Previously I discussed some of our best tiny house decisions and investments. While we love everything overall, there are some things I would do differently if I could build it again!
Windows. Most of our windows had to be ordered new and are from a pricier brand. They are nice, but we definitely could have saved money in this area if we searched for more windows from bargain building stores and worked those sizes into our design (we were able to do this for 2 windows, so that’s better than nothing!). Sometimes, local window suppliers (or people on Craigslist) will have perfectly good windows for very cheap that were mis-ordered. Their loss is your gain! If we had the time, we would’ve looked for more windows in roughly the sizes & styles we wanted then worked the design/framing plan around them. Even a small new special-ordered window (like the ones in the photos) can cost over $250! So I’d recommend looking around for windows before finalizing your construction blueprints.
On the plus side, special-ordering your windows means that you can have them delivered all at once and they are guaranteed to match and be the exact sizes you want.
Choosing your windows first does have downsides: it takes lots of luck and driving around to find the right windows, especially if you want them to be the same color. And this method won’t work if you don’t have much flexibility how the structure is framed, such as if you are unable to edit your construction blueprints. For instance, if you bought building plans online and aren’t familiar with framing best practices (stud & header requirements, etc.), I wouldn’t go messing with the window sizes and placement. Different window manufacturers offer different sizing increments, so pay attention to this if you use a different brand than is specified in your plans.
Flooring. Towards the end of our build we needed to save money and therefore chose the cheapest flooring we could find. You get what you pay for! Like most bargain laminates, it dents easily and is vulnerable to water damage. We also made the mistake of choosing a very dark color, which ironically does not hide dirt and dust well at all. At least we know when the floor needs cleaning, and it does look nice when it’s clean! If I could do it over, I would spend a little more on a water-resistant, scratch-proof flooring. Flooring really takes a beating in a tiny house especially in the New England climate so it’s wise to prioritize durability. Luckily it’s not too much work to upgrade the flooring later if we need to.
The good news is that neither of these “dislikes” are that bad. Pretty much everything else about the tiny house I would have done the same. Which is amazing considering we had no idea what we were doing!