As home prices continue to rise, tiny homes are becoming increasingly popular in Ontario because they’re cheaper to build and maintain than traditional homes. If you’re thinking about making the switch to tiny home living, contact Black Forest Plumbing today. Our team of licensed plumbers provide residential plumbing services to customers in Aurora, Newmarket and the Greater Toronto Area.
In Ontario, a tiny home is defined as a small, private, self-contained dwelling unit. It can be a primary home or a separate structure on a property with an existing house, such as a backyard apartment, laneway suite or in-law suite.
Regarding size, municipalities may have minimum requirements for tiny homes, while others have maximum requirements. For example, some municipal bylaws require a tiny home to be 37 m2 (400 ft2) or smaller. Ontario’s Building Code states a tiny home cannot be smaller than 17.5 m2 (188 ft2).
The Ontario Building Code states that all tiny homes must meet the following plumbing requirements:
A supply of hot and cold water
A sink, bathtub or shower and a toilet or drainless composting toilet in the bathroom
A kitchen sink
All plumbing work must be done by a qualified plumber. You may also need to contact your municipal planning and building department about servicing for your tiny house, including water supply and sewage.
There are several plumbing options for tiny homes in Ontario. Here are some of the most common ways to get water into and out of your home.
If it’s on the grid, you can have the appropriate plumbing connections installed to hook an RV hose up to a municipal water supply. If you go this route, your tiny house plumbing system will function like an RV. You can easily install a complete shower system without worrying about conserving your water usage.
If your tiny home is off the grid, installing an indoor water tank with a pump is best. The pump circulates and pressurizes the water so you can use your sinks and shower as usual. You can pour jugs of water into the tank or fill it using a hose through an external fill port. Since your water supply is limited in this case, you may need to be mindful of how often you take showers or wash dishes.
Grey water tanks collect runoff from sinks, bathtubs and washing machines, while black water is specifically for toilet wastewater. If you have an on-grid tiny home, you must simply hook up to a municipal sewer line or septic tank.
If your tiny house is off the grid, you must collect your black and grey water in holding tanks and empty them at designated dumping stations. You can also choose to install a self-contained composting toilet that breaks down waste without using chemicals or water.
Finally, if you want the flexibility of going on- or off-grid, you can opt for a hybrid system. For instance, you can have your tiny home equipped with a complete water and sewage system and a water tank and pump as a backup. This is ideal if you plan on moving your tiny home from place to place. That way, you don’t have to worry about finding an alternative water supply, no matter where you go.
If you need help deciding which plumbing system is right for your tiny home, the team at Black Forest Plumbing would be happy to help.
Are tiny homes legal in Ontario?
Consult your local municipality for zoning requirements for building a tiny home. Moreover, check with them if you want to add a tiny home to your existing property. The Ontario Building Code is a great resource to get you started.
Do I need a permit to build a tiny home?
Your local municipality will provide guidance and regulatory information related to tiny homes in your area.
What are the plumbing requirements for a tiny home?
Your tiny home must have a sink, bathtub or shower and a toilet or composting toilet in the bathroom, plus a kitchen sink. It should be equipped with a supply of hot and cold water. A qualified plumber must do your plumbing work, and you must contact your municipal regulators to arrange for water and sewage services.
Black Forest Plumbing is the place to go if you’re ready to make your tiny home dreams come true. Our team will help you navigate Ontario’s building codes to ensure your new home meets the province’s plumbing requirements. Whether you need a new toilet, shower or kitchen sink installed in your tiny home or want to design an off-grid plumbing system from the ground up, our team can help. Contact us today to find out more about our services.