A-Frame House Plans

A-frame homes are all the rage — probably because they’re easy to build, expansive in design, and just plain beautiful.

These strong, signature structures are ideal for showing off the natural building and design materials, the property they sit on, and the incredible decorative elements inside. Even though the A-frame home floor plan is simple, it somehow always sparks the creative visionary in all of us. The style was synonymous with making a getaway to the great outdoors, seen as a viable mid-century vacation home.

Today, times are a-changing because many families are opting to make A-frame homes their full-time, permanent dwelling. It’s not just about the Instagram-worthy exterior shots. A-frames offer a very distinct allure of a particular kind of lifestyle. And this lifestyle is all about sustainability, eco-friendliness, affordability, and, of course, minimalism.

Find out if an A-frame home floor plan is right for you.

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  • 2 Beds
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What is an A-Frame Home?

A-frame homes are a “teepee” style of architecture, so-called for its triangular face on both ends of the home. It features steep roofs, front and rear gables, and deep-set eaves, which were popular in the 1950s and 1960s in America. They can take up as much, or as little, land space as you’d like because the base design is so flexible.

It all depends on how much interior room you want, how you’ll be dividing the space inside, and what modifications you will make to extend the indoor and outdoor space. For example, many A-frame style homes can adapt to inclusions like dormers or combination frames for cross-gabled or T-shape varieties.

A frame home exterior view

A-frame homes have a long history across the world. From ancient Japanese “roof huts,” to European farm storage sheds, the iconic triangular structure quickly became a post World War I response to a housing shortage and a mountain vacation home.

He tried to pass off this initial design as a miniature “Norman style” home revamped for a private resort community. As such, the model included quite a few standard features of the A-frame home, including:

  • An open space plan
  • Plenty of exterior use of plywood
  • A steep, gabled roof

A-Frame Homes are Beautiful, But They’re Not Right For Everyone

It should be said right away: The features that make the A-frame an attractive and imaginative style of home for the modern family are also its Achilles heel. They could deter you from considering this floor plan. However, these features could also entice you into knowing there’s no other style for you.

For example, the A-frame does have an expansive main floor. However, if you try and expand upwards, the triangular convergence of the roof makes it difficult, if not impossible, to build a second floor that is as spacious. Consider, as well, wall hangings and decorative elements: How will you hang art on sloping walls? These kinds of design decisions are something you’ll either have to take into stride or use creative solutions to workaround. Of course, this is where the beauty and novelty of an A-frame home floor plan can evoke.

Today, A-frame homes today still hold some of their original appeal and charm as a getaway or a vacation home. However, the accessible and straightforward construction, coupled with the unique exterior building requirements make the A-frame a popular option. It’s ideal for families who want to build their dream home on a budget, and then plan to expand down the road.

A frame home exterior view

Exterior Features of an A-Frame Home

A-frame homes frequently feature exterior structural elements that also affect interior design decisions. These building elements have their “disadvantages” that you can compensate for.

However, many individuals see these cons as advantages or opportunities to get creative and harness the inherent sustainability of A-frame homes:

  • Long, steep, symmetrical, pitched roofs that slope from the apex right down to the ground — These roofs are fantastic at buffeting strong winds, extreme rain, and even heavy snowfall. However, if you don’t properly insulate and clad the roofs on either side, you’ll lose heating and energy very quickly.
  • Large, glass windows — These windows make the interiors very light, airy, and cheerful. It gives easy access to the outdoors, and you can even place windows as skylights on the sloping roof.
  • Sizeable timber beams for the frame — You can keep these exposed on the inside and on the outside for a vaulted ceiling effect. However, the beams also offer you a clever way to conceal all utility pipelines within the walls. As the builder of your custom floor plan, you can opt to use eco-friendly timber. A-frame materials can help the house “breath” and eliminate issues like humidity, fungus, and mold.
  • No foundation slab required — A-frames are easily erected on a wooden deck base or can be propped up, cabin-style, on stilts.

The caveat of the sloped roofs, of course, is that they can be repurposed to set up solar panels, which, coupled with proper insulation and cladding, can then offset your energy costs. In fact, solar panels can help make your merry home in the outdoors a self-sustaining energy hub.

Now, the A-frame also includes 20% more exterior space. However, the length of its construction components (the floors, slab, walls, and roof) requires 10% fewer materials to build.

Why People Love A-Frame Homes — And What to Watch Out For

Besides its picturesque exteriors, the interiors of A-frame homes pose the same kind of dual advantage-disadvantage issue for families. Again, you can truly get creative with your modifications and customizations to make your A-frame floor plan work for you.

Interior Nuances that Characterize an A-Frame Home

A-frame homes can be as expansive or as compact as you’d like. For example, the interiors of the Nolla cabin, set against the Helsinki archipelago, is a one-room, glass-walled cabin meant for sleeping, relaxing, and existing against the backdrop of the seashore.

With its adaptable and flexible floor plan, A-frames can include some or all of the following interior features:

  • A loft-style upper floor
  • Skylights or floor to ceiling glass walls
  • Decks surrounding the structure or a rectangular extension built to extend the square footage
  • Expansive and spacious main floors, which can be divided into separate sections or rooms, using creative room dividers or exposed beams to erect walls supported by the floor of the upper section
A frame home interior view

Is the A-Frame floor plan Right For Your Family?

So maybe the jury is still out for you, and you’re wondering if an A-frame home floor plan right for your family. The ultimate purveyor of this decision is you, but here are a few points to keep in mind as you try and adapt or scale the style to your needs:

  • A-frames don’t have basements, so if you don’t care for the extra square footage, this floor plan could be a great cross between a leisure space and a home.
  • The open-space floor plan will need you to get creative if you need extra storage. You may have to use modular furniture that either moves around easily or can present multi-functional options (such as a kitchen island that also tucks away seats or expands for extra seating).
  • If affordability is an immediate concern and issue for you, choosing an A-frame is not only budget-friendly, it only requires two to four people to build.
  • The A-frame is perfect for two-person families who know that they will be expanding in size during the next five years. This gives you ample time to save up for extensions and additions, so your home can literally grow as you do.
  • A-frames work best if you have ample land around you or if you actually want to maximize the outdoor use of your property while still having a beautiful home. The structure is built to be accessible to the outdoors, with its large windows and wraparound deck space.

Choosing the Right Home Floor Plan for You

Easy, effortless, and yet sturdy, the A-frame style home is perfect for homeowners who want a balance between indoor creature comforts and adventurous outdoor living. A-frames, thanks to their rustic and vacation-home origins, can be modeled to look like chic, postmodern works of art, or salt-of-the-land type cabins. Inside, you’ll have plenty of room for modern and creative decorative elements.

If you know an A-frame is the most evocative floor plan for you, the first place to start brainstorming variations by doing a search through Monster House Plans’ database of floor plans. Select from our advanced search options and narrow down your choices, as you compare the most eye-catching floor plans.

Once you know which A-frame home floor plan is right for you, access a new perspective using our innovative 3D Intelligent House Plan Modeling Specs features. You’ll gain insight into details like sloping lots, foundations, and specifics about materials and cost. Monster House Plans also allows you to work with expert architects and designers, so that you can request custom changes or additions to pre-existing house plans. Browse the Monster House Plans collection of A-frame style homes today!

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