Are "A Frame" Houses Still Built?

They were popular as ski houses or vacation homes, in the 1960s. I ask because I haven’t seen one in ages…most seem to have been torn down. Did people com to dislike them? Or was it the fact that they only had windows at the front and back?
They seem to have been fairly cheap to build. In any case, does anybody build them today?

Innsbrook, a development about 40 miles west of St. Louis, offers A-frame houses as one of its floor plans. However, they all seem to max out at about 1,100 square feet, which is relatively small by today’s standards.

Also, Innsbrook is primarily a vacation/weekend community, although some people live there year-round.

They’re still made. It’s an easy, economical build, but not typical for homes. The sloping walls are tricky to deal with, and there are only windows at the gable ends unless you add more complex dormers on the sides. I saw an interesting use of an A-frame in this area, a house had started out long ago as a Quonset hut on a slab. The owners build an A-frame over the hut, then disassembled the hut to finish off the interior. Interesting home.

Living in a ski-resort area, there are still many of them around. Don’t see any new ones going up though. This area has money now.

Lived in one for a while. Almost bought one. Thank god I didn’t. They really are hard to deal with. A couch against the wall sticks out another foot + into the room because of the slope of the wall/roof. Lot’s of wasted space. And hanging pictures, is just weird. Windows can be cut into the roof though. Have to be treated like skylights.

The best part is that you don’t have to worry about snow load. And icing of the roof (ice dams) is not nearly the problem that it is on say a 4/12 pitch.

If you have a few bucks, there’s one for sale down the road from where I live. It’s about 10 years old. Not sure I would want to pay for heating all that unusable space.

One upside (heh) is you should have plenty of storage space out on the sides. Or you could even make those areas into extra, although a bit awkward sleeping areas.

I grew up in a modified A-frame that my mother designed and it was quite functional and pretty. The middle of the house was just one huge great room with a towering ceiling and long bar that separated the kitchen from the living room. There were conventional bedrooms and bathrooms off of each side of it but no halls whatsoever. Plants really loved all the windows that made up the front and back of the great room and we had some that were over 10 feet tall. That house was built in 1978 and there was nothing dated about the style in general except for some of the superficial interior features. I have never seen another one quite like it. I can’t see why it wouldn’t be a great design for some families today.

There’s a great deal of “A-Frame” style custom homes being built near vacation communities in northeast Arizona. The majority of the plansare built around a large “A” prism like window, yet the rest of the house is rectangular.

I’ve been in a few. They’re very roomy and require little artificial lighting until very late dusk due to the surplus of sunlight coming through that A window. They’re pretty expensive and often rented out during the summer, and almost all of them are custom built.

Sounds nice (aimed at Shagnasty) . I think the design is workable if you actually put some thought into it.

One issue for lack of modern ones might be building codes. Now there is no reason A frames can’t be as sturdy as a regular home (and at first glance I am tempted to say the design is inherently more sturdy to start with).

But if your county/state hasn’t come up with codes for A frame style houses, you are pretty much shit out of luck unless you want a professional engineer to design your house (which ain’t gonna be cheap).

My house was built in 1996, and it’s very similar to the ones in the pics that kunilou posted. It’s not an A-frame all the way down to the ground, but more like what Shagnasty described. The main part of the house is our great room - a big A-frame peaked ceiling room. Off that room are bedrooms, kitchen, etc. The seconds story has a loft that is directly over the kitchen, and is open to the great room on one side. Again, there are bedrooms and my office on either side of the slopes of the “a”.

It’s not an uncommon design around here. I wouldn’t say the majority of homes are like this, but it’s not so odd that when you walk in anyone goes “OMG I haven’t seen one of these in FOREVER.”

I really like it; the tall windows on are the back of the house and overlook the forest. I get a great view from the living room and the loft.

A lot of those in your link are really nice and I would definetely live in one again. The one I grew up in was custom designed but it was most similar to this one except much bigger and and the great room wasn’t subdivided into rooms at all (there was enough room for both me and my little brother to ride laps around the great room on our bikes and pedal cars at the same time). If you like open space, really high ceilings and tons of natural light, a modified a-frame is a really good design.

My first thought was that they still make sense if you live someplace where the concept of shoveling a normal grade roof is reality not a joke…

Looks up to the right for Athena’s location Da Yoopers know snow, eh.

There are plenty of published plans including engineering specs, so most localities wouldn’t have a problem with it. There’s always someplace that will make it hard to build anything, but it’s a very good strong design. Compared to a lot of new construction techniques A-frame construction is rather conventional.

Seems like a great place for a solar panel array.

The trend lasted much longer than R-frame houses.

Meh, we don’t shovel our roofs. Much. :smiley:

All I know is, if snow is a problem where you are, stay away from the M-Frame houses.

In the 70s, I owned an A-frame mobile home. 8x32’, spiral staircase upstairs to the bedroom, which had a balcony that overlooked the living room below. Attached front porch window box under the front window. The roof was hinged on one side, with two eyebolts on the other side. A crane was needed to lift and fold the roof down so it could be transported. My grandfather referred to it as the Big Birdhouse. As far as mobile home living goes, it was unique and having the tall ceiling in the front half was really nice. Not having side windows wasn’t bad. Many subdivision houses I’ve lived in don’t have side windows, since the houses are so close.

Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller had an A-frame house in the desert known as “The Fucking A.” He fell in love with the idea of a home designed for heavy snowfall in the middle of the desert. He wound up expanding it into a 10 acre compound known as “The Slammer” but he’s since moved out of it because he’s married with children now.

We used to have an a-frame house at the nudist camp when I was a kid. It was very cheap to build and worked perfectly fine as a vacation cabin.