A new way of thinking

Are you interested in simplifying your life? Does the word downsizing sound interesting to you? Do you have a loved one that you’d like to move onto your property, or maybe you’re looking for a way to make some extra money each month? If you answered yes to any of those questions, a tiny home might be right for you.

Because tiny homes are, well, tiny; here are some possibilities they create:

  • Most urban lots within city limits are large enough to place a small tiny home.
  • Tiny homes can be placed on properties as an ADU, or accessory dwelling unit. In the City of Camas they can be used as a long-term rental property, where zoning allows. The additional dwelling unit allows you to collect income on your investment.
  • Tiny homes provide the opportunity to have family members live in close proximity while maintaining a level of privacy for everyone.
  • Tiny homes can relieve a burden from you by giving you less to care for. This can save you time, money and a lot of physical labor.
  • Having a smaller living space allows you to simplify your life and declutter your home.
  • Tiny homes can be energy efficient. Your monthly expenses will decrease, and you get to play a part in caring for our environment.

In addition to these benefits, a tiny home will save you time and money. Most tiny homes are built in a shop with a factory like assembly. This creates a building process that is more efficient. Because the homes are built faster and efficiently, the builder can pass the savings on to you.

Understanding permit requirements in Camas

The City of Camas is a great place to add and ADU. The Building Department is friendly and easy to work with. Their review process for prefabricated WA state L&I approved modular homes, like a Wolf Industries tiny home, is simple and fast.

If you submit the correct documents with your application, their review process for a permit is usually done in 3 weeks! This is much faster than most jurisdictions.

For any building project your first step should be to do your homework. You need to determine if your project’s feasible and permittable. To look up your properties zoning and other records including environmental constraints, the best resource is the Clark County Property Information Center.

In the City of Camas an accessory dwelling unit can be created through either an internal conversion within an existing home, adding square footage to the existing home or garage, conversion of an existing garage, or a separate detached dwelling unit on the same lot as the primary dwelling unit.

Camas Building Department Website

Many people often overlook Camas’ basic design requirements for an inhabitable structure. To permit a home, the following minimum specifications must be met:

  • Winter Design Temp – 22 degrees F
  • Ice Shield Underlay – No
  • Flood Hazard – See FEMA maps
  • Air Freeze Index – 250
  • Mean Annual Temp – 50 degrees
  • Wind Speed (Gust) – 135 mph / 3 seconds
  • Seismic Design Category – D 1
  • Snow Load (Roof) – 25 lbs / feet
  • Weathering Frost Line Depth – 12 inches
  • Termites slight
  • Decay Moderate

Zoning and other restrictions

It’s also important to consider the zoning restrictions for ADUs in Camas.

The City of Camas allows accessory dwelling units in all zones where residential uses are allowed. Because they are favorable towards this type of alternative housing, the City of Camas provides some excellent opportunities for homeowners. You can also reference the City of Camas’ municipal code information to help you determine in an ADU is allowed on your property.

The bulk of the City of Camas zoning is residential zoning. There are many neighborhoods that would be excellent candidates for adding an ADU. Whether you located in the older, original, neighborhoods in the city, close to the quant down town Camas and up the hill to the Doc Haris Stadium area, or in a newer developed area like Prune Hill, adding an ADU could be for you.

Once you’ve been able to determine if your project is permittable, and you’ve obtained your building plans from your builder, you’re ready to apply! We put together an detailed tutorial on applying for tiny home or ADU permits in Camas.

Calculating the cost

Wolf Industries provides a free 60-minute consultation to help you determine if your project is feasible and fits within your budget. Our experts will help you select what Wolf Industries’ model is best for your project. We currently have 4 models available for you to choose from. Each model has a base price with available upgrades. Once you’ve made your selections, we’ll give you the estimated cost of your exciting project.

There are other potential costs to consider. These include permitting fees, utility connections, and the cost of additional work that may be required. Examples of additional work could include environmental reports, grading and excavation or installing driveways, decks or covered patios. These additional costs will vary and can range from 10,000 to 18,000.

For example, if you select a Model C with a base price of: $61,200
and a few upgrade options that total: $5,000
the total cost for the structure itself is: $66,200
Add the cost of permits, foundation, delivery and setup: 18,500
Subtotal: 84,700.00
Sales tax: 7,114.80
Total: 91,814.80

If you choose to use our permitting services, we collect a deposit of $4500 to cover the costs associated with permitting fees and for the labor required to obtain your permits. If your permitting fees exceed the $4500 deposit, you will be responsible to pay the remaining balance of the fees associated to permit your home. Typically, this does not happen in the City of Camas unless you’re paying SDC (system development charges) fees for the first single family residence placed on the property.

Camas property owners within the City of Camas jurisdiction can expect their accessory dwelling unit permit fees to be under $2,000. As outlined above, let’s say the cost of your structure is $91,814.80 including sales tax. The permitting fees for an ADU built by Wolf Industries Inc. in the City of Camas typically runs between $1,500-$2,000, depending on the building size. This lower cost of permitting is because the house itself is inspected and signed off at a state level through L&I’s FAS (Factory Assembled Structures) program. The inspections are done at the Wolf Industries shop rather than on-site.

For the sake of this post, we’ll assume your permitting fees are $2,000. This total is included in the fee estimate above in the permit, foundation and delivery line.

It’s important to note that requirements triggered by your property’s specific needs may create costs that vary from the estimated costs listed above. We’re happy to help you determine the estimated expense you may incur with your project. Feel free to give us a call or send an email inquiry to…

Site work and delivery of modular houses

Upon completion of your tiny home’s construction in our shop, we contact you to schedule a walk-through and get started on our tiny home set up checklist. Once you’ve completed your walk through, given us your approval, and paid the remainder of your outstanding balance, the house is yours while remaining insured by us. Once we have your building permit in hand, we’re ready to schedule our first visit to your site.

This is when our on-site crew will arrive to your property to grade your building site and install the foundation. When the foundation is done, the house is delivered to the foundation and the utilities are connected. When the installation of the home is complete, your home will be thoroughly cleaned, and a meeting will be scheduled to hand off your keys.

All documents will be left with the home for your records and your warranty begins. This process typically takes 2-5 weeks.

Your home has been delivered

Spend your days doing the activities you love rather than spending your time maintaining a large home. No more 2nd story windows to clean, roofs to repair, or other dangerous maintenance. No more spending your weekends on the “to do” list. Now you can enjoy the savings of your lower mortgage payment, and utility bills. This new margin within your budget and schedule can allow you to spend your time and money on the “fun stuff” or save for your retirement.

If your tiny home is an investment property, get ready to enjoy your additional income! The average rent for a 1-bedroom unit in Camas, WA in March of 2020 is $1218/mo. So, start collecting some additional income with your new Wolf Industries tiny home accessory dwelling unit.

If you’re moving a family member onto your property, now you get to enjoy the convenience of having your loved one at your fingertips. No need to make a special trip to get them the help they need. No need to worry about their safety from afar. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having your loved one close to you, literally in your own back yard.