everything you want. Here is a fabulous YouTube video showing what you are looking at if you do what you propose ...

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      #3
      What trailer are you building on? Do you have a way to calculate what the added height would add in weight? Also, do you know how often you'd be moving? While it's true that you can navigate around any obstacles, I guess I would ask myself if the increase in logistics was worth it to get the height you want.

      I built mine 13' 6" exactly knowing that I wouldn't be moving much and it's still quite stressful.

      Another point is stealth. Obviously the taller a structure is the greater the likelihood that a nosy neighbor takes note and tattles on you.

      These things may not be a concern where you live, but just sharing some thoughts. I'd love to see your SketchUp model if you don't mind sharing.

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        #4
        Thanks CasitaiiTiny. I'm looking at getting a Trailer Made trailer that's custom built for tiny houses. The weight calculation is a good point. I don't have a way to calculate that as of now. Not planning on moving it much at all, but I like the idea of having it one wheels just in case I'm forced to. THOWs aren't technically legal where I'm at, so I like the flexibility of being able to move it rather a stick frame house with a foundation. These logistics are definitely worth thinking about before I start building. I'll consider sharing my SketchUp model when I've completed it.

        I'd be interested to know what other tall folks (6 ft.+) have done to make their THOW more comfortable - even at 13'6".

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          #5
          So I'm 6' exactly and there is ample headroom on the main level. Even with a 12" foam mattress in the loft, I can sit up straight in bed (high side of shed roof only), but certainly could not stand up straight. I put a skylight above the bed which makes the space feel much roomier.

          I went with TrailerMade as well and am happy with the trailer. When I bought mine, they didn't offer structural fenders at the time, so I had to weld in some brackets on one of mine because I was planning on putting a door over it. I was told they would make this feature standard in the future, if that's of any value to ya


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            #6
            Have you considered building it with an expandable/raisable hydraulic roof!?

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              #7
              Originally posted by ThinHaus View Post
              A license won't keep the top part of your house from hitting the underside of a bridge. ]
              I do believe that, with sufficient permitting and planning, you can move oversized things, including over-height. I also believe that to get the over-height permit, you must show your route plan and clearances of everything along the way. There is trucker software that gives clearances of all bridges in the US. You would also probably need a person to lift cables. Electrical lines are supposed to be at least 15'6", but they aren't always, and phone/internet cables are supposed to be 14'6" or higher, but they aren't always. On my move from one build site to another, I had someone help lift TV cables in two places, both of which were well below the 13'6" height of my house.

              lbucha01 Bryce Langston from New Zealand has a Tiny House channel (Living Big in a Tiny House), is 6'4" or so, and is big enough that he played a Gladiator on the Spartacus TV show. He talks about his height relative to his personal tiny in some video.
              Last edited by Doug; 08-12-2019, 11:38 AM.

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                #8
                The 13'6" height limit in the US seems pretty much written in stone. Can't even imagine the cost to hire and permit wire attendants on a trip from here in Arizona to perhaps, Oregon. If you want room height, then it seems that a second floor would be for storage only. The problem might be solved easily enough by going with a much bigger, goose-neck trailer. It would be easier and less costly to move a long trailer that is within permissible height. Also thinking, what about building the house in two parts and using a crane at the end point to place the second floor in place? Then you could go to 15' or more ... a two piece construction? Actually easier to do than rolling down the highway with a super tall unit.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by ThinHaus View Post
                  The 13'6" height limit in the US seems pretty much written in stone.
                  Not really. For example, you might want to check out www.wideloadshipping.com , or www.heavyhaul.net . Many truckers deal with oversize, and the permitting required, on a fairly regular basis.

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                    #10
                    One of the great parts of the tiny house movement is the ability to do most anything you want. If you have the time, the energy, the patience and sometimes the money you can get it done. Looks like Doug wants to move the Empire State Building from Burbank to Atlantic City and will do anything to make that happen. What an interesting project. For the rest of us, keeping things within reasonable boundaries and costs makes more sense. We all have some "Doug" within us and it can make parts of our build more costly. You just have to decide if it's worth it to you. If it is, as going tall is for Doug, then have at it. With time, energy and money you can make it so.

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                      #11
                      ThinHaus Please. No need to be insulting. I was simply providing accurate information so that the OP could make an informed decision. I wasn't recommending, promoting, advocating, or suggesting anything. And as you can see from my shared house photos, "going tall", at least taller than 13'6", is not my thing at all.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by ThinHaus View Post
                        One of the great parts of the tiny house movement is the ability to do most anything you want. If you have the time, the energy, the patience and sometimes the money you can get it done. Looks like Doug wants to move the Empire State Building from Burbank to Atlantic City and will do anything to make that happen. What an interesting project. For the rest of us, keeping things within reasonable boundaries and costs makes more sense. We all have some "Doug" within us and it can make parts of our build more costly. You just have to decide if it's worth it to you. If it is, as going tall is for Doug, then have at it. With time, energy and money you can make it so.
                        ThinHaus, the above response to Doug is in violation of Tiny House Forum Rules (see rule #7). Consider this a rule violation warning and please refrain from posting further comments intended to instigate an argument. We're all here to learn from one another in a constructive and cordial manner. There's no need to post inflammatory comments directed toward another member of this community who's offering a potential solution to the original poster's question.

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                          #13
                          RE: taller. I would not recommend extra tall for reasons already recommended. even at 13.5 ft you could run into trouble . bridge clearance is often posted for the center line of the road and can drop off drastically to either side. its not just on smaller roads either. there was an incident north of Seattle jut off I-5 a few years back involving a taller load . took out the load and the bridge. Wider is not as hard to deal with. But Taller seems a disaster waiting to happen. it might also negatively affect resale. I personally am trying to stay at 12 ft overall . (struggling a bit to stay at 12 ft at 22 ft long though. if I could go to 26 I could have all I want. But t 22 is tough)

                          RE: Alternatives? I am under 6 ft but a bit stiff and a tad old and I like to make my bed with sheets and blankets not just toss a duvet over the bed. But crawling in a loft not appetizing. . I'm in design and mock up phase on a house not to exceed 22 ft long. I have laid out to solutions 1) bed in a drawer under a low raised platform for kitchen (and possible also under the bath for me - but under the bath is probably not a good plan for you, if you want ceiling height in the loo) . A full or queen bed works. the mattress will be covered in a tight upholstery fabric slip cover during the day for looks and a stiff seating finish. it will pull out halfway for extra sofa style seating. it will come out all the way for sleeping and shoved all the way under and become invisible for maximum open floor space for dog play and yoga. or 2) a 2 ft wide landing at the top of the stairs extending all the way or part way back to the foot of the bed. this will allow me 18 - 22 inches of space to sand make the bed and access the closet as well as a less step stair case. The First Light Tiny house in AU does this landing beautifully easy to find online. the roof line of that house also give a lot of functional and visual height. I haven't found a bed in a drawer thats quite as sleek and finished as I would like. but I guess mine might be the first. good luck.
                          Last edited by cordybrown; 09-09-2019, 05:17 PM.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by cordybrown View Post
                            RE: taller. even at 13.5 ft you could run into trouble . bridge clearance is often posted for the center line of the road and can drop off drastically to either side.
                            Good point ... on the other hand, most tiny houses are only moved into position once or twice in their entire lives. With proper planning (and maybe even a trial run or lead car), you can go to 13'6" and feel pretty confident. If state laws let you go higher, then maybe so. Going tall is not without risk and does require planning and it is not a great idea if you intend to live more on the mobile side.

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                              #15
                              This was something I've considered as well. One person who has moved overheight houses told me that power lines are the bigger issue even than bridges (as you can plan your route around them), but that when you get onto smaller roads you might need someone on top of your house with a pole that can temporarily raise the lines so as to pass your house safely underneath.

                              As for the bridges, I'd gone online to a route planner for my area and it showed me which ones would potentially cause trouble height-wise.

                              At the end of considering everything though I decided to get NOAH certification, so I'm not moving forward with the added height. Just put some well placed skylights

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