This is actually going to be a two-part post - things I wish I had done differently and things I wouldn't ever change. I'm in classes this month for my Real Estate license, which is consuming most of my time. BUT this post has been in the back of my mind, and now that we have lived in the house for about 5 months I think I have a good handle on what I should have done differently.
Before and after: I'm still smiling! Even though there are a few things I wish I could change, I still love this house!
NUMBER ONE: A spot for a cup when sitting on our couch. This is actually Dan's wish more than mine. He usually sits in the corner of the "L" shape, and while I did extend the windowsills deeper for this purpose, it's awkward. I'm always nervous that we're going to spill coffee or wine on our couch cushions because of having to twist around to get a cup off the windowsill. This is more a concern for Dan than me, because I typically sit by the kitchen end of the "L" and the bottom step of our stairs is like an end table. I'm probably going to change this at some point by building a folding shelf, but for now it's a minor problem.
Need more coffee/wine cup locations!
NUMBER TWO: We goofed up on the location of one radiant heat panel. In the kitchen hallway, the panel is away from the front of the cabinets a bit. Which means there is a cold strip right in front of the cabinets, sink, and cooktop. My toes are always cold when I'm standing there for dishes or making food. This is not something I can change at this point. To fix it, I would have to tear out the couch, kitchen cabinets and countertop, all the base trim, all the mechanical stuff, and rip up the floor to rearrange that panel. So, it's staying the way it is. I'm still very happy with the choice to do the radiant heat, I just wish I had thought that placement through a bit more.
Those two floor boards in front of this bank of cabinets aren't heated. I'm blaming the dirty dishes on the fact my toes are cold when I stand here!
NUMBER THREE: the location of the window in the bathroom. The window is off center to the left, so it's closer to the shower side than the toilet side. It also doesn't line up with the doorway into the bathroom. Ironically, I placed the window off center on purpose! I did this so it wouldn't be in the way of our shower. . . which was originally going to be on the other side (where the toilet is now). At some point in building I rearranged the floor plan significantly, and this window was already built and in place and it was the victim. Actually I rearranged the floor plan several times after the shell was completed. Anyway, it doesn't matter a whole lot but it would be nice if the window was centered on the doorway as intended with the original floor plan.
NUMBER FOUR: Bad choice of water heater. I'm certain that the PrecisionTemp RV 550 works great for other people. However, I did not know when I purchased it that the effectiveness of the propane would drop the higher in altitude you are. We live at about 4,300 ft above sea level. This means we are getting a roughly 5% less effective water heater than the same one at or near sea level. For us, this means we have never gotten water hotter than about 105 degrees. Usually it's around 100. It feels lukewarm washing the dishes, and I rarely shower at home because it feels cold to me. I shower at the gym instead. Dan? He thinks it's fine and showers at the tiny house. I'm thinking of replacing it with a tank style water heater this summer and selling our current one to someone who is closer to sea level for 50% off the list price. Send me an email if you're interested! I'm not tearing up the house until it's nicer weather though.
NUMBER FIVE: ok, ok, I was warned by other people before I built the ladder to our storage loft that it was a bad idea. The ladder to the storage loft is a rope "pirate" ladder. It was really fun to make, but it is awful to use. We have only climbed it a couple times. I think we would use our storage loft so much more effectively if it was easier to get up and down from. I am on the hunt for a better setup that still doesn't take up too much space, and I promise to give a full update when I change it out for good!
And that's it! Next week I'll be posting about the five things I wouldn't change if you paid me to in the Lucky Linden.