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America's Best House Plans

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A-Frame Home Designs

Recognizable worldwide, A-frame house plans feature angled rooflines sloping almost to ground level, giving the architectural design its name. Beautifully designed and economically constructed, whether a vacation home or permanent residence, this triangular shape is reminiscent of a Swiss or mountain chalet. They are generally designed for colder climates where heavy snow can slide to the ground rather than amassing on the rooftop.

A-frame floor plans integrate exterior and interior spaces to allow for virtually seamless indoor/outdoor living. Large open floor plans, massive walls of windows, wrap-around decks, and covered outdoor spaces make A-frame cabin plans a perfect choice.

Tucked away in a wooded lot, perched on a mountain property lot, or overlooking a lakefront property, A-frame house plans are considered the classic vacation home design. A-frame floor plans often feature:

  • Steeply pitched gable roofs that extend to the foundation
  • Walls of windows
  • Porches and/or decks
  • Open floor plans
  • Casual living options
  • Minimal interior walls

What is the point of an A-frame house?

The main design point of an A-frame house is the sloped roof that creates the iconic “A” shape. The sloped roof is perfect for climates that experience heavy snowfall during the winter because the snow slides right down the sides of the roof instead of collecting on top as it would with other house designs. It’s why you see these types of homes, whether they’re small A-frame house plans, A-frame cabin plans, or luxury A-frame house plans, in the mountains.

How much does it cost to build an A-frame house?

A wide variety of factors go into determining how much it will cost to build a home, but on average, it costs about $100-$200 per square foot for labor and materials to build an A-frame house plan. A 1,000-square-foot A-frame house will cost about $150,000 to build, but that doesn’t factor in any upgrades to materials that you may want to make or any of the costs associated with the location of the house or land on which you’re building. To get a better idea of how much your dream A-frame home would cost to build, we recommend you use our Cost to Build report.

Is it cheaper to build an A-frame house?

When deciding on what type of home to build, you may think A-frame home plans provide a cheaper option than other layouts. While the frame is about as simple and study of a design as you can get, there are so many factors that go into building a home that it’s difficult to say whether it’s cheaper to build an A-frame house over other designs. Yes, you can make an A-frame house on a budget, but you can do the same with many other home designs as well, so it’s not simply the design that makes it cheap.

What are the pros and cons of A-frame houses?

One of the top benefits of A-frame house plans is the amount of natural lighting your house will get year-round. Another seasonal benefit if you decide to build your home in the mountains or in a climate with long or snowy winters is the lack of snow accumulating on your roof. Do make sure that you have excellent drainage around your home so that once the snow begins to melt, it doesn’t pool or drain poorly and impact your foundation.

Traditionally, some cons of building an A-frame home include the loss of square footage on the second floor and poor air circulation due to the shape of the house. Our collection of A-Frame house plans includes more modern, innovative designs to allow the style to fit larger square footage with conveniences seen in modern homes.

Is it hard to build an A-frame house?

It is always best to consult a professional builder when constructing any of our plans.

Are A-frame houses strong?

Yes, the A-frame floor plans are very strong. As a shape, the triangle is very sturdy; thus, having a home in that shape makes the house just as strong. The design makes it perfect for climates with harsher weather.

Are A-frame houses safe?

Provided that they are built properly, yes, A-frame houses are safe. They are especially good homes if you live in the mountains and experience a large amount of snowfall throughout the winter. The sloped roof eliminates the dangerous pileup of snow on the roof that can cause roofs on other styles of homes to collapse.

Are A-frames insulated?

A-frame homes can be insulated just like any other style of home can be insulated. When you’re discussing building the home with the architect, be sure to discuss what type of insulation you want to use in your home. Additionally, since many A-frame floor plans include many large windows, you’ll want to ensure that the windows you use will also help keep the home properly insulated.

Do A-frames have basements?

Some A-frames have basements; in fact, it’s a great way to add more square footage to a home with a limited floor plan for expansion. Before you build an A-frame with a basement, ensure that the land you’re building on can support a full basement build-out of an A-frame home plan. 


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