The Ideal Terrain for A-Frame Homes The Ideal Terrain for A-Frame Homes
In many parts of the world, A-frame homes are the ideal style, because of their ability to shed heavy snowfall from their sloped roofs. A-frame homes have the roofs sloped at both ends and allow for large windows. As a result, A-frame homes also benefit from ample natural light. Learn more about the ideal terrain for an A-frame home below.
The A-frame style is practically synonymous with the word "chalet." Chalets were developed in the European Alps as an effective structural style, to shed several feet of snowfall at a time. Many areas of the Alps receive over 10 feet of snowfall per year. With an aluminum-sheathed roof, snowfall melts faster and slides off even more smoothly than from a roof with cedar or other water-resistant shingles. In addition, providing one wall of the building with glass windows allowed dwellers to enjoy the spectacular alpine views in these regions. This home style has translated easily to the Rocky Mountains of North America, with its similar weather conditions and beautiful scenery.
Small Building Lots
Another advantage of the A-frame style in the mountains is that often the square footage available to build on is quite small. An A-frame home can be built in various orientations: longest from front to back, with a narrow frontage, or on a shallow lot with a wide frontage. On a forested lot, the A-frame itself can be just at one end of the house, with a 1-story gallery attached. These styles can be adapted to any size lot whether in the mountains, in a forest, or on the beach. The A-frame house has an average size of just 1,000 square feet, but can be built larger or smaller according to your requirements.
The A-frame lends itself well to a beach property, too. The wide-frontage style capitalizes on ocean or lake views, and either sunrises or sunsets depending on whether it faces mostly east or west. The steep A-shaped roof is remarkably wind-resistant, so the house will remain structurally stable in all types of weather. Many A-frame house plans include a second story loft with a large balcony, so sun-lovers can bask all day without leaving home. The main floor of an A-frame can be outfitted with double French doors or a large sliding glass door out to a broad deck across the entire facade of the house. No home blends the indoors and outdoors better than an A-frame.
You will need to clear only a small, narrow rectangle from a forested lot to build a comfortable A-frame home. Orient the front facade to a lake or river view, or set it high on a hillside overlooking a valley, and enjoy the peace and quiet from the deck or loft balcony.
Add a fireplace and stone chimney to your A-frame house on one side, or centered on the front wall, so you can admire the view and a crackling fire at the same time. Insulate the combined roof and walls to make your A-frame home comfortable all year round. Install an outdoor hot tub on the deck for the ultimate in luxurious relaxation at your A-frame home.