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A Frame Home

Posted by renateli33 (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 17, 08 at 10:11

Hi! I am new so please bear with me. My fiance are/have been saving forever to build our dream home. We found the perfect plan. A 1562 sq ft A Frame House. We live in western Pennsylvania. We own our land. It is flat and my finacee has cleared it (he is a heavy equipment operator). We will also be needing a basement (unfinished). This is the plan (without a few minor modifications)

We will also be taping into city sewage. We are also looking into geothermal heating. Does anyone know anything about A frames home or anything I listed above? Obviously it would be impossibly to correctly assume what it would cost, but what would a project like this cost us. I am just curious as to the average cost of an A frame home and if it is cost effective. Thank you!!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: A Frame Home

I think you will find it more expensive to build than a more conventional home of the same square footage. A-frames seem to be most popular in mountainous areas. You don't see as many in flat country.

You might check with a real estate agent in that area to see what the marketability would be like when it comes time to sell. My guess is somewhat limited.

RE: A Frame Home

It only works for very small houses. By the time you get some dormer windows in an A-frame it will cost as much as a conventional platform framed house.

RE: A Frame Home

Don't know much about how the A-frame aspect may influence costs, but I think the plan looks great. Its very pleasing to the eye, and unique without being TOO unique. You mention the land is flat, this would sure work well on a sloped lot. If you're fiance is a heavy equipment operator, I'm sure he has an idea how he wants it.

If you could orient the house so those big windows face south, you'd get great passive solar heating in the winter.

If you have plenty of space, geothermal would be a great idea. The horizontal loop system would most likely be a cheaper install than drilling vertical wells for the geothermal loop, but you have to have the space. Lots of info on geothermal on this site, as well as the internet: or has lots of info you can view, just to get an idea.

RE: A Frame Home

If you are looking to build an A Frame type "SouthEast Domes" in your search engine and you will find a builder out of the USA. He will build you the entire kit for approx $5-$7 Sq Ft. He will design it for you and ship it to the property. I have property on the great lakes and I to plan to build an A Frame. Best of luck!

RE: A Frame Home

Er....the website is interesting, but wouldn't come close to meeting code here.

I'm trying to wonder where it would on the Great Lakes.....

RE: A Frame Home

Let's see if we can post a .gif of the floor plan:

and the exterior:

To my mind, this isn't a 'real' A frame, and is actually a more practical design for modern building: unlike a tradtional A, this one has a tall sidewall coupled with a very steep roof.

If I were going to build it, I'd do some scale drawings [you can handle that with some graph paper and a calculator] to see what the upper floor would be like if you dropped the roof pitch from 15/12 to 12/12.

I'd also do a single full bath on the main floor, and use the upper floor as the master suite. But then, I'm awfully fond of upstairs masters, and the feeling of light and air they give. Might not be the best for a young family, though...

RE: A Frame Home

We are just finishing up our house and my husband is a excavation superintendant . We did our own foundation excavation and our own
radiant geothermal heat . i had gotten several bids for the radiant geo
but they were very high . The contractors said it was because putting in
all the radiant tubing was very labor intensive and therefore costly . My
DH and I did it ourselves in 3 days . For the geothermal we excavated
and put in 3600 lf of geothermal tubing and then back filled , that took
4 days . Our plumber and electrician took care of the manifolds , pumps
and electrical connections . Our cost for a 4 zone 6000sf house was 22,000.00 . Even if you don't plan to finish the basement - I would still
consider roughing in the heat in case you change your mind down the road.
Good Luck

RE: A Frame Home

nice looking home plan. We built one similar and ours is a chalet, not an A frame. We built ours as Owner/builders. I will tell you this, with a tall peek, everything takes more time and money. Want to paint, set up scaffolding. Wire the lights, set up scaffolding. We had our scaffolding on wheels. Working up on scaffolding and ladders takes a ton more effort than not working up high. The framing of the roof took us about a month. Everything is more difficult, which = more $$$.

In spite of the extra work, we really enjoy our house and how the huge windows soak in the winters sun. If it is sunny, we do not need heat. We would probably do something similar if we every build again, of course we are smack in the middle of a forest in the Mtns.

Here are a few pics.






RE: A Frame Home


It is an adorable plan and one that I looked at when we were choosing houseplans. But the size and layout (side entry, small rooms) didn't work for us. You were looking for cost information, I hope you don't mind if I make some comments on the plan itself?

The dining room is small and the french doors opening into that space limits furniture arrangement. Measure out 9 x 9'6" and see what you can fit with 3 ft of door swinging in. I'd suggest sliding glass doors instead.

I agree with Oruboris to eliminate the half bath on the 1st floor, this would leave enough space to put a stacking washer and dryer. Otherwise I would assume you would have laundry space in the basement?

You want to keep costs down, you still have to think about actually living in the house, not just now with the two of you, but would you eventually plan on a family and want a little more room. Possibly add 2-4 feet to the width?

This plan wouldn't adapt easily to additions as your needs change. Granted you have the basement space, but you said your land is flat, so does that mean no slope for the walk out?

It's tough sometimes to look at a floor plan and really 'get' what the space will be like. If you are able to go through a model home or know someone who has built something similar it will help. If not, when we were looking at plans, it helped to physically measure out the space (say 10 x 10), to 'see' it and also measure our furniture and if it fit. I made furniture templates and put them on graph paper and played around to see what worked. In an open floor plan you have to allow for walkways through the space, too.

You know best what will work for your lifestyle so just trying to give a few ideas FWIW. I found I fell in love with several plans and thought they were perfect until I really looked at them objectively.

I wish you the best - it's an exciting process.



Thanks everyone!

mikeyvon, I am very much in love with your house. It is very similar to ours. I have a few more questions for you and was hoping you could email me at . I didn't see a way you could message each other on this board. If you could email me I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

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