Slanted A-frame Cabin
A-frame houses usually feature a steep roof and sloped sides that look like the letter “A.” The roof usually begins at or near the foundation line and meets up at the top for a very unique, distinct style. A-frame design rose in popularity because of its snow-shedding capability, ease of build and cozy cabin feel.
This permarchitecture design takes advantage of that, while also giving it a particular style. With its cut slope and half-rise, the structure take advantage of the A-frame stability, while maintaining good space usage. A South orientation of this design offers holiday makers good sun exposure both in the day time and in the mornings, but maintains fresh ventilated air on very hot days. The South terrace is sunny in the mornings and shaded when the sun is high thanks to the aptly placed planted shade blades.
The living area seems large thanks to the rising ceiling and natural light fills up the space from all sides. The space is painted white to get the most out of that beautiful light, but structural elements can be left bare, to emphasize the rawness and ingenuity of the build. The asymmetrically sloped roofs and strange height give a sense of verticality. Hanging above the space is indeed a lounging net, clear invitation to relax.
The kitchen has to be well thought-out, as every bit of space matters. Shelving and storage can be cut to size, fitted into the ladder. The eating area is foldable as well and in the summertime most of the eating is presumed to be done on the terrace outside. Heating of the space is done best with a tiny cast iron stove, with, maybe, a cooking surface. A rocket stove mass heater would not be suited to such a small place, especially if it is not occupied all the time, as RMHs take a long time to reach full temperature. A fast heating wood burner is best. As for the kitchen cooker, it can be gas or electric, as long as it is small enough to fit the space. The sink needs to be placed on the north wall to have direct gravity-fed access to the water tank that is placed outside.
The sleeping area upstairs is as simple as they come, yet in it’s simplicity, magic happens: the sloped roof is fitted with a full-height window, perfect for star-gazing while laying in bed. Anchored to the wall is the second Pullman-type one-person bed. A fourth person can of course sleep on a foldable downstairs couch, though we didn’t show it in the plans.
On the back side are placed all the necessary utilities, depending on the needs and possibilities of the land. These can include cooking gas, electric panels, batteries and water tanks among others.
The house is not fitted with inside compost toilet, though its can be adapted towards that goal to a certain extent.
The structure of this A-frame cabin is a DIY enthusiast's dream: easy enough to do it yourself, hard enough to be a challenge. Dimensions are kept the same throughout, 1,20 and 2,40, or 1 foot to 2 feet, and the wooden elements are all 5cm by 20cm in width. Insulation is to be fitted in between the 1,20m structural elements, width of max 20cm, as this is the width of the beams.
The cladding of the cabin is metal for ease of use and durability, but wood cladding can be a very good option too, depending on ease of access to each material.
It is nice to raise the structure above ground so it can be well ventilated. It also helps in sloped terrain. As for foundations, three concrete, stone or wooden blocks under each beam are enough for most use cases.
The long axis is best placed N-S for summer holiday use. The nice thing about this positioning is that is get to see the Sun rise in the morning from your bed, with windows facing East. As with any tiny cabin, insulated or not, it is best to place it under shade, to avoid it heating up in hot summer afternoons, when everyone is there, having a nap after a hike. Placing the openings toward the main breeze is also nice.
This off-grid cabin is great for forest getaways and family holidays.