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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Small A Frame Design
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# Posted: 6 Mar 2022 08:59

I'm trying to sort out a small A frame cabin that I could construct relatively quickly.

The beams tend to be 2x10 or 2x12 (so that there is lots of room for insulation).

The big issue is how the thing is attached to the foundation. I tried to get the roof running along the foundation posts (so it can be attached there), and then the cross beams (the short direction) run along the foundation and then into the roof (the thinking is this gives better attachment of the roof to the foundation).

Then the entire thing would be insulated and covered in plywood....with metal roofing.

Anyhow, thoughts are welcome. In the state I plan to build it will require building approval (but the state has allowances for tiny homes).


# Posted: 6 Mar 2022 10:38

Have you figured out how much actualy 6' head room you will have with this design? A frames look nice but they are really a waste of space.

# Posted: 6 Mar 2022 10:46

A bit over 100 square feet 6' or above (the figure is 6' in the image).

The reason for A frame is it seemed like an easier / faster build to handle solo than a more conventional build. Also seemed like it is cheaper in materials.

# Posted: 6 Mar 2022 13:05 - Edited by: ICC

Pancakes, first, can you please either resize that image so it does not insist on taking up so much screen space and force the reader to scroll sideways, back and forth as they read the text? Or rather than resize, remove it and use the upload feature this site has. That will take care of oversize images.

Your floor assembly seems to be unnecessarily complicated for a small building. Small buildings are usually built on two main beams running in the long direction. Those beams would be supported on piers; spacing is dependent on loads, soil bearing ability, and so on.

Then floor joists running across, placed on top of the beams and secured to beams with clips, brackets, nails. Joists spaced at 16, 19.2 or 24".

Then the sub-flooring sheets (usually 4x8' x 3/4" OSB or plywood with T&G edges. Finally the upper structure.

As drawn that floor would be a nightmare to frame solidly. If the intent is to fill the spaces between flooring joists and all that would be most difficult to do with anything other than spray in foam, IMO.

And IMO, building and using a small A-frame is more trouble and less practical that a rectangular box.

# Posted: 6 Mar 2022 14:07

Btdt 'plan' before our 1st build in '83-'84.....thankfully we visited some before building one. That said, I know some folks have done so and it worked for them, it just wasnt for us.
A 12x20 or 24' 'shoebox' with a simple shed roof overtop will be nicely livable. We found that 'multiples of 12x12 floor spaces seem about right so we ended ip with 12x24 with a 12x12 loft. Sans the loft it would have been an easier build. With the shed roof over cabin it would be planned to the one side to be a future roof to make it peaked for over a full length deck.
Use more windows than you think, you will need the cross ventilation and light to avoid the cabin-cave effect.
With an A-frame once you squeeze furniture and counters/appliances, etc into the side walls (with the 'wasted' corner space below) you end up with a pretty narrow walkway/stand up aisle down the center and a pretty dark tunnel space because any window can only be on the ends unless you complicate the sides.
And its a lot of roofing.
There is a good reason much of mankind world over has been living in some variation of a 'box' for millennia.

# Posted: 7 Mar 2022 06:52

Why is an A frame easier to build alone? You can't build on th ground and tip up like a normal stick build. Half of the framing is well over head yet tou get half the useable space.

# Posted: 7 Mar 2022 07:28

How do you think an A frame is put up Brettny ? You build the floor ,then construct an A truss on the floor and tip it up ,not at all unlike a normally framed building .Also ,the roof framing is done at the same time .Its very simple ,quick ,strong and nice looking ,and even pretty large A trusses can be put up fairly easily by one or two people .Check out Wild Wonderfull Off grid on YouTube ,husband and a tiny wife stood up their large A frame themselves quite easily .
It is too bad about the space though .

# Posted: 7 Mar 2022 08:27

gcrank1 is right. A frames might look nice but they're full of wasted space.

If you want simple, buy a garage package. Your plan shows 13.5' x 20.5', probably 180 usable or sq ft of space. Buy a 16' x 24' garage package and you'll get double the size for minimal extra expense. Put a bedroom and the bathroom/utility along one of the 16' walls and that leaves a nice open 14' or so by 24' space.

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