Why we remodeled the exterior of our tiny house.
When we built our tiny house in late 2014 we used a popular and affordable exterior siding called T1-11. This is a plywood siding that comes in 10ft lengths and allowed us to use full height sheets between the upper and lower 2×12 lumber we used as a base trim on our tiny house. T1-11 requires a good amount of maintenance and sealing from the elements at least every two years but that was not soon enough for us on our tiny house. In less that two years we were already developing rot on our T1-11 on the backside of our tiny house and this is even in the moderate climate of the San Francisco bay area, we could not have imagined what it would be like in a wetter climate!
Now what? Well, we knew it needed to be replaced sooner rather than later and since our tiny house is built on a trailer it needed to be lightweight. Now T1-11 is not a really lightweight material but if we did change it out, we know we need to try and cut down on any weight if possible and we also needed a material that would last much longer than 2 years. Our search started with the basic parameters of lightweight and a long life. Shortly after our search started we stumbled upon Knotwood aluminum products. Immediately these products stood out to us because of the wood like appearance yet it was actually aluminum. Knotwood wood look aluminum finishing gives you the beauty and warmth of wood without the time consuming maintenance. They use a process called sublimation that has been tested all over the world for durability. This is a completely modular system that uses hidden fixing systems to give you a beautiful and seamless look when the installation is done. Most importantly to us it lightweight, low maintenance and has the high durability qualities of aluminum, while maintaining the natural beauty and warm textured feel of timber. In addition to these features it is also green certified and non combustible which is ideal for any home, especially a tiny home for which we poured our blood sweat and tears into the building.
For our new exterior design we decided to go with two tones on Knotwood, we choose the solid color “ Blue Ocean Matte” for the majority of the tiny house and chose the wood grain “Hickory” for an accent wall above and below the accordion window and also underneath the soffits on both ends. After we removed all the old exterior siding and patched up the nail holes in our vapor wrap we were ready for the installation of our new Knotwood siding. There was a little bit of a learning curve with working with the aluminum pieces but we quickly got the hang of it and actually preferred working with knotwood over wood products for siding. The hidden fastening system made the finished product look perfect and we are in no way professionals when it comes to siding! We also saved an estimated 900lbs in weight over our old heavy T1-11 exterior siding. The beautiful finished look of Knotwood can not be compared to any other building material we have seen before and will ensure our tiny house looks great for years to come with very little maintenance. It’s really hard to believe when you see it in person that it is not wood, it aluminum!