How Much Does an A-Frame House Cost?

Typical Range:

$37,000 - $300,000

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated April 21, 2022

Reviewed by Ezra Laniado, Expert Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Cost to Build an A-Frame House

A 1,000-square- foot A-frame house typically costs between $100,000 and $200,000 or $150,000 on average. Certain kits of the same size might only cost around $37,000, including the exterior and interior setup. These “kits” or modular homes require the purchaser to prepare the foundation, plumbing, and electrical on-site before the installation. On the higher end of pricing, a custom design could run up to $300,000 or more.

Average A-Frame Houses Cost per Square Foot

Building an A-frame costs between $100 to $200 per square foot for labor and materials. Similar to the cost of building a tiny home, your square footage costs might run upwards of $300 per square foot or more. In fact, some kits run from $400 to $600 per square foot.

“Costs are higher in cities like Los Angeles. We have seen a steeper labor and material price increase over the past year in the construction sector compared to other industries. I would venture to say that costs today are between $185,000 to $350,000 with an average of about $270,000,” says Ezra Laniado, Residential and Commercial Construction and Remodeling Expert.

Labor and Construction Cost

Construction costs alone for an A-frame house ranges from $40 to $80 per square foot on average. When calculating the cost to build a house, it’s good to know that 40% of the costs go towards labor alone.

Cost Factors

While the average A-frame house costs $150 per square foot to build, there are other costs that could influence your total price:

Cost of Windows for A-Frame Homes

Window installation costs for an A-frame house span from $150 to $800 per window. Prefab kits might have different costs for windows, depending on the layout you select. However, if you hire a contractor to help with window installation, your prices might still fall in this range. 

Keep in mind that the sloping sides of an A-frame home usually don’t have windows, but large windows in the front or back of the house can let light into the space. Talk to a general contractor near you to learn more about A-frame window installation.

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A-Frame Cabin Cost

A-frame cabins typically cost between $125 and $175 per square foot to build. Since cabins are usually smaller than traditional houses, cabin building costs per square foot might be higher than the cost to build a house. Still, you can expect your costs to be comparable, if not the same, to building an A-frame house.

A-Frame House Kits Cost

A-frame house kits usually run from $60 to $140 per square foot but costs can vary. Some kits might run upwards of $600 per square foot.

An important thing to note is that the starting prices of A-frame kits are typically not reflective of the final price. Getting the foundation ready and preparing the electrical and plumbing lines in the proper locations or connection to the kit home will also be a significant cost that should be factored in. Besides that, adding fixtures, cabinets, windows, and doors will all cost extra as well. Installing plumbing fixtures costs extra, as does shipping and sometimes even insulation.

A-Frame Cabin Kit Prices

A-frame cabin kit prices start around $10,570 and can quickly reach costs of $100,000 or more, depending on size. Cabin kit starting costs often only include the basics, such as a shell or walls. Below are starting costs for some of the most popular brands.

Brand & Type Starting Cost Size
Avrame USA Trio 100 $34,350 1,200 sq. ft.
Avrame USA Duo 100 $19,300 500 sq. ft.
MADi HOME One Bedroom $37,660 280 sq. ft.
Lushna Suite Lux $54,470 205 sq. ft.
Everywhere Shelter Co. Ayfraym Plus $395 for just the plans 2,436 sq. ft.
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DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Whether you opt for a kit, a custom build, or trying to take everything on yourself, at some point you will likely need a professional’s help when building an A-frame. This is especially true if your design has a heavy metal roof or shell. You’ll need special equipment and a special license to get everything into place.

While kits might seem more affordable, those prices often don’t include things like plumbing or flooring. In some instances, a custom A-frame could actually be more cost-effective. Find a custom home builder to get a quote and weigh out all your options.

FAQs

What is an A-frame?

A-frames are houses that are notable for their steep roofs, which usually extend all the way to the ground. Their design tends to be more naturally energy-efficient than a traditional house. While often designed as cabins or getaway houses, A-frames have become increasingly popular as full-time homes.

4 characteristics of a-frame homes, including steep roofs and energy-efficient design
Photo: Jeremy Poland / E+ / Getty Images

How long does it take to build an A-frame?

A-frames take between four to eight months to build, on average. Highly custom designs or tricky building locations will take longer.

Is it cheaper to build an A-frame house over a traditional house?

While you’ll spend less heating or cooling an A-frame house, they don’t generally cost less to build in comparison to traditional houses. You may be able to save on costs by purchasing a prefab kit, depending on the one you choose, and sometimes a custom A-frame is more cost-effective. Some find the A-frame prefab construction appealing because it’s easy to put together yourself, but if done incorrectly, it could end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

Additionally, the construction of an A-frame leaves more of a home's exterior exposed to weather than with a traditional build. Therefore, the cost of materials can be higher. If the roof sustains damage, it is also more costly to repair. 

What are the downsides to an A-frame house?

There are a few downsides to an A-frame house. Replacing the roof is expensive since the roof accounts for most of the exterior surface. If you love decorating interiors, hanging photos and other decorations on the sloping walls is challenging. And due to the triangle shape of the construction, there’s less headspace, which may be uncomfortable for taller people. 

A-frame houses are usually not a good fit for a large household. First of all, there is generally not very much storage space in an A-frame due to the limited square footage and the sloping walls. Secondly, the open floor plan usually means that the primary bedroom is on the top floor but open to the rest of the space, so privacy is minimal. There’s typically only enough space for very few rooms as well.

Is an A-frame house strong?

A-frame homes are very strong, thanks to the structural integrity and strength of the triangle shape. A-frames are also very sturdy for living in areas with extreme weather like snow and rain.

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