A-Frame House: Scarlet Letter Goes Eco Friendly

The A-frame house craze is on fire. Although the home design isn’t new, A-frame homes are thriving in ways never before seen. With their unmistakable shape and charm, the A-frame is the latest must-have among new homeowners, remote workers, and digital nomads. 

A-Frame House

If you’re new to the architectural design, an A-frame house is named after its shape – the letter “A.” A-frame homes are much cheaper than traditional homes. They’re also better than tiny homes in more ways than one.

If your an outdoor enthusiast or concerned about your carbon footprint, the A-frame house was made for you.  

A-Frame House

The A-Frame HouseView in gallery
Mountainliving

The A-frame house has been a popular design since the first was built in 1934. Due to their simplicity and design, A-frames are easy and cheap to build. After World War II, the homes began to appear in the Great Outdoors, but today, they’re popping up everywhere.  

A-Frame House Prototypes

A-Frame House PlansView in gallery
micheronstudio

An A-frame house suits different needs. The cost to build an A-frame is less than for a traditional style home design. A basic A-frame home costs between $100 to $200 per square foot. In contrast, the average tiny house costs $300 per square foot.

A-frame House Plans – Exterior 

Blue print a frame house planView in gallery

All A-frame house prototypes are similar. They have a high peaked roofline. Rafters and trusses support the roof and join at the peak and then descend to the ground. 

A-frame House Trusses

Trusses are an essential element to any home, regardless of style. They offer ceiling support for the walls and roof. Trusses represent the highest design order in timber frame construction. Without trusses, A-frame homes wouldn’t be possible.

A-frame House Plans – Interior 

A frame interior design View in gallery

A-frames range in size, but most are modest. They can have up to three or four bedrooms though it is more typical to have two bedrooms and few bathrooms. Most A-frames have large windows at each end that allow ample natural light into the home.

Pros

  • Simple design
  • Perfect for off grid installations
  • Cheaper than traditional homes and tiny homes
  • Withstand harmful weather elements

Cons

  • Most A-frame homes have less square footage than typical homes
  • Window placement and the window amount is limited
  • These homes don’t allow as much modification as traditional homes

A-Frame House Kits

a frame kitView in gallery
Thebackcountryhutcompany

A-frame house kits are sold at big box hardware stores. The kits range between $60 to $140 per square foot. Prefab A-frame homes are popular because you don’t need extensive carpentry experience to build one. Assembly is also quick and easy.

From the day you buy a kit to the day you move in is between four to eight months. 

J2C7XmHpLNkView in gallery

There are many popular companies where you can purchase A-frame kits. This includes the Backcountry Hut Company and Avrame, just to name two.

Inspirational A-Frame Houses

Here are the latest A-frame prototypes available today. You’ll find examples ranging from historic A-frame styles to luxury A-frame models. 

Prefab A-Frame Cabin

Prefab A-Frame CabinView in gallery

A prefab A-frame cabin kit is easy to assemble. Also, the kits are cheap. Once completed, you’ll have a perfect vacation space. For example, this cabin kit from the Backcountry Hut Company is the Hut System 00.

The single room A-frame cabin comes flat packed with an easy installation guide. Four to five people can assemble this cabin in less than a week. Assembly doesn’t require heavy construction equipment, and can be assembled in remote locations.

The one room can be modified and used as a single bedroom, art room, yoga studio, etc. The base price for this model for roughly $45,000.

Small A-Frame Cabin

Small A-Frame CabinView in gallery

Avrame is another popular prefab A-frame cabin kit. The prototypes come in three sizes. The Avrame Solo is the smallest. It has small house proportions at 16 feet high with one story and loft space under the ceiling. It has one bedroom and no bathrooms. The smallest Solo is 184 square feet.

However, if you want to build something bigger with more storage space, consider the Avrame Duo, which has a full loft. There’s also the Trio, which has two floors and three bedrooms. Also, feel free to add a deck for extra outdoor space. 

Mid-century A-frame house

Midcentury DesignView in gallery

Who wouldn’t want to live in a 1960s A-frame on Fire Island? Bromley Caldari Architects elevated this home from a seasonal beach rental to a stunning retreat. The full wall of windows opens up the interior. 

Modern A-frame Cabin 

Modern Cabin View in gallery

From William O’Brien Jr, this A-frame cabin is known as Allendale House. The structure includes three linked A-frame sections. The mid-section has a living area with two floors, a bedroom and bathroom. 

A-Frame Wilderness Retreat

A-Frame RetreatView in gallery

This A-frame hideaway is a popular artist retreat in Oregon. The home’s interior is quaint and efficient. The destination allows for one to connect with nature. 

Sustainable A-frame Cabin

Sustainable CabinView in gallery

A-frame homes offer the same amenities as traditional homes, but at a cheaper price. 

Amsterdam A-frame House 

Amsterdam A-frame House View in gallery

J2C7XmHpLNkView in gallery

Designed by SH House, this Amsterdam destination combines modernity with additions such as the glass walls on the ground floor and the deck with the old parts of the house.

Small A-Frame House

Small A-Frame HouseView in gallery

Although the same shape as an A-frame home, it’s missing a mid-section. It’s more like an A-frame attic than an A-frame home. Covering roughly 400 square feet, the home design still gets the job done. 

A-Frame Home Extension

J2C7XmHpLNkView in gallery

J2C7XmHpLNkView in gallery

J2C7XmHpLNkView in gallery

From design studio dmvA, who said you had to be limited to the A-frame paradigm? This A-frame example is near Brecht, Germany.  It’s an A-frame cottage plus a modern house extension. 

Tiny A-Frame House

A-Frame Tiny HouseView in gallery

You’ve probably been wondering when we’d get to this one. Of course they make tiny A-frame homes. This example is from the Klein company.

The exterior has stylish black asphalt on the walls and roof. This kit covers 183 square feet and has a sticker price of around $140,000 USD.

Vacation A-Frame House

Vacantion A-Frame HouseView in gallery

Located in the Spanish Pyrenees., this A-Frame is a modified the home’s design based on the building’s location.

Storybook A-frame Cottage

J2C7XmHpLNkView in gallery

For those who want life to resemble a fairy tale, this A-frame is ripped from the pages of Brothers Grimm. Located in Santana, Madeira, Portugal.

Sky Haus A-frame

Modern A-frame Cabin View in gallery

Located in Seattle, Washington, this A-frame sits nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. This Airbnb getaway sleeps four guests.

Contemporary A-Frame

Contemporary A-frame CabinView in gallery

From architect Todd Gordon Mather,and located in Lake Tahoe, California, this A-frame has a contemporary vibe. By combining the natural wood exterior and interior surfaces, you get a modern A-frame home worthy of any A-list celebrity.

Minne Stuga House

A-Frame Minnesota CabinView in gallery

This historic A-frame home is tucked away in Lake Superior. and from design studio Taiga Design+Build.

Modified A-Frame House

Mid-Century Modern HouseView in gallery

This mid century A-frame is from the 1940s and extended in the 1970s. The six connecting add-ons were completed in the 70s. Both exterior and interior stylings pay homage to the rustic character of the home without going overboard. 

Sustainable Tiny Cabin

Sustainable Tiny CabinView in gallery

Robin Flack built this A-frame with the environment in mind. Flack named it Nolla, the Finnish word for “zero.”

Chalet A-frame

Chalet CabinView in gallery

Y100 Ateliér built this gem in Donovaly, Slovakia. The chalet design blends with the outdoor surroundings. 

A-Frame House Tours

Here, we’ll explore five A-frame homes. Each example offers a video tour of an A-frame home that you’ll enjoy.

2-Story A-frame Home

If you were wondering if A-frame homes could have two stories, look no further. Watch this video and see for yourself:

A-Frame Waterfall

This A-frame home is in an ideal nature setting. Not only is the home surrounded by trees, but there’s also a waterfall nearby.

A-Frame Price Guide

This video will answer everything you need to know about an A-frame home. From design to cost, it covers all the necessary points.

3-Story A-Frame Home

And just when you thought two-storeys were enough, check out this three-story A-frame design. 

4-Story A-Frame Home

And for our last surprise, here’s a four-story A-frame model.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Where do I find A-frame house plans?

You can find A-frame house plans when you search on any site that has traditional house plans, or you can also look at sites that have dedicated plans for kit-style houses and cabins. These sites offer complete plans with a list of everything you need to build the house.

Where do I find A-frame house kits?

There are many providers of A-frame kits. The most popular four are Avrame, Backcountry Hut Company, Den, and Ayfraym. With most of these companies, there is a range of options for house types, sizes, and options for just purchasing the plans or the whole kit. These kit levels range from just the plans up to all the pre-cut wood.

Where can I find an A-frame house for sale?

A-frames have had a surge in popularity in recent years thanks to new iterations of the style that are simple and clean. However, you can still find historic A-frames to renovate, or you can purchase kit options and build one yourself.

How large is an a-frame interior?

Most A-frames are not large but have ample square feet for at least two people. Some have up to four bedrooms and two bathrooms, but this is the exception, not the rule.

How to build an A-frame house?

If you are building from scratch, it is best to call in a professional to help. However, if you use a kit house, the building does not require professional experience.

How long does it take to build an A-frame cabin?

A-frames are much easier to build than traditional houses. However, framing from scratch always takes time. If you use one of the kits and have some help, some cabins can be built in around one week if you have 4-5 people helping.

How Much Do A-frame Windows Cost?

A window frame costs anywhere from $200 to $1,000 to replace, depending on the material type and how much material needs replacing. You’ll replace a sash rather than repair them unless you’re restoring historic windows.

What Is The Best Foundation For An A-Frame House?

The base the A-frame works as an insulated floor slab. This type of construction does not need to rest on a flat foundation slab. It is recommended to leave at least 30 one foot of clearspace between the bottom of the floor construction and the ground. 

What Is The Most Common Mistake When Building An A-frame Home?

When building an A-frame home, the foundation built on the site must match the one detailed in the design instructions. If they’re not the same, or if you overlook this step, you will need to demolish your A-frame home and build a new one. 

Can An A-frame House Have A Basement?

Yes, a full basement is possible. An A-frame home requires three support points. They can be supported by a metal beam in the middle, and the stone part on the sides.

A-frame House: Conclusion

What else do you need to know about A-frame homes? Either buy one or build one, and begin a new life in a different environment.