What Would You Do Differently?

 "Is there anything you would change about your tiny house?"

Back in 2012 when I first moved into my tiny house I would get defensive whenever anyone would ask me this question. I felt that it kind of missed the point. I built this house with my own hands and it was the culmination of years of preparation and hard work and to think I would do anything different came across as insulting.

But things change, including attitudes.

There are all kinds of things I would do differently if I did it all over again.

But maybe not in the way you would think. In truth, I wouldn't change a thing about our current tiny house. It served a purpose. It taught us lessons about building, designing spaces, and ourselves. It isn't perfect but it wasn't designed to be. It was meant to be a catalyst to living a very different life and in that, it has succeeded. 

If we were to build another tiny house in the future, which is always a possibility because we love projects, we would do all sorts of things differently. But that doesn't invalidate that choices we made in this house. It doesn't make our current house a disappointment.

When we started building there were very few other examples of tiny houses available on the internet. The few other self-builders who were blogging were invaluable resources for us - which is exactly the reason I started this blog. But as the movement gains momentum there are now countless tiny homes showcased on the internet for reference.

We made a lot of choices the first time due to our inexperience. That doesn't make them bad choices, but it did make them easier choices. But next time we would want to challenge ourselves more. For example, we would probably install dormers in the loft for extra elbow room. When we built our house we really wanted to keep the roof line as simple as possible.  Now we feel more comfortable with our skills.

So while I am not unhappy with my current house I do think there is always room for improvement in the next build.

If you had the chance to do it all over again, how would you approach things differently?


  1. I totally understand how such a question could seem insulting, and I think you have a great attitude about it. I like to focus on the fact that all projects are fluid. Every step is a building block and a learning point. There is nothing to stop you from making the changes now that you want.

  2. What a great post! I could also see your needs and wants changing in the future, and if you then built a new tiny house, tailoring it to meet all your needs at that time. What if one of you found it physically challenging to climb a ladder at some future point, for example? You might well want to design a very different home, but it wouldn't mean your original design was flawed.

  3. I can relate to that! I wonder the same thing. When we first got our tiny house, we spent way too much money hooking up our house to the grid for water. We only have one part left to do that still hasn't gotten done. We've been hauling water for 3 months, and now, we're used to it. I would be fine without having to hook up our water. We were debating between 8x18 and 8x20. We chose 8x18, and now I think I would have liked to have an extra 2 feet in the kitchen.

  4. Is it impossible to improve upon the current structure? It sounds like everything is set in stone. I feel like the great thing about tiny homes is that it not only opens up life to be lease/mortgage free but it allows one to grow organically as should the home to suit the needs of the inhabitants. Add dormers:~}

  5. I love your blog! So glad I found it. I would change my "office space." I thought I wanted a dedicated place to work, but it turned out to be a better storage place for all of my hobbies. If I had to do it over again, I would create a larger closet and storage area. But like you, I love my Tiny Home.

  6. Thanks for your thoughts. I never had any question, of course there are things I would do differently! Who would have a year long education and not learn something? Anyway, I just wanted to say -- reconsider your dormer idea --- I did a dormer and now wish I had a simple roof line. The dormer has probably taken 1/3 the time of the total build (by the way, I am just now installing interior knotted pine. Nonetheless, my shed dormer has been a huge pain and time burner. I did not buy plans and figured it out on my own. So....now you know: I may not be the sharpest tack in the box.

  7. Hi There! Just wanted to say I love your blog and have been reading it for a few years as inspiration to build our own tiny house (and looking at your photos of the building process to assure myself "we can do that!") Now after ages we get possession of our land at the end of the month. Thanks for the daydream fodder!


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