Albuquerque’s Tiny House Guidelines

Albuquerque, New Mexico is officially recognizing tiny houses (not THOWS [Tiny Houses on Wheels]) as an option for affordable and sustainable living. Albuquerque’s Planning Department’s Building Safety Division has published some guidelines so that potential tiny home builders know the specific building codes and regulations that will need to be followed to stay in compliance with the law. Here’s a quick preview, but check their website for the official facts.

  • A tiny home must have one room that is at least 120 square feet – that may also contain a sleeping area and kitchen area.
  • A tiny home must have sanitary facilities (bathroom) with a toilet, sink, bath or shower.
  • The kitchen and bathroom must have hot and cold running water.
  • The home must be on a permanent foundation.
  • An exterior door at least 32″ wide by 78″ high.
  • Smoke Alarms
  • Read them all here…

About Albuquerque

This is my personal take on Albuquerque; I lived there while going to college. Great town, love the weather and seasons, love the big sky, love the diversity, love the location, and most of all… LOVE the Green Chile.

Albuquerque is roughly in the middle New Mexico and is at an elevation of about 5,300 feet. It is surrounded by desert. On the east side are the Sandia Mountains standing at 10,600 feet. On the west side are some ancient volcanos, and to the north – about an hour away – is Santa Fe.

It doesn’t get terribly hot in the summer and you’re treated to the occasional sudden monsoon storm. In the winter you might see a sprinkling of snow too. Ski bums will enjoy the skiing at Sandia Peak, above Santa Fe and up in Taos.

New Mexico is a state that understands the need and value of alternative architecture too. You’ll find more open minds there in planning departments. For example many homes are made from old-fashion adobe blocks. You’ll find building standards for straw bale construction. You’ll even find homes built from reclaimed tires up in Taos called EarthShips. Now, tiny houses on foundations are good to go too.

If any of that sounds good to you, and you want to live tiny, check out Albuquerque. It may be a good destination for those looking for a city friendly to tiny house living.

Pictured here is a tiny adobe in New Mexico that’s even smaller than what Albuquerque would approve – but shows how much can be done with so little. The photo was sent to me by the homeowner, Samuel Gray. See more of this Tiny Casita at Tiny House Design.



The “Dome Lady” Tile House

Fully functional sculptural tiny house.

“Take one very creative and patient lady and millions of little pieces of tile and look what happens.  When my husband was in his 20′s he had the opportunity to help her with a few projects.  I especially love the planter women she made.  Someday I envision an outdoor bread oven shaped like one of these lovely ladies.”

via The “Dome Lady” Tile House | Homestead Style.

Whittled Down – On the Road

Libby and Tristan have officially left Santa Fe and are now living on the road in their tiny covered wagon. They had a little car trouble (bad battery) on their way south but made it to their first stop, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. While there they will make some adjustments and refinements to make life on the road more comfortable.

Whittled Down – On the Road

Contemporary Prairie Schooner

Libby and Tristan are building this lightweight (1000 pound) tiny house with a budget of $1,500 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They plan to move into it this summer and make a move to New England. Most tiny houses are very heavy, much heavier than normal travel trailers. This project is extremely interesting because it pushes the envelope on how much can be done with little money and less weight. I’m certain their work will inspire many others to build similarly lightweight tiny homes. You can follow their progress on their blog called, Whittled Down.

Contemporary Prairie Schooner

Adobe Casita

One of my readers on Tiny House Design sent me this very nicely done adobe casita near Abiquiu, New Mexico. Three months out of the year Samuel Grey lives in this tiny house. In a few years this will be his full-time home.

Adobe Casita