Posts Tagged Tiny Home

Heating a Tiny House: How To Heat Your Tiny House And Stay Cozy All Winter Long

Heating a Tiny House: How To Heat Your Tiny House And Stay Cozy All Winter Long

heating a tiny house

NAVIGATION


Heating a tiny house in the winter has it’s challenges. Now that we’ve moved to Vermont from the sunny South we’re doing research into heating appliances. We have been talking to folks in the area about what they use and we’re pondering between a few options.

Choosing Which Tiny House Heater Option Is Right For You:

There are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing a heater for your tiny house and it boils down to a few key things. First off will you be on the grid or off the grid. Off grid winter heating will narrow your options to a few, while if you are on the grid, you have many other options.

Once you’ve determined your grid status, you’ll need to consider the practicalities of your lifestyle. What do you want your life to be like day to day and what is and isn’t going to work for you. Many people idealize a wood stove, but they don’t think about waking up in the morning to a cold house before they can stoke a fire up again. For me I just wanted the simplicity of pressing a button, so I opted for a heat pump in my tiny house.

Sizing your heating system is critical to keeping your house nice and warm without getting too hot. I’ve been in my fair share of tiny houses where a heater either couldn’t keep up with how cold it was outside and I’ve also been in an equal number of tiny houses that were so hot we had to open windows in the dead of winter to prevent us from sweating. For me, I needed a tiny house heater that made about 3,000 BTUs for where I live in N.C. Use a BTU calculator to figure out what is right for you tiny house.

comparison of heating fuel prices

Finally price, money is important. Some setups cost more on the front end and less over time, while some are cheaper to start with and require on going costs or the costs are higher over the long term. I’ll dig into each of these as we go through all the options.

Electric Heater Options For A Tiny House:

heating a tiny house with electric

Electric Heater Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to find at any store
  • No installation, just plug in
  • Can find the right BTU size for you

Electric Heater Cons

  • Takes up floor space
  • They’re not particularly good looking
  • Expensive to run, draws a lot of power
  • Not practical for off the grid

Electric
Cost

  • $40-$100

Probably the easiest, cheapest option right now and fairly efficient in terms of heating a space our size. We could get through the rest of the Vermont winter comfortably with our current electric heater but it’s certainly not attractive and it takes up floor space. This option also requires you to be on the grid, most of these heaters start at 1,500 watts for a around 5,000 BTUs and go up from there. With electrical loads like that, you’d have to have a very expensive solar array to power that in the winter.

The great thing about electric heaters is that they’re super cheap, we picked our us for around $45 and you can find that at any major big box retailer. The do work well to heat a space and you have two main options: forced air and radiant heaters.

Forced Air is for when you want to heat up a space fast, the fan in them often is pretty loud, but you can heat the space quickly which is nice when we come home from work and want to turn up the heat. While they are noisy, this is a good option for us because we are out and about often, so we turn down the power while we are gone.

Radiant Heat is for when you can take the time to let a space to heat up. These are often oil filled radiators style heaters, which are near silent in their operation and gently heat the air around them. If you’re on the grid and going to be spending a lot of time in the house this is a good option because you can heat the house up and then let it coast.

Since this would only be a temporary situation right now, seeing as we will be hooking up our solar panels this summer and investing in a small wind generator later in the year. We’re also contemplating micro-hydro electric but that’s for another post!

Heating A Tiny House With A Wood Stove Or Pellet Stove:

heating a tiny house with a wood stove

Wood or Pellet Stove Pros

  • Cozy fire is nice
  • Less impact on environment
  • Can be used to cook, heat and more
  • Fuel generally cheap

Wood or Pellet Stove Cons

  • Medium to high initial cost
  • Needs large clearances
  • Hard to find one small enough
  • Takes work and can be messy

Wood or Pellet Stove Cost

  • $800-$2,000

We met a tiny house dweller on a farm nearby who uses a wood fired stove. She loves it because she enjoys the processing of the wood and the look of the wood stove in her tiny house. She’s also able to heat water on top for tea making or dish washing. When electricity has gone out during the winter she has had no problems keeping warm and heating food.

There is a homey feeling to a wood stove that you just can’t quite achieve with gas fueled units. However, a wood stove is messier, with ash falling through and wood chips and bark trailing in from the wood.

Tiny House Wood Stove Options

It’s not easy to find a small wood burning fireplace, most are just too big for a small space. Jotul is a popular wood and gas stove company here in Vermont and folks tell us they are the best. We’re not sure they make one small enough for our space so we’re going to check out their showroom this week. We’ve also been looking at Dickinson Marine wood stoves as well as Woodstock soapstone stoves made regionally over in New Hampshire. Kimberly Stoves are also an option, but are expensive.

Finally Hobbit Wood Stoves are a popular options because it’s one of the few best heating options for small homes due to it’s size. It’s designed for small spaces so it’s a serious contender for wood stoves for your tiny house.

ways to make the most out of a wood stove

There are a few considerations you need to make when it comes to having a wood stove in your tiny house. First is getting a stove small enough for you tiny house, if you don’t size it right, it will generate too many BTUs and leave you roasting inside your tiny house. This happens to most people when they try to heat their small house with wood because it’s hard to find a wood stove that’s small enough.

Next is the space it takes up. Wood stoves require a lot of space just in their size, but also in clearances. You often need to give a good amount of space around the wood stove to make sure it’s safe and doesn’t catch nearby surfaces on fire.

Finally consider your lifestyle and how a wood stove will impact that. Wood stoves require frequent tending, wood needs to be chopped, stacked, then hauled in and finally the stove needs to be cleaned. It’s a lot of hard work and it can be a messy affair when soot gets out. Pellet wood stoves I’ve found to be a happy medium between ease of use, easy temperature maintenance and ease. You can’t really make your own pellets, but there is a strong case to be made for them.

Kerosene Heaters For Indoor Use:

heating a tiny house with kerosene

Kerosene Heater Pros

  • Vented or un-vented
  • Thermostat Controlled
  • Burns very clean

Kerosene Heater Cons

  • Medium to high initial cost
  • Uses fossil fuels
  • Hard to find fuel sometimes

Kerosene
Cost

  • $80-$1,500

Several people have told us that kerosene is worth the set-up and cost of fuel. It burns really hot and it is 90% efficient according to a local gas supplier. In terms of BTU output kerosene beats out propane, but it’s not as clean burning and is more polluting to the environment although they make filters now that reduce emissions.

Kerosene is the cheaper option when compared to propane, but we have found it’s not as easy to find. I’m also most concerned about carbon monoxide so a vented heater would be essential in such a small space. The Toyotomi Laser kerosene heaters are an option, but I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews. Another option is a free standing kerosene heater like a Dyna-Glo heater, which is nice because you can remove it when not using it. The main downside is that it isn’t a direct vent heater, so you need to be careful about air quality and safety. Overall, kerosene seems like a good option for back-up to electric heating,m but after more online research we are considering this option less and less.

Tiny House Propane Heater Options:

heating a tiny house with propane

Propane Heater Pros

  • Vented or un-vented
  • Thermostat Controlled
  • Burns very clean

Propane Heater Cons

  • Medium-to-high initial cost
  • Uses fossil fuels
  • Hard to find fuel sometimes

Propane
Cost

  • $80-$1,500

Clean burning, efficient, relatively inexpensive and easy to find we’ve seriously considered the propane option. Our stove currently helps heat our house and it’s run off propane so hooking up a heating element wouldn’t be too difficult.

The Dickinson heater is an attractive and efficient option and was a contender to the wood stove option in our deliberations, but after talking with many other tiny housers, we heard a lot of bad things. Mainly that they look nice, but don’t put out enough heat. Even though the Dickinson heater says it puts out 4,000-5,500 BTUs, many people have called that into question. It also lacks a thermostat which was a deal breaker for us.

The other really good option if you’re considering this is a Mr. Heater propane heater. This was great in the south because we didn’t always need a big heater, so we could store it away when we needed to, but on those colder than normal nights we could break it out and heat our tiny house up fast. While it uses 1lb propane canisters, we felt it was very wasteful, so we got the 20lb propane tank connector hose (the size your grill runs off of).

What I like about propane is that it’s pretty cheap, I run my tiny house off of it and we spend about $100 per year heating the house, using it to cook and for my hot water heater for my tiny house. The other thing is you can get the tanks refilled almost anywhere and I prefer to use the 20lb tanks because even when they are full, I can carry them pretty easily.

Tiny House Heat Pumps:

heating a tiny house with heat pump

Heat Pump Pros

  • Can heat and cool
  • Thermostat Controlled
  • Takes up no floor space
  • Very efficient

Heat Pump Cons

  • High initial cost
  • Requires some expert help to setup
  • Doesn’t work in very cold climates

Heat Pump Cost

  • $800-$3,500

This is a good option for people who live on grid, because heat pumps are getting more and more efficient. In really cold locations this should generally be avoided because the system functions by capturing any available heat from the air and concentrating it to heat the home. Once you get to around 30 degrees, most units have electric heating coils to boost the system, but that puts you back in the boat of standard electric heating.

The upside to heat pumps is that the provide heating and cooling for your tiny house, which is what I ultimately decided for my system. While it is difficult, you can run a mini split off solar with a large enough system and an efficient enough system.

The main brands you want to look for is Mitsubishi and Fujitsu, both make good units that are a high SEER rating which is a measure of how efficient they are. You’ll want to find a unity that is at least a SEER 20 for on grid use, if you’re off grid you want to be as high of a SEER rating as possible. At the time of writing this, Carrier just launched a new mini split that is a SEER 42 which is astounding.

What’s great about mini splits is you can mount the air handler on the wall so it doesn’t take up any floor space. It is also programmable, so the thermostat can turn on and off when you want and some even allow you to control via your phone so you can turn it on remotely to come home to a toasty house.

Best Heating Options For A Tiny House:

best heating options for a tiny house

Now that we’ve broken down some of the major types of heaters for a tiny house, I want to share what I think are the best options when it comes to heating a tiny home.

1. Carrier Infinity Heat Pump – $2,500

Heat pump by carrierIt’s hard to beat these heat pump mini splits because that can heat and cool all in one unit. Their high efficiency inverter heat pump with a SEER of 42 is insane, I have yet to setup one, but I’m guessing it can heat at around 500 watts which is unheard of.

2. Heat Storm Deluxe Indoor Infrared Wall Heater – $80

convection electric heaterThis is the best alternative I’ve found to the popular Envi Flat Panel Heater which is no longer made. What’s great about this heater is it plugs right into an outlet, its very low profile so it doesn’t take up much space because it mounts right on the wall. The kicker is that since it’s just a plug in heater, you can remove it easily and store during the warmer months. At $80 and a 10 minute install it’s hard to beat it if you’re on the grid.

3. The Hobbit Small Wood Stove – $1,100

hobbit small wood stove for a tiny houseFor those who want to go off grid with your heating you’ll need a very small wood stove and the Hobbit Wood Stove is one of the smallest ones out there. While you could go with the Kimberly Stove, its very expensive. At 18 inches x 12 inches you can’t get much smaller and still feed it wood, so this is a great option for those who want to heat and cook with wood.

4. Mr. Heater – MH9BX Propane Heater – $69

Mr. Heater propane portable heaterThis is a great heater and super practical. It runs off of propane which you get almost anywhere, it’s easily portable and it puts off a lot of heat when you need it. I think everyone should have a Mr. Heater regardless of what heating option you go with as a back up heating source. It can be fuels by 1lb tanks or you can get the hose for grill size tanks.

5. Oil Filled Radiator Heater – $72

oil fille radiator heaterThis is another good option and make the cut for my list because they’re good at heating spaces, you can wheel it in when you need heat, but still store it when it’s warmer weather. The oil filled radiator means you have a nice even heat that doesn’t make much noise. The down side to these is that use up a lot of energy, so if you’re off grid it’s not an option and if you are on grid, power bills can be high.

Considerations When Heating Your Tiny House:

considerations when heating your tiny house

The last few points here to consider are safety, indoor air quality, and insulation. Obviously safety is paramount and many of these flame based heaters can lead to fires if you’re not careful. If you have smaller children, a heater on the floor presents a hazard to kids touching it. Indoor air quality is something to consider too. When in such a small space, as you burn fuels you’re using up your oxygen and putting out gasses like carbon monoxide which is serious business. Venting is always preferable, but it’s a trade off because venting takes up a lot of space and need to be done correctly.

Finally if you’re build your own tiny house, it’s important to make sure your house is well sealed and spending more money on insulation upfront will result in a lot less money being spent later on. Don’t skimp on your insulation and choose the highest quality windows that you can afford.

Ultimately our main criteria for heating units include efficiency, safety, cost and environmental impact. We are deliberate in every choice we make with the house and want to make the best choice for our space, the environment and our wallets. It’s not an easy choice but a very necessary one now that we live in a state with actual winter. It’s definitely going to be easier to heat the tiny house than it was to cool it in the hot, humid Southern summers!

which fuell option is best for heating a tiny home

Your Turn!

  • What do you recommend for heating a tiny space?
  • What options have you considered?

 

A-Frame Tiny Houses: How To Build + Free Tiny House A-Frame Plans

A-Frame Tiny Houses: How To Build + Free Tiny House A-Frame Plans
A-Frame Tiny Houses

What is a tiny house a-frameWhat is a Tiny House A-Frame

A-frame tiny house designFRAMES have always fascinated me as a bit of nostalgic architecture, but also as an interesting snapshot of American optimism. They rose to popularity in a time when many were entering into the middle class and cars became common place.

The idea of the weekend getaway became a thing for the first time and people look to rural parts of the country to build a cabin in the woods. Enter a simple but practical design called the A-frame.

Today’s modern A-frame tiny houses are designed and built with full-time living in mind. Although many people still adore this architectural style as a cabin or vacation home, the shape has really taken off in the tiny house movement.

Now, not all A-frames are considered tiny houses. In fact, there are small A-frame houses and even quite large options. A-frame tiny houses usually fall between 100-400 sq. ft. Small tiny A-frame houses are typically between 400-1000 sq. ft. Both styles are popular for those who want to build their own dwelling and take on tiny house living.

tiny house a-frame sections

pros and cons of a-frame tiny housesPros and Cons of Tiny House A-Frames

Like any architectural style, A-frame tiny houses come with a list of pros and cons. The biggest advantage of the style is that it is relatively easy to construct, which appeals to many who want to build their tiny A-frame on a small plot of land.

The simple design means you do away with side walls entirely, opting for a larger roof plane instead. What normally would be a wall system made up of studs, top/bottom plates, sills, and a complex roof truss structure becomes a single piece of lumber you only have to make two cuts on.

This monolithic roof isn’t without its downsides, though. The sloped roof creates less usable internal space because you can only stand up straight so close to the wall.

A-frame tiny houses tend to skew a bit bigger than most because you need a wider and taller house to have enough livable space within the sloped roofs. If an A-frame style is appealing to you, don’t get too caught up in thinking a tiny house “should” be so many square feet, build a house that works for you!

  • Simple to construct
  • Low cost
  • Strong shape
  • Low maintenance
  • Durable under weather conditions
  • Retro style
  • Simple and minimalist design
  • Less usable space because of slope
  • More exterior area means less efficiency
  • Temperature control can be a challenge
  • The Loft can be uncomfortable
  • Steep roofs are hard to service
  • Some folks feels the style is dated
  • Limited natural light

tiny house a-frame sections

Free A-Frame Tiny House Plans

If you’re considering building your own A-frame tiny house or small A-frame cabin, good plans can be hard to come by. Studying a set of plans can help you determine a design that works for you, estimate how much a tiny house A-frame costs, what materials you’ll need, and more.

Viewing the floor plan will help you get a feel for layouts in an A-frame tiny house. You can start to envision the possibilities for your own tiny house A-frame and how it might work with your lifestyle.

I’ve put together these plans that you can get for free. They include a 14’x14’ tiny house A-frame and another layout for a 16’x16’ design. Included in the PDF is a full materials list, sample cost breakdown, tool list, and more!

free a-frame tiny house plans

Ray Grayford

Design Tip:

Find a good set of plans that allow you to envision how space will be used and how furniture will fit (especially consider low overhead areas). You may want to consider using a 3-d program such as Sketch-up, or even building a simple wood/cardboard model to scale.

– Ray Grayford – Website

a-frame plans for sale signA-Frame Tiny House Plans For Sale

Once you’ve taken a look at the A-frame floor plans above, you should have a good handle on what you like and don’t like about the A-frame layout. Maybe you’re starting to generate ideas on how an A-frame tiny house could work for you.

If you’re seriously considering building an A-frame tiny house and you’d like additional floor plan options, I suggest exploring some of these A-frame plans for sale below. These tiny house floor plan sellers are experienced and familiar with the requirements of building a tiny house. Investing in a good set of floor plans will ensure first time builders don’t miss important details.

relaxshacks a-frame kits

These little Relaxshacks are a glamorous step up from camping. With a spot for one or two beds, a mini kitchenette, and space for relaxation, these are cute vacation options. This design doesn’t feature a bathroom, but all other features are there, making it an excellent camping choice.

pin-up houses a-frame kits

Pin-up Houses offer a wide range of A-frame tiny houses, A-frame small houses, and cabins. The Alexis is a small-but-roomy 306-sq.-ft. tiny house option with a kitchenette, porch, bathroom, and small loft. There’s a 134-sq.-ft. living room that is nicely sized. The plans include material recommendations.

pin-up houses a-frame tiny house kits

If you’re looking for a simple shelter for camping and weekend relaxation, the Lily is a small but adequate A-frame tiny house design. Lily features storage space and enough room to sleep two people comfortably. There’s no plumbing, but it would make a fun A-frame vacation shelter.

pin-up houses tiny house a-frame kits

The Rebecca from Pin-up Houses is an A-frame small house with two stories, plumbing, and three potential bedrooms. This design shows a great range of A-Frame tiny house possibilities. It would be great for a couple or a small family, with room to grow.

If you’re a first-time tiny house builder, an A-frame tiny house is a relatively simple design that’s easy to build. That said, there are several good reasons to build from an A-frame tiny house kit rather than making your first tiny house from scratch.

Priit Kallejärv

Design Tip:

A-frame houses have a special design and don’t fit to every environment. The steep roof pitch is likely going to be problematic in urban areas. In the countryside, however, there are often less code restrictions to follow, making it more likely to get a green light from the local authorities to proceed with the project.

– Priit Kallejärv – Website

a-frame tiny house kits
With an A-frame tiny house kit, you’ll get precisely the right materials and pieces you’ll need. You won’t have to worry about the planning and troubleshooting, which can lead to expensive mistakes. Even expert tiny house builders make mistakes that can add up, so if it’s your first time, weigh out the cost of your time, planning, and an allotment for any mistakes before deciding that a kit is a more expensive route. In the end, you may save money by opting for one of these great A-frame tiny house kits.

Avrame A-frame tiny houses

Avrame

I really like the look and modular nature of the Avrame A-frame tiny houses. The SOLO series ranges from 141-247 sq. ft. Avrame is based in Estonia, but they offer many resources on A-frame tiny house kits.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses
Back Country Huts a-frame kits

Back Country Huts

Back Country Huts kits are based in Canada, but they also ship to the United States. These modern styled A-frame tiny house kits are designed for self-assembly with a clear step-by-step guide.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses
Den A-frame kits

Den

Den A-frame kits are priced out with exactly how much it costs to build an A-frame tiny house from their kits. The spacious design features 14-foot ceilings and a wall of glass to let in light.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses
M.A.DI. modular A-frame unit kits

Madi

M.A.DI. modular A-frame unit kits are available only in Europe. Still, the designs are beautiful, and the website is worth checking out for inspiration and ideas (even if you are in the United States).

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses
Nolla A-frame cabin

Nolla

The Helsinki designer Robin Falck created the beautiful Nolla A-frame cabin, with a minimalist and energy-efficient design. Again, this A-frame is an excellent design to check out for inspiration as you plan.

Gary Boatwright a-frame house

Design Tip:

Before you start building an A-frame house be sure to research city and county codes and make sure your room sizes will fit with at least 5 feet hight at outside wall or more for appraisal, if need.

– Gary Boatwright – Website

A-Frame on a Foundation VS an A-Frame on a Trailer

So should you build your A-frame tiny house on a foundation or on a trailer? Well, it depends on your needs. The main reason to build any tiny house on a trailer is usually to get around building codes. The other advantage of a trailer is that you gain mobility. Should you decide to move someday, you can take your house with you.

If the building codes aren’t a concern for your area (and be sure to check out the codes thoroughly before you build), then you can certainly build an A-frame tiny house on a slab foundation. A benefit to building on a foundation is that you can make it wider,creating more floor space.

Since trailers have a maximum width allowed by the DOT, you’ll only be able to have an A-frame tiny house 8.5 feet wide, which doesn’t leave a lot of room inside with the steel sloping roof.

a-frame on a foundation

A-FRAME ON A FOUNDATION

Building an A-frame on a slab foundation allows you to size the A-frame cabin or tiny house to your preference. You can create it as wide as you like, which enables you to lower the roof’s angle. If you build on a foundation, take the time to research the different foundation options (pier, slab, crawlspace, or basement). A slab foundation is generally less expensive than building on a trailer, so that’s something you should also consider.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

A-FRAME ON A TRAILER

If you choose to build your A-frame on a trailer, you’ll be beholden to the size of the trailer (8.5 ft. wide). That said, there are some significant advantages to building any tiny house on a trailer (which is why I built my own tiny home on a trailer). When you build on a trailer, you’ll build from the bottom up — sizing the flooring and the base first. This video walks through an A-frame tiny house build on a trailer.

a-frame on a trailer

tiny house a-frame sections

photos of a-frame housesPhotos of A-Frame Houses

This blue A-frame tiny house with an orange porch and patio for dining looks perfectly appropriate in the forest setting
From the inside, the A-frame tiny house has a spacious kitchen with plenty of room for a full-size fridge.
The loft of this A-frame tiny house features plenty of room for a standard double bed and nightstand.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

This wooden A-frame tiny house with a dining porch is a basic design but offers ample room.
 This A-frame tiny house's interior shows some nice living touches like a small table and a kitchenette with a shelf near the window.
An interior shot of this A-frame shows retro-flare with a woodburning stove and a mid-century styled sitting space.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

A solar-friendly roof allows lots of light into this A-frame tiny house, making the space efficient and bright.
The windowed sides on this A-frame tiny house lift to allow fresh air and create more space.
The interior of this A-frame tiny cabin is perfect for camping with a small kitchenette and two sleeping areas.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

This A-frame tiny house features a dormer to create more loft space in the second story.
An interior shot of this A-frame tiny house shows a roomy dormered bedroom decorated in white.
This A-frame small house kitchen is enormous, thanks to a layout that runs along with one of the walls.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

An interior of a small A-frame cabin shows how roomy the living room can feel with elevated ceilings and a woodburning stove.
 A loft space in this A-frame features plenty of room for several beds.
This small A-frame house has a spacious bathroom with plenty of white to keep the room airy and open.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

This architecturally beautiful A-frame house has a glass front and an alternative shape, making it a unique choice.
The interior of this alternative A-frame tiny house shows an area for sleeping, a wood stove, and a dining table.
The kitchenette in this A-frame tiny house is small but adequate, with a cupboard, stovetop, and tiny sink.

tiny house a-frame sections

pictures of a-frame house exteriorsPhotos of A-Frame Exteriors

This A-frame tiny house has a bright green door and horizontal wooden siding for rustic appeal.
A blue A-frame tiny house looks fantastic with a geometric wooden pattern on the front door.
The windowed peak of this A-frame tiny house shows a beautiful high ceiling with plenty of light from the hanging fixture.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

This small wooden A-frame cabin has room for sleeping and a small porch
A black A-frame tiny cottage makes a perfect reading nook, outdoor guestroom, or small bedroom.
A wooden A-frame tiny house is a nice camping spot on the beach with a porch and windowed front.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

A simple sided A-frame tiny house in tan and brown makes a great starter home for tiny house newbies.
This A-frame time house nestled in the woods has a large deck for gathering and entertaining.
A highly-pitched roof on this A-frame tiny house adds to the space while covering the porch.

tiny house a-frame sections

pictures of a-frame house loftsPhotos of A-Frame Lofts

This A-frame loft has room for two people to sleep quite comfortably in twin beds with a nightstand in between.
This A-frame tiny house loft has a spacious bedroom with a double bed and two small foot tables.
The sleeping loft of this A-frame tiny house overlooks the mountains with a large window.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

A tray table makes an A-frame loft a perfect place to enjoy breakfast in bed.
This A-frame loft has enough room for a substantial king-sized bed — the perfect spot for reading a book.
Dark walls look stunning with the sky windows in this A-frame loft bedroom with a large king-sized bed.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

Shelving above the sleeping space is a great way to add storage space to an A-frame loft.
A-frame loft bedrooms can be maximized with shelving, plants, and décor to make the most of the small space.
High wooden ceilings make this A-frame loft bedroom an excellent spot for sleeping. Blue and yellow pillows and a nightstand complete the look.

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

Another shot of this A-frame loft that sleeps a family of four or five comfortably.
A hammock in your whitewashed A-frame loft provides a different place to sleep, especially if you use the space as an office.
This A-frame loft has plenty of windows to look out on the snowy landscape below.

A-Frame Experts

A-FRAME EXPERT CONSTRUCTION TIPS

Jake Davis-Hansson

Because A-frames don’t use conventional framing, there is a lot less information about structural things like spans, member sizes, fasteners and so on. Make sure all parts of your design have been looked over by a structural engineer.

– Jake Davis-Hansson – Website

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

Priit Kallejärv

It is always smart to have 1 person in your team with a construction background to eliminate possible mistakes. Obviously all the special parts (plumbing, electrical system, HVAC etc.) should be done by a specialist.

– Priit Kallejärv – Website

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

Deek Diedricksen

Take your time and enlist help when it comes to raising the A’s and in the sheathing and roofing phases (for larger a-frames), you’re dealing with an extremely steep roof pitch with most of these and lugging and affixing huge plywood sheets from a ladder can get tiring, not to mention dangerous, in a hurry. Consider some good scaffolding, too.

– Deek Diedricksen – Website

the tiny life a-frame tiny houses

Ray Grayford

Consider using a metal roof as it is fast, efficient, and lower maintenance than other choices. Also, if the A-frame will have electrical power, use mini-split heating/cooling units to save on space that would be required for duct-work.

– Ray Grayford – Website

a-frame step by step guide

Ready to build an A-frame tiny house? I’ve broken down the tools and guidelines here to help you plan your big build. An A-frame small house, cabin, or tiny home is a good way for first-time builders to learn as they go. The A-frame shape is a simple design, and if you opt to build from a kit, the process can be even easier.

Of course, there are plenty of pre-built options out there as well, but if you’re hoping to save money and DIY, this is a great option. A-frames also make nice vacation homes, satellite offices, studios, or guest rooms. Watch this video for more details on what it takes to build an A-frame tiny house.

How long does it take to build an A-frame? How much will your A-frame cost? It all depends on the simplicity of the design, your experience, and materials. A simple A-frame shed or camping space may take only a day or two and cost less than $5000. A more robust design could take weeks or months and cost thousands more.

tiny house a-frame sections