A while back we received an email from a reader pouring compliments on us, our budgeting, our execution, our building skills, etc. The author had us confused for another couple who – it seems – knows what they are doing and has not gone through seven versions of their 240 sq. ft. floorplan for their home. He also had us confused for a couple of builders who only have to measure once and can cut with the precision and superiority of a seasoned veteran. It was all I could do not to chuckle at the well meaning homage. But again, he had us confused for another couple.

You see, we are NOT seasoned veterans. We measure multiple times and cut just as many. We have unfortunately wasted materials, cut wrong sides, nailed into something other than studs or supported paneling. And just yesterday I confirmed our humanity by mis-measuring and miscutting not one, but 22 pieces of wood.

If you follow us on Twitter or Instagram  you would have seen this photo around 12:30pm EST or so.

The caption even read:

“Ahhhhh. I had forgotten how tedious window trim. But so clean and attractive when finished. #tinyhouse”

See, yesterday started out with me ripping some of our 45-year old reclaimed white pine, sanding it, and prepping it for window jamb trim. I measured several times on all windows. I began placing the trim in one piece at the time. Things were lining up well and each piece seemingly fit like a glove. In fact, each piece did fit like a glove. So much so that at lunchtime I went inside and proclaimed victory to both Crystal and the tiniest r(E)volution. They were impressed.

By 3pm though (and when my dad came home and reminded me of such) I had a vision flash through my head.

Beautiful wall, right? We put up that paneling a few days ago. It is 1/4 x 4 x 8 Birch OSB Utility Panel. I posted that pic on Facebook on Nov. 14 and received a lot of great comments. So what is all the fuss you may be asking? Perhaps some of you already know.

You see when I was trimming out the window jamb I failed to keep in mind (again, pointed out by my dad) that the 1/4 inch paneling had to be accounted for. That’s right. All my trim had been cut and install flush with our wall studs, NOT our paneling! Oy vey. 22 pieces of wood wasted. Okay, so not wasted. I will reuse some of them and will repurpose others. But it was still disheartening for me as I was so proud of the work I had done and was looking forward to to doing the actual window trim today. Not gonna happen though.

I write all this not for sympathy but rather to share with everyone that we all make mistakes. It is part of the learning process. Some lessons are more expensive than others, granted. But they are all chances to refine ourselves and our techniques. American hotelier, billionaire, and philanthropist is credited with saying, “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

What mistakes have you made in building your tiny house or small home? Did you learn a valuable lesson from it? If so, what was that lesson?

And in closing, did you read yesterday how you can partner with Tiny r(E)volution? We are asking for help to stay online and on-air during 2013. Please find out how today!