Advantages and Disadvantages of A-Frame Houses

An A-frame home is so named because of its steep, triangular roof that resembles the letter "A." These structures are generally small, at most one and a half stories, but feature lots of window space along both the front and back. The style grew in popularity during the mid-1950s into the 1970s. Today the style is still in use and provides its own list of positives and negatives.

Sunny winter day
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A-frame home in the countryside surrounded by snow

Advantage: Durability

Because the home features a heavily sloped roof, snow isn't allowed to build up during cold, harsh weather. This means reduced risk of damage and collapse. The A-frame home is suited for just about any climate and is especially efficient in warm areas. Because the living space is primarily on the ground level, warm air will rise, keeping the space comfortable during the day. Maintenance is reduced, too, because less paint is needed on the exterior.

Advantage: Easy Construction

The size and simplicity of the design mean fairly easy construction. Several companies provide kit packages to aid in building an A-frame home. These kits are complete with detailed blueprints, instructions and a complete list of required materials. Some kits even come with precut wood and all building materials, to make the process even quicker. The construction process is simple enough for moderately skilled carpenters.

Disadvantage: Limited Living Space

The style of an A-frame house means there are limited living space and layout options. Most A-frame homes are a single story, which means a great deal of wasted space at the top of the home and at the based of sloped walls. Those that are multiple stories are just one-and-a-half stories, which means one or more bedrooms and one bathroom. The space is ideal for small families or couples but won't accommodate large groups well.

Disadvantage: Sloped Walls

The inside of an A-framed home features high-pitched, sloped walls. This means there are few opportunities for hanging wall art or shelves. The design also means there is a great deal of wasted space and some difficulty painting or designing the home. Rooms on the upper story tend to have low, steeply sloped ceilings, which can make a room feel confining.