The making of “A tiny A-frame” (Part 1 of 2)

To me, tiny houses are fascinating with their ability to fit most necessities in small spaces, while utilizing transformer furniture or other clever storage possibilities. I love browsing through Pinterest, clipping ideas under the “Future Tiny Home” folder, or discovering new Youtube channels dedicated to these small wonders. Tiny houses are a big business these days with people selling their plans, their construction skills, or offering turn-key all-inclusive domiciles to willing customers. One of these talented individuals is Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, who is a blogger, former HGTV host, an author, a builder/designer/artist, and probably a handful of other titles, making him a very cool dude in my book!

My hubby and I came across one of Deek’s creations this spring while browsing tiny shacks online. This particular A-frame was so adorably tiny, yet multi-functional that it made us pause and take notice. Unlike other designs, it had a transformation element which increased its square footage and gave it an undeniable character. The convenience of having the ability to purchase building plans, motivated us to do just that during this summer’s vacation. So with just over three weeks left of vacation, we got to work.

The floor was assembled inside our barn on a leveled concrete. Very quickly it gave us the idea of just how small it’s going to be – just 80 square feet!

Luckily, we borrowed my father-in-law’s tractor, otherwise, I doubt our Tercel Wagon could have carried the base over.

With the spot chosen, we started erecting walls and framing in the windows. We ended up upcycling two small windows from my sister-in-law’s trailer and building a door ourselves.

Having just built a door for our other Tiny Cabin – The Shanty, hubby knew exactly what he was doing, even down to the door handle (the wood was recycled from an old deck and was already beautifully aged, while the door handle used to be a shed antler).

We contemplated as to what to do for the siding and settled on tongue and groove boards, painted and stained to give them that “aged” look. It ended up looking like camouflage and now the A-frame is even harder to spot among all the evergreen trees.

Once the siding went up, it started to shape into something very special.

The two beds were also a part of the building plan and required some custom mattresses and covers. We settled on a 4-inch mattress topper, cut in half and outfitted with bright outdoor material. My previous experience making pillows from scratch came in handy, but making fitted sheets is harder than it sounds.

Update: We have since settled on just regular single sheets, which easily come on and off.

The beauty of building something yourself is the ability to experiment and play with the materials at hand. Wood is never wasted on our property and some aged log in the corner turned into a beautiful countertop in a matter of a few hours.

Chainsaw skills also don’t get wasted when you are in need of a funky staircase. Love how it turned out! It has also become one of our guests’ favorite features.

Last, but not least, the movable wall turned see-through, completing the goal of seeing stars while lying down in bed.

From start to finish this project took about 3 weeks to complete, recycling and upcycling as much as we could. In total, this A-frame cost us about $700, a much smaller amount than the one built here. That’s the beauty of reusing materials and building small, it’s inexpensive, quick and so much fun!


Feast your eyes on “Building the A-frame (Part 2)” to see what the tiny A-frame looks like from the inside out and all decked out (and ready for guests).

Stay at this A-frame

Update: We’ve had a lot of fun and success renting out this funky A-frame that we’ve even become Airbnb’s Ambassadors. We would love to help you set up your own listing, answer any questions, and get you on your way to your own side hustle success. If we can do it, anyone can do it!

Use this link to get $65 Airbnb credit and get you started!


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Published by Alla Ponomareva

Daejeon based portrait and travel photographer/EFL teacher with a passion for traveling on a budget and sharing her stories on her blog www.allaponomareva.com

55 thoughts on “The making of “A tiny A-frame” (Part 1 of 2)

  1. Wow!! That is really, really tiny. I’m super curious to see what the inside looks like. I guess you’re renting this out? Do you think you could actually live in it happily? I also love these multi-function spaces, but now that I have a daughter, it would be impossible to live in something like that with her. With just my hubby, maaaaybe I could do it…but with her, def not!

    1. We’re hoping that friends and family would enjoy staying in this A-frame. As for me, I could definitely live in it alone for the summer, just reading, star-gazing, hamocking and playing with my dog. With my husband, I think we’d suffocate together considering his bowel movements…haha

  2. omg that is awesome! I’ve always wanted to build my own something. I can’t wait til I can own my own property and do fun projects like this! That is a really cute space you guys build!

      1. Is there an updated contact for ordering plans?

        My grandson has decided this will be his first build!!

  3. This is so freaking cool Alla!!!! It seems like you guys are building this back in the States, is that right? Have you returned for good or will this be you home when you visit during vacation? I love that minimalism is the essence behind tiny homes. And you two are so talented! The frame looks incredible already. I’m so excited to see the final result!!

  4. I love having a minimalist lifestyle. Congratulations for making this awesome project with your husband. I’m glad that you used recycling and upcycling. I can’t wait to see what’s inside it! It must really feel good knowing that you’re inside a place you did from scratch. ❤

    1. Yes, making something from scratch like cooking, sewing or DIY projects is very rewarding. To be able to sleep in a shelter that you’ve created is that much more amazing to know what people can do once they put their minds towards something. The sky is the limit, really…

  5. I can’t wait for the final look… How many A-frame cabins are you going to build in there? And then… make your property something like a themed accommodation for travelers in your area? if you’re heading that way, that would be really exciting. congrats to the both of you for making this yourselves! a conversation piece for you and your guests!

  6. I’m impressed! I’ve never seen anything like this before, or read an engaging article about building! A little cabin like that would be fun to sleep in just for the chance of sleeping somewhere different and having a little adventure. What a neat idea! I especially love the star gazing window!

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  8. so great! going to get started on mine this weekend. Probably really stupid question, for the siding – did you stack up the boards in place and trace a line to cut each one, before nailing in? thanks!

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  10. Awesome project! Did you have any problem with water getting into the interior at the hinged connection between the upper metal roof and the corrugated clear plastic/polycarbonate? Looks like water could drip down the roof and pour in.

    1. I understand what you’re saying and we thought the same thing. The dropped piece of conveyor belt is a perfect material to cover the gap between the roof and the wing wall. But we did have backsplash from when the water went down the polycarbonate wall, hit the deck and came back into the structure. We installed a simple piece of flashing, which took care of it. Thanks for asking!

  11. This is awesome, it’s perfect for the summer and relaxation. I was wondering did you have to pull any permits for a construction like this? Thank you!

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