I’m not sure about you but I’ve always had this attraction to A-frame houses. I’m not sure if that’s because my name starts with an A (Alex) but I think it’s also because they’re so rare to see and unique in comparison to most other homes.
As a kid, I always was liked seeing an old school Dairy Queen or a church that was built in an A-frame design. But even more, a random A-frame house in a neighborhood. So today I thought I’d share my top 6 A-frame tiny houses. As I was searching through the web to discover these I got to thinking, hey, why not an 8 by 20 A-frame tiny house on a trailer?
Then I immediately thought of the Fortune Cookie tiny house from Zyl Vardos which is close to an A-frame design. Their design makes a lot of sense too because the rounded shape gives you the most amount of space inside. I guess it’s just a lot harder to design/build it that way, but it would be worth it, right?
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1. Waterfront A-frame Tiny House
Please enjoy the rest of our top A-Frame tiny houses below:
2. Green Tiny A-Frame House Photo Tour
3. Not So Tiny, Small A-Frame Family Cabin
4. Tiny Solar-Powered A-Frame Cabin
5. Tiny A-frame House in the Mountains
6. A-frame Tiny House in the Woods
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Check out the Risom Block Island home (not tiny, but famous, prefabricated, and pretty gorgeous), and another that was the cover feature (you’d have to google it) of Readymade Magazine….. yeah, space-wise, A-frames don’t make sense, but I’m very into them still, as well…easy to build, affordable, QUICK to build too….
I’ll look those up, thanks Deek!
Yes, A-frames are pleasing in their simplicity, but make poor use of space.
But, they are better in harsh weather environments than roofs of lesser pitch.
Nice A frame pics Alex!
I have also like the look of an A frame and construction costs are minimized in that design.
They are used more in high snow areas where snow load could collapse a conventional roof.
The drawback is the sloped sidewall reduces head room and makes putting flat furniture against a wall more difficult.
Built in furniture would be better for an A frame.
An alternative is a modified A frame which has a short knee wall (4 foot for example and then peaks to an A frame roof.
This can also be modified to a double angled modified A frame roof for more width allowing a larger loft space.
I have an example on youtube for a 20×20 modified A frame: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WNhT0ypsAM
Nice A-frame design LaMar! Thanks for sharing with us.
Thank you for sharing the A frame homes. As for less space? i believe, if people would broaden their thinking their space would do fine. Less square conventional thinking, more geometrical furniture style choices. 🙂 open mind equals endless possibilities. Enjoy!
Glema, they’re talking about less space in a headroom/standing way, but as another commenter mentioned, you can add 4′ high knee walls to help with that, although, by the standards of some, its no longer a “true A-frame”- but who cares….
I”m very interested in building an A frame home, most likely in the 24×24 range, there will 2-3 people living in it. I have been going crazy trying to find an actual set of plans, because the county needs an engineered drawing , so they say,even though my friend built a garage 32×28 without any plans other than what was is in head and had no problems. I”m looking for information about costs versus maybe a shotgun type cabin, wich I can build (already have the engineered drawing) or buy a shell for about 7600-7800 bucks.448 sq.ft. (pre-built). Can anyone approximate or know of any more specific price ranges on building this A frame myself?
Thanks, I like this. Sweet.
We have an A-frame cabin about the size of #2 above. It has an open loft instead of a full second floor. Ours is perfect for our Wisconsin visits. We also have a barn-style cabin in Georgia that feels much bigger, but actually is the same footprint. Both are situated on 2 acre wooded lots. Our goal is to live 6 mo. in one and 6 mo. in the other once we can retire.
Cool Max! Any chance we can see photos somewhere? Would love to get to check out your little cabins.
Bobby: might I also suggest just doing an image search for A-Frame homes and when you find a picture you like, click on it to find the website. There’s tons of photos, online. 🙂
Mornin,’ Randy. One of two comments from me. I clicked on the flicker link above and it leads to a person who is collecting photos and information about A-Frames. I don’t know if it will lead you any further along your journey but it’s worth a try. Here’s the link, with spaces:
flickr.com/ (take this space out) groups/79719211( take this space out) @N00/
Where might I find usable building plans for A-frame’s like these? Many of the A-frame’s shown here are definitely not stock plans. I find stock services so “cookie cutter” anyway so if anyone knows of any resource, please let me know. I love A-frames but, even better, they seem to fit my meager budget 🙂
Randy: I posted a link but that comment wasn’t allowed. So, go to houseplansandmore dot com and look for “A Frame Home Designs.” There’s plenty O’ tasty treats for you to feast your eye upon that aren’t cookie cutter. 🙂
Alex wrote: “I’m not sure about you but I’ve always had this attraction to A-frame houses.”
If it’s any comfort, Alex, in the way “Birds of a Feather, Flock Together”, I’ve had a secret obsession with A-Frame homes almost every day of my life, or at least as long as the very first time I saw one. <3
I don't know your age but I'm probably double the years that you are. Back in the very early '50's in the Minnesota area, a company called "Crystal Sugar" had a contest to "Win a Deluxe Weekend Home!" and it was a classic A-Frame. Although I was no more than 4 or 5 years old, every time that ad came onto the TV at my aunt's home (we lived off grid on our farm) I was mesmerized and wanted that house SO badly! :~( Then, in the 60's and 70's, they became quite popular in the Rockies (mega snow!) and still in the Lake region of Northern Minnesota. But, time passed, the limitations of the extreme pitch roof fell out of favour and exceedingly few pristine examples of them exist, anywhere today. Usually, they have dormers or attached rooms with a myriad of roof designs and that classic A-Frame is buried. Much the pity. There's ONE out where we live and it looks like something out of the dim past, now, rather than futuristic, as it did in days of yore.
I still have a secret spot in my heart for those homes that will never go away. <3
I’m with you and Alex! I love A-frames. Being a child of the ’50’s they represent a touchstone to the past, I hated to see go by the wayside. Thanks for your suggestions and the link – I appreciate it. I bought several of those old softbound Sunset magazines from eBaY years ago, but all the “booked” A-frames look the same. I have several other books with A-frames in them, including the book by Chad Randl. In his book he lists a very unique A-frame he built at Lake Tahoe, I think it was, and that plan was extremely unique. I’m looking for the granddaddy of originality and most of the floorplans I’ve seen over the years all look the same. (Reminds me of an old saying, “People laugh because I’m different but I laugh because they’re all the same!”) I found a photo of an A-frame somewhere in Canada with dormers and it was amazing, but of course, 8-10 inquiries and nobody knew anything about the plans. I thought going to the owners and asking if they would sell a copy of the construction plans might be a smart idea, but all the one’s I’ve contacted over the years have long gotten rid of their plans. But, I am hopeful. Maybe one of these days I can built a tiny A-frame to retire in. Thanks again for your posts.
I also wanted to mention, if anyone is an ebay fan, Sunset Magazine had quite a few soft cover books in the 60’s that featured a vast amount of floor plans of the classic design. There are pages and pages of Sunset on ebay, you’d have to look at each one to see if they had what you wanted.
Back in the 60’s and earlier, almost every second home folks had was “off grid” but no one called it that. It was simply called “the cabin” or the “fishing shack” or whatever. You had a wood stove, kerosene lamps, and moldy, smelly beds to come back to each year. (LOL) Oh, and the critter “beds” that would develop from whatever burrowed into the tiny home. But, gluttony was NO WHERE to be found in these wee places and they were used 2 weeks a year or a bit more often, usually when Dad felt like driving 3 hours one way with a picnic cooler, bug spray, fishing poles and a backseat filled with screamin’ meemies. ~snort~
Ah, the memories of those musty beds! LOL As a kid growing up I spent many a night in the “backwater camps” of friends families on Lake Harding in west Georgia/east Alabama. Most of the “camps” were home builts and absolutely no two resembled one another. The way many lake communities have gone, those old home-builts have been bull-dozed and now the lakeshores are littered with mini-mansion in the 6- and 7-digit price range! I remember the things you mention: picnic coolers, bug spray (that smelled to high heavens), cane fishing poles …. and I think I was in the backseat with the rest of the meemies! 🙂 Thanks for reminding me of those days!
And again, Good Morning’, Randy. Your post was a nice read on Mother’s Day. We’re heading out to brunch soon, so I wanted to reply before the day disappears from underneath me.
We must be of similar ages. Like you, I mourn the loss of those “backwater camps” that more than 1/2 the folks I knew growing up in Minnesota owned. And these weren’t rich people, either: just returning G.I.’s with average incomes, stay-at-home Mums, so you know that the average Joe could afford them.
You’re so right: all these camps were home-builds, almost always by multi-generations of a family with a few “good buddies” thrown into the mix and several cases of Hamm’s or Grain Belt beer and fried perch, smelt, crappies or sunfish…freshly caught and pan-fried over an outdoor fire. Of course, “The Women” (as they were collectively called) would come up to take care of the kids and “Boys” (husbands) and would be tasked with rubbing on the suntan lotion to prevent burns, the Calamine Lotion for skitter bites and poison ivy, and cleaning up after the fish fry.
The cabins were always outfitted with ‘cast-offs’ from home: the slightly worn cushy chairs, the kitchen table that was outgrown with each baby, the lumpy (musty) mattresses, etc. Chipped dishes and glasses, slightly wonky pans and snagged bathroom towels completed the place, and you were thrilled beyond measure to have this place. NO ONE judged you by the appearance, either inside or outside, because EVERYONE did the same thing! There was almost always an old skip or canoe around the place, a badminton set with missing shuttlecock (LOL), and magazines at least 4 years old. Plus, ALL the classic books a kid should read!–Heidi, Call of the Wild, Laura Ingalls, Journey to the Centre of the Earth… and the books ALWAYS matched the beds for their musty odor. So, you’d grab a glass of Kool-Aid in a frosted aluminum cup in a jazzy colour, head out to the hammock, and swing and read away the day. 🙂
You’re right, Randy. Almost 100% of those Lake Homes are gone; boughten up for the property and razed, and a $2 M dollar house (minimum) in place. Mega-kitchens that are NEVER used, except to heat up left-overs from the 5-star restaurants they visit each week-end, frig’s that only hold $$$ micro-brewed beer and local wine and cheese, no books because everyone owns a tablet/smart phone, and no outdoor games because everyone (including kids) is either antiquing, eating out, or on someone’s boat. I know this sect intimately because they are my clients and I’ve seen the lots they buy and the homes they tear down. Perfectly perfect homes, but NOT testaments to someone’s “station in life.”
I’m glad I have my memories of a slower, more family-centric era.
Happy Mother’s Day to all Mum’s, whether kidlet or pet! <3
Enjoyed your post! 🙂
there is a terrific book about A-frames by Chad Randl available at Amazon and other outlets.
The earliest Japanese houses are thought to have been A-frame in form called “Tenchi Kongen Miya-zukuri”; and in Europe the first dwelling huts were thought to have been formed by bending saplings toward each other, lacing them together and covering them with hides.
I posted my favorite example at the Tiny House FB site a couple nights ago but it does not seem to be there now. Suggest you look up the architects Heidi and Peter Wenger. Their A-frame was built in 1955, renovated in 1976 and crafted like a fine Swiss watch. Enjoy!
Thanks, Rich! I have A-FRAMES by Randl and agree it is a great book. I especially liked the Bennoli house featured in that book. Thanks for the tip on Heidi an Peter Wenger. Will look that up. Have a great day.
Ty Deek, I had understood that actually. I thought also that good ole American Tapastries would do wonders for the wall decoration difficulties some may be having with A frame homes. I do like Lamar’s 4′ modified A frame as well. Deek always has many ideas in the building and concepts department, ty Deek I appreciate them and have studied many of your designs. Alex ty for your work in sharing all these ideas as well.
I own a 400sf A-frame in British Columbia and was googling to find interior décor ideas (the cabin is from the 70’s) time for a bit of an update. Nice site you have going here. Will spend more time checking out the kitchen picture
Thanks Penny! Oh we’d all love to get to see before & after photos of your 400 sf A-frame. I’m a big fan of A-frame cabins. Get w/ me if you’d like to share: https://tinyhousetalk.com/share-your-tiny-house/
I will probably never build one of these little houses, but I love looking at them. It’s my happy place after a long day of teaching. Thanks so much for gathering it all here.
Very descriptive post, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a
Thank you for sharing this the rest of the world! I would love to have one myself since I lost my house in a fire and no I couldn’t afford insurance because at the time and still today I live on a very small disability check since I was young at the time of my disability.. My check reflects that as I was unable to work at 28, an your check only reflects a ssi disability.
Anyway I know that I will never own another home now and I move to different relatives homes for a while then in our disfuntional family I’m never there long and at 44 yr’s old I’m looking into having to live in a nursing home ( something I’ve fault a long time )
I can’t build one myself and don’t have the money to have one built… But I can look at the photos an dream.. My dreams are the one thing along with God that know one can take from me.. Huh ? I have always loved A frames myself and if I had money to buy a tiny A frame trust me I would.. I’ve loved the tiny house craze for a very long time.. I still have a little track of land and I’d buy one for sure.. But I don’t.. Yet I thank you so very much for you sharing these beautiful homes that I can dream about! May God bless you for giving me this dream and it’s my prayer that God bless’s you and all those you hold dear for taking the time you have taken to share all these beautiful homes,, Hoping this new year ‘2015’ is your and all your readers best year ever full of God’s blessings … That like me dream of a tiny house with a loft bedroom and a window in it.. Like when I was a child dreaming the same dream today,,,
I have a 1/2 acre lot behind my parent’s home and my dream is to put a small log A frame on it. I am divorced, my children are all grown and have their own homes now, so I live alone, and love the idea of downsizing or, as I call it, ”microliving”. I want my A-frame to have a large loft/bedroom that overlooks the downstairs. I also want a wood cookstove in mine (yes, I want to be able to ”rough it”. The lot is out in the woods). I’m looking at a little less than 1000 sq. ft.
Looking forward to your newsletter and ideas about how to live in a very tiny A Frame!
Thanks Terry! 🙂
I had never thought about the pitch of the roof making the house stronger. THAT’s why there are so many A-frames in the mountains.
Who do I speak with about building a tiny house on water front property?
Would love ideas on how to hang photo/pictures on an a frame wall… Thank u
I too love A frame structures. There is something more in tune with natural surroundings…even though in nature the sphere seems to be the most commonly occurring shape. I intend to build an small A frame house when I finally decide to settle down (hopefully in Iceland or Sweden – I currently live in a 16 x 16 log cabin in Alaska)……and won’t be letting dead space put me off. With ingenuity and persistence, there will be away of utilizing most of it somehow.
In keeping with my tiny house obsession and living minimally, I also volunteer at charities cooking xmas dinner for the homeless. Who else is going to be peeling sounds for hundreds on xmas day?! Have a great time!
The things you love, the things you want are creations of creative soul that combined with a good intellect give rise to masterly creations. But what is a Creative Soul?..: It is as sensitive the string of a musical instrument that emits a sound at the slightest touch…..; Your Sensitive Soul is stimulated by the touch of a World that surrounds You…. this is the difference between those who create Art and those who make sad, stiff, boxes! This is Your Immense Wealth…that no one can take away from You!