I'm not sure if there is much we would change in our tiny home if we had the chance to rebuild. I mean, we really love our home. Since we discovered the 8th wonder of the world, an air fryer, I think we would just skip the oven and get a hot top.
Such a hard question! We absolutely love everything about our house! But! We did have some small mold issues when we first moved in. We didn’t know that the air needed to circulate and that having a system in place to help do that was crucial. Since then, we now have two dehumidifiers in the house and always leave a few windows open during the day to help the air flow through.
I think mold is a huge issue in tiny homes and it isn’t always talked about, but if we could go back, I would do plenty more research on the matter and take all precautions to make sure our house remained mold-free.
We would have installed a Lunos air exchange system to the house to help with condensation (which we are doing shortly)! And we would also have installed double glazed windows. We chose single glazed to try and save on weight—the weight limits of a tiny house are considerably lower in New Zealand.
My husband and I have actually talked about this question at length. If we were to do it over again, I would have a couch instead of a built-in seating area. The little nook we have is very comfortable and functional, but really only for one person.
Normally, we end up relaxing outside, or upstairs in our bed; which is great don’t get me wrong, but it would be nice to have a place downstairs where more than one person could lounge comfortably.
Dear Past Annie—just let go of the skylight idea. Just don't do it. You don't need it. It's more trouble than it's worth. I don't mention it often, because I still have some not-so-happy feelings about it, but when I first moved into my tiny house, I had a skylight.
I had a very romantic notion of having skylight above my bed so I could gaze up at the stars, and take afternoon naps under a beam of sunlight. So, I expended the time and trouble to make it happen, only to find out, the week after my house was delivered, the day before I moved in, that my skylight had leaked at the FIRST sign of moisture.
There are a mixture of factors, all of which could have been partially to blame: the pitch of my roof is a bit low for a skylight to slough water off properly, the flashing and trim didn't look like it had been installed correctly, and, of course, my house had been delivered almost 400 miles, so all of that bumping along the road probably didn't help matters. I had my roof covered with a tarp for 2-3 months as my builder came out and tried a few different repairs, none of which worked. Eventually, I just knew I wouldn't ever feel confident that the skylight wouldn't start spontaneously leaking again. That every gentle drumming of rain on the metal roof would make me tense and start checking for leaks.
So, I had my builder come back, take the skylight out entirely, and patch my roof and ceiling. Now, I can enjoy a rainy day without worry, and I still get tons of natural light from my other windows, so I don't miss it one bit.
I'm sure plenty of tiny house folks have had success with skylights, but if you have a low pitch to your roof or are planning to travel with your home, I would caution you to really make sure it's worth your energy and money.
I would have installed proper ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom and added a skylight to the other loft. I have a range hood that filters the air but recirculates it back to the house. I should have gotten a ducted range hood which vents air to the outside.
I also have a tiny solar vent installed in the bathroom which could be bigger if I had to do it again. Also, a skylight in the guest loft would have benefitted my growing family of plants. You can read more about lessons I learned after living in the tiny house for over a year on my blog. http://tinymissdollyonwheels.com/lessons-learned
Most definitely. The best part is we have already made those desired changes. Tiny house renovations are not much different than a traditional house. We’ve updated much of our built-in furniture to improve the ease of use, like our couch/bench seat. Initially, the only way to access the storage compartment was to remove the cushions, open the lid and awkwardly dig inside the bins for what we were looking for. Now we can access the storage space by pulling out drawers. A small but gratifying change.
The longer we live in our tiny home, almost 4 years now, the more ways we find to increase our space efficiency. Like tailoring our favorite clothes to fit us better, we have renovated to improve our daily living experience. For example, we rebuilt our folding table to be more efficient and multi-functional.
Christian built the first version to mimic the popular Ikea table seen in so many tiny houses. The problem: when it was up, it was difficult to get by it to access the front door or kitchen. The solution: when up, the new table takes up only half the space. When more workspace is needed, we can pull out an extension, similar to a keyboard drawer. Also, our Roku TV is now stored inside of it. When we want to watch something, we can easily remove the top of the table to pull it up. Christian used drawer slides, simple and inexpensive.
We're well underway in the design process of our tiny house right now and hadn't placed much emphasis on ventilation and moisture control—and it seems that this is something everyone should consider. While we had already heavily considered spray foam insulation to reduce moisture build-up in our tiny house, these suggestions definitely mean we have to go back to the drawing board to address ventilation.
Lots of windows is a great starting point, but when you live in a hot climate like we do in Texas, leaving the windows open for a few hours isn't the smartest idea! I think we may need something else to assist.