The Romantic Allure of A-Frames

The iconic A-frame style cabins are back in the spotlight and it’s not hard to understand why!

The same minimalist simplistic lifestyle that has been attracting us to tiny-houses applies to the classic A-frame, but with an intriguing twist.

If you have ever lived or vacationed in an A-frame, then you understand its’ appeal. Similar to our attraction to the VW Bug, it may not be the most comfortable, however, its’ iconic appeal attracts us on a phycological level. It easily becomes part of our identity and marks our personality.

The Beginings

It’s impossible to say when the first A-frame was built, however, versions of it seem to go back thousands of years! A form of A-house huts were popular in China, Japan and Polynesia a very long time ago!

However, the A-frame vacation/mountain home as we think of it became popular in the 1950’s. It was what many consider the golden age of America. In just 10 years the average wage of American workers almost doubled. This resulted in lots of extra money and many decided to spend it on vacation homes. The A-frame was the perfect choice for many reasons. Here’s why:

The Alure of the A-frame

The design makes it very quick, cheap, easy to build and durable! No need for complicated plans or high end architects when you plan your A-frame!

The “all-roof” style with its’ high pitch roof repeals rain and snow in a way that the shingles seem to last forever. If you want a mountain home where it snows a lot the is the added advantage of not having to novel the snow off of you roof. Here in the Adirondacks we all know what that is about!

The energy efficiency in the wintertime is also great, in a typical house most of the heat is lost when it rises to the ceiling, however, in these houses there isn’t much ceiling for it to escape to. The peak loft is a great and cozy place that you can “accompany” the hot air if you wish. 😉

Another great reason to build an A-frame is the way it unites families. Here close by Lake George and Lake Placid are famous for their plush Adirondack retreats where families spend their weekends out of the city. It is supposed to be a time for the family to unite and bond. However, many of these luxurious lakefront properties are so large that the family doesn’t see much of each other.

This problem doesn’t exist in an A-frame! The houses seem designed to pull people together. There aren’t many places to hide, which is a good thing for families that want a vacation that will help then bond!

Full-Time Residence or Vacation Home?

Traditionally A-frames are considered vacation homes. For family vacations they are ideal, as we discussed above. However, it might not be a good idea for a family to move into one full time. The lack of privacy and the lack of closet space would make life a little difficult.

That having been said, for a couple that is madly in love and A-frame would make an amazing full time residence for the two of them. 🙂