Learning to keep things simple

twilight tiny home

Have you been interested in investing in real estate, creating more income, moving a loved one close to you, or like the idea of downsizing? With Ridgefield consistently rated as the fastest growing city in the state of Washington, there are a number of opportunities to take advantage of your property.

Because tiny homes are – you got it! – tiny; here are just a few of the ways they are being put to use:

  • Urban lots with an existing home can usually find room to add a tiny home as an accessory dwelling unit.
  • Tiny homes can be permitted as accessory dwelling units (ADUs) These units can be used as a rental properties or Air BnBs where your zoning allows. Providing an addition stream of income.
  • Tiny homes can provide the opportunity to bring an aging parent or loved one onto your property while maintaining a sense of privacy.
  • Because tiny homes are so small, they are less work to care for. This can relieve the burden of the time and physical labor required to care for a large home.
  • A small home allows you to declutter and simplify your life.
  • Tiny homes are typically “green”, or energy efficient. This will help you save money on monthly expenses while being kind to our environment.

In addition to this list of benefits, a tiny home can save you time and money in the building process. Most tiny homes are built in a shop with a factory like assembly rather than on the building site. This creates a building process that is faster and more efficient than building onsite. This saves the builder money. The savings are passes on to the customer.

Ridgefield’s review process for tiny homes

The City of Ridgefield has a simple process for modular units that only requires permitting for the foundation and trade permits for utility connections.

Sign welcoming visitors to the City of Ridgefield

The submittal checklist for a modular home placement includes a paper copy of the application for modular home placement, 3 paper copies and one electronic copy provided on a thumb drive of the following:

  • Site Plan
  • Drawings showing elevations and foundation attachments
  • Structural plans showing details for stairs, ramps and rails
  • Plumbing Permit Application if water connection is taking place

According to Ridgefield’s municipal code, the city will allow accessory dwelling units with limited conditions in residential areas zoned as RLD 4, RLD 6, RLD 8 and RMD 16.

Getting a permit for an ADU

If you’re placing your modular home as an ADU / accessory dwelling unit, here’s a summary of the requirements you must meet in order to move forward.

  • No more than one ADU allowed per legal lot
  • ADUs can be located within the primary residence or be created through a detached structure.
  • The ADU must be designed in the same style as the primary dwelling and is required to use like kind materials on the exterior elements.
  • An ADU can be no larger than 50% of the living space in the primary dwelling.
  • A detached ADU must be located behind the primary street façade of the primary dwelling.
  • An ADU may not be subdivided or otherwise segregated in ownership from primary residence.
  • An accessory dwelling unit application is Subject to a Type II review. This means that a public notice will be posted online and mailed out to property owners within 300 feet from the subject property. To see the complete list of the city’s additional requirements, they are laid out in the City of Ridgefield municipal code. Please see the links below.

To get started, you’ll want to navigate to the permit and development portal and apply using the button illustrated below.

City of Ridgefield permit portal

Once you’ve submitted your ADU application, the review process in the City of Ridgefield typically takes 4-6 weeks.

The fees associated with an accessory dwelling unit modular home placement application should cost between $1,000-$1,500.

More information on a Type II review process can also be found on the municipal website.

Calculating the costs

At Wolf Industries, we provide a 60-minute consultation to help you determine if your project is feasible and fits within your budget, free of charge.

In this consultation our experts will help you select the Wolf Industries’ model that’s right for you. We currently have a selection of 4 models available. Each model has a base price and available options to upgrade.

Once you’ve made your selections, we’re able to give you the estimated cost of your project.

There are some additional costs to consider. These include permitting fees, utility connections for water, sewer and electricity, and the cost of any additional work that may be required. Examples of additional work could include environmental reports required for permitting, grading and excavation or additional work like installing driveways, decks or covered patios.

These additional costs typically range between $10,000 to 18,000.

Let’s use a 2 bedroom Model E as an example of the costs of adding a tiny home or ADU in Ridgefield city limits.

Item Cost
615 square foot Model E (Base price) $79,900
Upgrades (Optional additions) $5,000
Permits, Foundation, Delivery & Setup $17,500
Sub Total $101,900
Washington Sales Tax $8,559.60
Total $110,459.60

If you’d like to use our permitting services; we collect a deposit of $4500. This covers the costs associated with your permitting fees and labor. If your permitting fees exceed the $4500 deposit, you will be responsible to pay the remainder of the fees associated with your permit.

Typically, this doesn’t happen in the City of Ridgefield unless you’re required to pay SDC (system development charge) fees for the first single family residence placed on the property.

This is available at low-cost because the house itself is inspected and signed off at a state level through Labor & Industries’ Factory Assembled Structures program.

For the sake of this post, we’ll assume your permitting fees are $1,250 in the City of Ridgefield. This total was included in the permit, foundation and delivery line in the estimated costs above.

It’s important to note that your property’s specific needs will vary. As a result, this will affect the total costs associated with your project. We understand that the variable cost is important to your budget, so we’re happy to help you determine the estimated expense of utility connections and any other costs you may incur with your project. Some of the past requests made by our clients have been grading needs, driveway construction, decks and covered patios.

Set up and delivery of modular units

When your tiny home construction is completed in our shop, the house will be ready for a walk-through. Once you’ve completed your walk through, given us your approval, and paid the remainder of your outstanding balance, the house ownership is yours while still insured by Wolf Industries.

Once we have your building permit in hand, we’ll be ready to schedule our first site visit. Our crew will then be dispatched to start the tiny home set up checklist, beginning with grading your building site and installing the foundation.

Delivering adu to ridgefield washington

When the foundation is ready, the house will be delivered to its foundation and the utilities will be connected, as shown above. Following installation, your home will be cleaned thoroughly and a meeting will be scheduled to hand off your keys.

All documents for your home will be left with the home and your warranty begins. You can expect this process to take 2-5 weeks.

What are the next steps?

It’s time to relax and enjoy your brand-new energy efficient Wolf Industries tiny home.

Spend your days doing the things you love rather than getting your to do list done. No more 2nd story windows to clean. No more roofs to repair or windows to replace. No more weekend warrior projects to update your older home. Now you can use your time the way you choose to while enjoying the savings on your lower mortgage payment and utility bills. Go do all the “fun stuff” you’ve been dreaming of or save for your retirement.

If your tiny home was purchased as an investment, you’re ready to enjoy the additional income from your new rental property. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the Ridgefield, WA is currently $1,265. So, start collecting some additional income or enjoy the monthly savings with your new Wolf Industries tiny home accessory dwelling unit.

If you’ve moved a loved one onto your property, you’re able to care for them while maintain privacy. You get to enjoy the convenience of having your family member at your fingertips. No need to take a drive across town to get them the help they need. No more worry about their safety and well-being. Now you get to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having them close to you, literally in your own back yard.