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A-frame Small House Renovation and Add-on

This small a-frame cabin that many people would call a tiny house was professionally renovated by dmvA architecture.

They called the project Extension House VB. It’s a vacation home in Brecht, Belgium.

The clients wanted to respect the original design while making it modern and more spacious.

A-frame Small House Renovation

Here’s what they did in summary:

  • New entrance
  • Library
  • Bathroom renovation
  • White interior
  • Floor to ceiling windows
  • Views of nature

Here’s what the cabin originally looked like:

A-frame Tiny Cabin

Photos by Mick Couwenbergh

My question to you is, “do you like it better before or after?” Take a look at the home after the renovation then I’ll tell you what I think below:

Small A-frame After Add-on

DMVA A-frame Tiny Cabin Renovation

View from Behind the Home

DMVA A-frame Tiny Cabin Renovation


DMVA A-frame Tiny Cabin Renovation DMVA A-frame Tiny Cabin Renovation DMVA A-frame Tiny Cabin Renovation

Photos by Mick Couwenbergh

I think they did a wonderful job with the renovation but I think I like the original version better. How about you?

More info and pics on this house here.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Paula
    May 19, 2013, 11:59 am

    I don’t really like A-frames that much so I do like the changes in this one. The add on gives it more dimension. I don’t care for all the white though and I could see myself tripping on all those studs coming down to the floor near the dining table!

  • Erik Markus
    May 19, 2013, 1:35 pm

    The first thing I think of when it comes to an “A” Frame is- where is the library? I HAVE to bask in it’s glory.

    Yes, when Agatha Christie wrote Miss Marples: Body in the Library, this is actually the house she intended to stage it in. No, no, forget that there is no direct access from the outside, into said library. The script would still have worked, for sure.

    Where does one get a solid sheet of glass measuring approx. 12′ x 8′ with one edge slanted?
    “A” frames, traditionally built as affordable vacation homes, would not have accompanied such a “must have” feature. I’m so glad they were able to “respect the original design”.
    A typical hardware store will not be able to fix that when a bird flies through it. Since when does a simple broken window require an insurance claim? That window would cost more to replace, than the entire house originally cost to build in the 1960s.

    I’ve seen several of these awful, all-white themed toxic mistakes, now. When did “remodeling” start to mean some idiot showing up with an industrial paint sprayer and a couple of 55 gallon vats of white high gloss enamel?

    Who proudly graduated from Eddie’s Auto Paint Shop School of Home Remodeling and couldn’t WAIT to inflict their “talent” on the world?

  • alice h
    May 19, 2013, 7:34 pm

    It was fine before, not bad after. I’d take either one if they were offered but the white paint, well, let’s just say I prefer not to wear sunglasses in the house. I’m one of those people that likes wood interiors and earthy colours best. White is OK as a background to put colour on but just seems unfinished otherwise, like a coat of primer waiting for some colour. Seriously difficult to keep clean but makes it easy to spot invading creepy crawlies.

  • LaMar
    May 20, 2013, 3:06 pm

    Hmmmm ?

    I have sen many bump outs on A frames but the one used makes the cabin look unbalanced and they could have blended that roof line into the A frame roof contour for a more pleasing and balanced look.

    A bump out on both sides would make it so the A frame doesn’t look like it is about to tip over.

    I also caution people about putting in too many windows as it will cost you in heating and cooling.

  • May 20, 2013, 3:17 pm

    This is the first a-shape design small home that also assisted in instigating my research on tiny houses; and alternative housing of all kinds!
    Thanks for the detailed links Alex–youve got great stuff going on here!

  • jerryd
    May 20, 2013, 5:57 pm

    I don’t care for either. They would have been better off building a new house without the compromising needing in this complete rebuilding, hardly a renovation.

    A Frames are terible in so many ways other than somewhat cool looking and snow load.

  • Jonino
    May 20, 2013, 5:59 pm

    Being claustrophobic, an A-frame has never appealed to me, so the “after” is the one I’d choose. I do agree, though, that white would never be my choice of paint; I love color, lots of it, and I truly like the natural wood used in the Tiny Houses I’ve seen–I’d have to have a combination of the two.

  • Rebecca
    May 20, 2013, 6:05 pm

    What’s with the surgical white? Why do architects seem to think a sterile environment could become a home?

  • abbie someone
    May 20, 2013, 6:47 pm

    Ugh. Sterile. Bland. Unimaginative.

    A Morgue would have more warmth.

  • Kip
    May 20, 2013, 7:32 pm

    AFTER ! I love the mix of the before and after, the white modern look and A-Frame with the addition of modernity(is that a word?). very nice ! Now add the same thing on the right side and it’s perfect.

  • rich
    May 21, 2013, 11:31 pm

    Alex: It’s great that you have begun to feature more creative smaller houses and renovations. Of course I prefer the “after” 🙂 Tx! Rich

  • May 22, 2013, 9:44 am

    I feel as Lamar..unbalanced and though I love a lot of glass, since there are no good overhangs now the sun could really make it hot.

    Back in the early 70’s there was a mobile home manufactured that looked like this style except it had an extension on the other side as well and it looked very balanced. I loved it and would have loved to buy it, but it was also very expensive so I don’t think they ever sold it. (Montgomery, AL)

    I love all the white. There is something so refreshing and uplifting about white. If the surfaces are easy to clean, it’s not a bad idea.

    • Erik M
      May 22, 2013, 12:36 pm

      Deborah, you don’t mean an “A” frame shaped mobile home, do you?

      Are you referring to a mobile home that had room sections that slid out on both sides and made the unit look uniformly balanced?

      Those I know what you’re referring to. If I remember right, they were built of good quality materials. It’s true.

      It was a good concept: build the core units like the kitchen, bath, utilites, closets in the middle and then put the “space” rooms like the bed room, living room, dining rooms, etc as the pull out/slide rooms.

      The theory was good. The reality was design limitations. The kitchens and bathrooms had no windows because they were in the center. And it turned out the rooms were kind of chopped up.

      I miss those days of going to the mobile home lots of the 70s and early 80s and seeing all the creative ideas.

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