Is It Legal To Live Off Grid In Indiana?

Off-grid living is mainly legal in Indiana. The obligation to connect to a municipal sewage system if one is close is the major area where you could run into problems.

There are also other laws that may prevent you from utilising water legally on your land.

Even if your off-grid systems are legal, practically anything you wish to instal or create will require a permission.

Indiana Zoning Laws and Off-Grid Living

Zoning rules exist in almost every county and city in Indiana. These restrictions are usually very severe and explicit in terms of what you are allowed to do lawfully on your property. They include everything from the maximum permissible fence height to the amount of pets you can have.

The least stringent requirements apply to areas designated as Agricultural or Rural Residential, but even these zones include rules that might make it unlawful to live off-grid the manner you wish on your land.

In Indiana, some counties still lack zoning regulations.

You’ll still have to follow state building codes, but you won’t be limited in what you may do with your property.

Indiana counties without zoning:

*It should be noted that these counties may enact zoning regulations at any time.

Before purchasing any property in Indiana, make sure to verify the most recent laws.

Building Codes in Indiana

Indiana has a number of necessary building codes that apply to the entire state. The Indiana Residential Code is the most important of these. All detached one- or two-family buildings, as well as one-family townhouses with a maximum height of three stories, are subject to the code.

Codes are enforced by the local building official.

Some rural locations, particularly those without zoning, may not carry out inspections or enforce the law.

However, this does not imply that you should proceed with any development without first obtaining the necessary permits and according to the applicable codes.

There are numerous accounts of persons who got into serious problems years later when their county began strictly enforcing the code.

Tiny Home Laws in Indiana

Indiana is a hostile environment for tiny house dwellers. Local zoning rules frequently impose “minimum ground floor requirements” that are higher than what you’d find in a tiny house.

For example, residences in A1 districts in Johnson County must be at least 1,000 square feet. A minimum of 950 square feet is required in Huntington County. Manufactured houses in Dearborn must be at least 950 square feet.

Many zoning restrictions also limit the use of modular dwellings. However, you’ll probably be able to live in one if it’s tied to a permanent foundation and meets specific size standards.

Mobile Homes

It is normally prohibited to reside in a mobile home outside of locations explicitly zoned for mobile home sections in Indiana. It is even unlawful in some locations to have a mobile home on your land (even if no one lives in it) without zoning board consent.

In Indiana, how can I live off the grid?

Living off-grid is banned or almost illegal in many parts of Indiana due to zoning, construction code, and permit regulations. The Indiana Log Cabin Rule does, however, have a loophole (which applies to all types of homes, not just log cabins). 36-7-8-3 (d) of the Indiana State Code:

“An ordinance enacted pursuant to this section does not apply to private residences constructed by persons for their personal use.”

The onsite sewage systems of a private home mentioned in this subsection, on the other hand, must adhere to state laws and regulations.

The fact that this law exists and protects people who build their own homes does not mean that local building inspectors or health officials will not harass you. (37)


Solar power has been fiercely opposed by Indiana’s utility companies. They’ve also had some success in stifling the solar movement, such as when they convinced Indiana legislators to reduce the amount of money paid to grid-tied solar users as part of the state’s nett metering programme. Off-grid solar is generally banned in most sections of Indiana, yet you may be exempt under Indiana’s Log Cabin Rule. (38)


Composting toilets and other off-grid waste disposal systems are not permitted in Indiana. According to the law, “Installing an onsite sewage disposal system is banned if a sanitary sewer is accessible within a reasonable distance of the proposed facility, and a connection to the sewer must be constructed.

Furthermore, Indiana law expressly states: “A composting or incinerating toilet is not a substitute for an on-site sewage system in a home.

You will be obliged to connect to the sewage system regardless of the Log Cabin Rule. More information about the law can be found here and here.

In Indiana, which counties have no building codes?

Greene County, Indiana, has no planning or zoning ordinances, and no permits are required from the County to plan, build, renovate, or remodel residential or commercial properties, except to the extent that those processes are regulated by state statute or administrative code, or to the extent that those processes are regulated by the county.

Is it legal in the United States to live off the grid?

Although living off the grid is not technically illegal in any of the 50 states in the United States, several of the most important infrastructure parts of going off the grid are either overly regulated or prohibited. Problems typically emerge when homeowners wish to completely disconnect their homes from the electrical grid or instal composting toilets. Such behaviour can result in hefty penalties or possibly prison time. Installing a septic system that complies with health department regulations is another significant obstacle for individuals interested in going off the grid.

What state is the most convenient for living off the grid?

Off Grid Permaculture’s Daniel Mark Schwartz ranks Alabama as the best state for off-grid life. Alabama has a cheap cost of living, with comparatively modest land expenses and some of the lowest property taxes in the country. It also has a handful of counties that do not have building codes. Alabama is an ideal site for rainwater collection because it receives a lot of rain (56 inches per year) and state statutes allow for unrestricted water harvesting.

Is it legal for me to live in a tiny house in Indiana?

To present, only a few states in the United States have recognised the concept of a tiny house. Indiana, fortunately, is one of them. Indiana, a land rich in history and variety, embraces tiny houses. The ‘Log Cabin Rule’ is intended to allow residents to construct tiny dwellings on their land. However, when it comes to tiny houses on wheels (or THOWs), they are not covered by this provision. Is it, however, permissible to live in a tiny house in Indiana?

Indiana is one of the few states that embraces the groundbreaking idea of compact houses. However, there is always more to learn about zoning laws and legal difficulties. So, today, we’re going to show you everything you need to know about tiny houses in Indiana.

Is it possible to homestead in Indiana?

Homestead Laws in Indiana The most important of these statutes declares a piece of land to be a “homestead.” This statute permits you to claim up to $10,000 worth of your property as a homestead in Indiana. However, unlike in other states, there is no limit to the size of your designated homestead.

Is it possible to construct a home without obtaining a building permit?

Make it happen on your own. You can do some of the work yourself if you follow the Building Code’s guidelines. Even if a construction permit isn’t necessary, a project like erecting a fence or retaining wall may require a resource permit, so double-check before getting started.

Which state has the most stringent building regulations?

The California Building Standards Commission (CBSA) passed the nation’s first statewide “green” building rule on Thursday, after years of planning. Following the vote, Governor Schwarzenegger delivered the following statement:

“By enacting this nation’s first statewide green building code, California is once again leading the way in the fight against climate change and environmental protection.”

In a recent article, CBSA Chairwoman Rosario Marin summarised the new codes:

It would ensure that our state has the most modern building standards in the country.

The new rules…go far beyond California’s Title 24 energy standards, which put us on the map as environmental trailblazers a few years ago…

Many other states have adopted the Title 24 guidelines as a model.

The new…codes will necessitate major improvements in water usage for plumbing fixtures, specify household and landscape water conservation reductions of 20% for homes, and impose 15% stricter energy conservation requirements than we presently do. These energy savings will be achieved through a mix of more energy-efficient appliances, improved insulation, and more energy-efficient windows. This code will also promote the use of recycled materials in carpets and construction materials, identify a number of air quality improvements, and recommend other site upgrades, such as hybrid vehicle parking and better storm water planning.

In a written statement, the United States Green Building Council, based in Washington, D.C., quickly expressed its support for California’s new rules:

Buildings consume 39 percent of the energy utilised in the United States, 71 percent of electricity, and emit 39 percent of CO2.

Greening buildings must be a major component of any policy approach aimed at combating climate change because they are our first and best opportunity to cut energy use and CO2 emissions.

The new California Building Rules Commission standards, which were overwhelmingly accepted today, are a critical step towards raising the performance of California’s buildings.

In California, the new green building rules will be optional in 2009, but completely enforceable in 2010.

Which states have the most stringent building regulations?

IBHS’s Rating the States report, now in its fourth edition, assesses the 18 states along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, all of which are vulnerable to catastrophic hurricanes, based on building code adoption, enforcement, and contractor licencing. Each state is scored on a 0100 scale in the study, which is produced every three years, based on data from replies to groups of questions on various areas of their building code systems. The study includes the US territory of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, which were previously assessed in 2018.


In the long term, generating your own electricity may be less expensive than continuing to utilise power from the local grid, especially if you have access to good renewable resources (wind or solar).

Connections to local lines might cost tens of thousands of dollars for residences in rural places. It may be less expensive to generate your own electricity. In metropolitan regions, it may also be an alternative. The setup costs are now somewhat substantial, however they are decreasing.

You may be able to sell any excess electricity back to your power provider if you are linked to the grid and generate your own electricity.

Guaranteed connection

You can have security of supply even if there is a blackout or if your local electrical network is shut down if you can create and store your own electricity, either individually or collectively with neighbours. This allows you to be considerably more self-sufficient from the grid, which might be essential in times of civil unrest or terrible weather.

Environmental impact

In 2016, renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind, bio-energy, and geothermal generated about 84 percent of New Zealand’s electricity. The remainder is derived from the combustion of fossil fuels such as gas or coal, a process that emits glasshouse gases and contributes to climate change.