Many tiny house enthusiasts buy the smallest, most affordable windows they can find when first constructing their house to save money and time on installation. If you've been living in your new structure for a few years now, you're likely ready to upgrade for more natural light and a better looking home. Spend a little extra to try at least one of these five tricks for dressing up a tiny house with new windows.
Re-Roof to Accommodate a Dome Window
Is your roof on your tiny house ready for repairs too? Consider changing the shape to a gambrel or barrel vaulted design, which leaves rounded gables at both ends that can fit big dome windows. The half-circle shape lets in a lot of natural light while remaining high enough on the wall to give you plenty of privacy. Changing the roof can be outrageously expensive on a full-sized house, but tiny homes are small enough to stay affordable even for big changes.
Experiment with Colored Glass
Stained glass is a costly investment, but you can mimic the look with inexpensive colored window film. The plastic sticks to the glass with an adhesive you can easily clean away when you decide to go back to clear. If your budget can handle it, splurge for genuine colored glass panes to liven up your small space, at least for small casement windows. Few things add as much cheer as a bright green or red window.
Grab the Breeze with Awning Windows
If you skimped a little on the roof overhang size when building your tiny house, you might find that leaving your windows open for ventilation during a rain storm results in a wet sill or floor. Get better breezes in all types of weather by installing awning windows. These windows angle out as they open to direct rain away from the screen and capture even the lightest gusts of air to refresh your interior air.
Improve Your Efficiency
Tiny homes are all about energy efficiency, but it's hard to afford the very best triple paned and double glazed windows when you're already spending plenty on other building materials. Take the opportunity to upgrade to trim your heating, cooling, and lighting bills even further, especially if you made the move to a tiny home to save money in the first place. Look for useful energy saving features like:
- Glass coated with a finish that slows the transfer of heat through the glass or reflects it back out
- Light reactive films that darken during the brightest parts of the day to block heat
- Insulated frames with built-in seals to prevent air from leaking out or in around the frame
- Gas pumped into the gaps between double or triple layers of glass to further buffer the transfer of heat
- Soft and durable weather stripping around the edges and sill to create a tight seal when the window is closed
- Tough glazing sealing the glass to the frame to prevent cracking that lets air flow through
Consider Easier Opening Options
Are your windows mounted high in the wall to let in more light and a better cross breeze? If you find it difficult to reach to open those windows, you won't get to enjoy a fresh breeze very often. Try swapping in windows fitted with cranks to reduce the amount of stretching and reaching you do to open them up.
Invest in high quality windows when remodeling your tiny home to boost its value. Durable frames and tempered glass are especially important if your particular design is built on a trailer instead of a fixed foundation. All the rattling and swaying of travel puts a lot of strain on structural elements like the windows.
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