A-Frame Dwellings Combine Sustainable Beauty and Convenience

Inspired by the need of small-size vacation homes which comprise both contemporary sustainability, sturdiness and convenience in its structure, the A-frame house creates the perfect combination of all three. The signature look of the A-frame cabins was popularized after the The New York Occasions in 1957, when it received international acclamation. Since then, it has become a common vacation home option for American families and later on received recognition on the European and Australian real estate market.

Construction & Planning

Leveling the ground and clearing space for the construction are the first steps towards building an cabin of any type. The foundation consists of ground-fixed beams which expand to an area suitable for setting up the floor space. The low weight of smaller structures allows the creation of an eco-timber foundation which takes over the old-school concrete to provide higher sustainability. A side deck or front porch can be added for better space utilization.

The house structure features a roofline which begins from the foundation and meets at the top, forming the letter "A". This housing style has a simple construction which combines a row of triangles, usually extended to 60 degrees at the rooftop. The A-frame can be built in any size simply by varying the frame dimensions. A cabin with an upper sleeping area is required to have rafters at least 6 meters long, or 20 ft, to provide adequate living space on both roofs. Small-scale structures can be set up easily by a small team of workers without the need of specialized equipment. However, upbearing structures larger than 7 meters, or 24 feet, may require professional assistance.

Floor Plans & Blueprints

Acquiring an A-frame dwelling blueprint can be done either with the help of an architect or via the many online hubs for free house plans. The most common two-story plan includes a large living area on the first floor and shrunken bedroom on the second floor. An optional storage space can utilize the "dead space" on the top of the roof and be turned into a nifty storage room or pocket-size attic. The area below the bedroom is usually set as a miniature cookery to answer the demands of a small household. The walls or pillars below the bedroom provide the required support for the building. They diversify the interior with options for a high-rise bookshelf or an elegant fireplace centerpiece. The house plan can be extended in the back to open space for a living room with high ceiling or additional bedrooms, bathroom, mud room and other utilities.

A-Frame Cabin Appraisal

  • Pros: The benefits of the A-frame vary from low-cost construction to minimal maintenance and flexibility in design. Constructed by beautifully arranged timber beams, the walls don't require any painting and give the space a lovely rustic look to go with the surrounding environment. Wood provides excellent insulation and will keep the warmth in during the wintry days. Lowering AC bills during the cold seasons will be a breeze with the addition of a fireplace or a floor heating system. The roof allows the snow to slide down and reduce costs on roof props, giving the structure a sophisticated look and construction convenience.
  • Cons: The downsides of this housing type are comprised in the abundance of rooftop free space which can hardly be utilized in open-space areas, such as the facade living room. The so-called "dead roof space" dispels the warmth and if not used well, often leads to heat losses.

In Conclusion

A-frame homes are low-cost and easy to construct living space which comprise all required areas of the normal housing by shrinking their size into an elegant triangle-shaped dwelling. This home type is mainly used as a retreat unit and while its remoteness usually dismisses the utilization of local home services, it is considered as a rather comfortable living space for each season of the year. This housing type promotes environmental-friendly living and pushes architecture another step forward to pursuing sustainability.

Courtesy of Paul's Cleaning Sydney


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