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Building of a tiny A-frame cabin (part 2)

Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for an updated look at our rigging system (completed in June 2018)

Want to see more of our awesome Montana Airbnb retreats (we’ve built 3 – The Shanty, the Blind, and the A-frame), or follow us on Instagram @thehohnstead

Thank you for tuning back in, last week’s post was very bittersweet, where we reminisced about the three weeks of construction of a tiny A-frame (part 1). Again, we came across this design online, which was built by a construction company following the plans of one of the superstars of the tiny houses revolution – Derek “Deek” Diedricksen. After having had a few projects under our belts, this A-frame looked simple enough, and with only 80 square feet to work with, we knew it wouldn’t take too long.

The total came to 3 weeks of almost daily work and about $700 in materials (while the other company spent around $1200, we were lucky to have used and upcycled a lot of the windows, boards, nails, roofing, etc that we had lying around from other projects). It always helps to have a storage place to keep some leftover junk and on 20 acres we’ve got plenty of space! Also, a lot of the cost was spent on the solar panel, even though their cost has come down significantly in the past couple of years.

We couldn’t be prouder of the final result and hope friends and family get a chance to enjoy watching the stars from the inside of the cabin at night while they sip on some of Garrett’s homemade brew.

When the wall is up, it’s a whole different experience. Luckily, Montana has almost no mosquitos to speak of in the summertime, so there’s no need for a mosquito net.

The indoors presented a small challenge of picking the right colors to make it pop. We went with a coral and mint motif.

As the sun dips below the mountains, the solar lights illuminate the hammocks and the stars slowly start to peak through the treetops. If you haven’t seen the stars in Montana, then you haven’t truly seen the stars…

In summary:

Build time: around 3 weeks

Design: Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Total space: 80 square feet + deck (which was salvaged from sis-in-laws scrap pile)

Cabin type: dry cabin

Sleeps: 2, possibly 3 (if the 3rd person sleeps in a sleeping bag on the floor)

Restroom facilities: Outdoor portable toilet and solar shower within walking distance

Cost: around $700 with lots of reused and upcycled odds and ends

Deviations/modifications from the original design:

  • 2×3 purlins instead of 2×6 due to availability and lack of the need for a loft
  • No loft, instead we have 2 18 inch shelves above the window and above the door for backpacks or extra storage
  • 7/16th OSB for the flooring
  • No cabinets
  • Excluded the smaller opening window. Instead went with 2 permanent triangular openings with screens, because the cabin is seasonal. With enough blankets, you’re still plenty warm in the summertime.
  • Next time, would make the benches shorter to fit the length of the mattresses better and to have space to walk around to access the wing wall from the inside.
  • Raised the cabin higher on the blocks in order to accommodate for the snow accumulation in the winter months.
  • Decks are made in easy-to-remove-segments in order to remove after summertime and to accommodate for snow.
  • Due to time constraints, there’s no trim but will be added on next summer.
  • Wing wall doesn’t have a standing mechanism yet, but we’re planning on a good way to keep it open with relatively strong winds we occasionally get.

We’ve had a lot of fun and success renting out our self-built tiny Montana cabins that we’ve quickly become Airbnb Superhosts and recently — Airbnb 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!

Stay here!  Zillow featured A-frame cabin on 100 forest acres

Pin this beauty!

Updated rigging system 2018: 

UPDATE: We’ve been featured by Airbnb, Zillow, Country Living, Apartment Therapy, Domino, Curbed, House Beautiful, Pop Sugar and many more!

We even had an engagement at the A-frame!!!


Would you enjoy yourself in a cabin like this one? What did you like/dislike about it? Leave your comments below.


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63 Comments

  1. Brian Keith Dye

    The trend of tiny houses has me completely smitten. Most of the ones I’ve seen are adorable and seem not only practical but almost necessary to do away with the clutter that subsumes modern living. Your cabin looks perfect. Kudos for pulling it off. It must be a great spot to stargaze late at night!

    • Alla Ponomareva

      You bet Brian! Stargazing from the inside is a neat little ability inside this cabin but walking out and seeing the entire sky covered is a sight unlike any other. Montana’s skies are extraordinary!

  2. wrpalomo

    I was waiting for this! I love your coral and mint motiff! It looks luxurious in the middle of the woods. You must feel so proud seeing that cabin. Rightly so!

    • I Brew - U Brew

      You are so right. Much like a narcissistic has a hard time passing a mirror with out taking a look, I have a hard time passing this cabin with slowing for pause.

  3. Samantha

    I’ve never heard of this before but this sounds pretty cool! I think I would enjoy staying in one of these for like..one night haha.

    • AllaPonomareva

      You’d be surprised Samantha how nice it is to be in the peace and quiet of the forest without all the notifications and buzzing from various gadgets.

  4. Jackie

    I was just talking about one of your previous stories about unique cabins/housing awhile back with an acquaintance. I’m honestly blown away by these beauties, and love coming to your site to read what you’ve discovered! I find it interesting that Derek’s sis-in-law’s scraps also contributed to this cabin, haha

  5. Rocio Cadena

    OMGGGGG Alla, this is so freaking cool!!! I want my own! I didn’t know you were from Montana. What a beautiful state that is! And holy moly, the stars at night are majestic!! What are you building next?!

    • Alla Ponomareva

      Rocio, nope, I’m from Delaware (kinda, sorta haha) but our land and family live in Montana, so that’s where we call home every summer vacation. What are we building next? That’s our plan for the next 10 months and you’ll be sure to hear and see it right here on the blog!

  6. Matt Collamer

    This is unreal!!! Can’t believe you were able to help build this, and it’s so cheap. Not to mention, your photos of it are absolutely gorgeous. This post has the looks of a post that would go HUGE on Facebook or Pinterest. Great job. Big respect!

    • Alla Ponomareva

      Thanks Matt! We are proud of our A-frame and I jokingly kept calling it A-fame, envisioning that it’ll be famous one day. Keeping our fingers crossed 🙂

  7. The Soul of Seoul

    That is AMAZING! I can’t believe you built it yourselves and it just came out so well. I mean the side flips out!? Smart design and of course the colors make it so inviting. I seriously want to stay there. Perfect tiny getaway!

  8. travelandtash

    Yes, I could definitely see myself in this cabin, especially if the alternative was sleeping in a tent. Generally, i’m not a big fan of camping, however this looks way more comfy! I watched the progress from your last blog post to this finished project! Nice job!

    • Alla Ponomareva

      Yes, Tasha, its an upgraded camping experience considering its a dry cabin and there’s a bit more insulation than say a tent. We’re hoping that people will enjoy this glamping experience either way.

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    […] that’s why this DIY tiny home is just so dang cute. Built by photographer Alla Ponomareva and her husband Garrett as a guest house for their home near Missoula, Montana, the A-frame […]

  11. Belle

    This is such an awesome creation! How long did you gives live in the cabin?

    http://www.thislifeisbelle.com/

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  13. Namita Garg

    beautiful!! do you still have it? I would love to see it and maybe get some tips on building one on my own:)

    • AllaPonomareva

      Do we still have the cabin? Yes, its still there, under an inch or two of snow probably. For now, its for friends and family, I’ll keep you updated if anything changes.

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  16. KARINE SABLAYROLLES

    I’m from France and I find your tiny house really beautifull. I think it can be so nice, here, in Provence. I want the same!!!

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  18. Jane

    So cute! We have property a little east of Arlee (we live in Missoula) and would love to build something like this. There’s already a house, but to have a “permanent tent” for more guests would be lovely! Would it be possible to see your cabin?

    • AllaPonomareva

      Hi Jane, if we get our ducks in a row, this A-frame will be on Airbnb next summer, you’re welcome to stay in it to see if you’d like to commit to something like that on your own property. Let’s stay in touch!

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  20. Marci

    Your build is very inspirational! My son and I bought the plans for this Relaxed Shack A-frame, and are currently planning out the details of our spring build and collecting supplies. I would love to know if you are happy with your solar array and if you have any recommendations about what you used or would do differently. I’d like to be able to power a small electric fireplace in ours to take the chill out of the night. My sister lives in Gallatin Gateway, I’m trying to get her to build one on her property so we can come out and visit! Thank you for sharing!

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  28. Ro Ford

    What do you do about cooking and personal hygiene?

    • AllaPonomareva

      There is a camping stove, a water jug and pan for washing, dishes and other necessary utensils are there. People have cooked steak here, so your imagination is your only limitation.

    • AllaPonomareva

      Personal hygiene is also taken care of with a jug of water, outdoor shower and an outhouse toilet.

  29. Jesse Manley

    Love this design! What are your thoughts on the separate bathroom and shower space? Are you happy with that or would you redo that and add to the cabin? Would love to see some pics on that space too. Thanks!

    • AllaPonomareva

      Since this is a seasonal cabin, having a separate outhouse and shower is just fine. Some may think of it as an inconvenience, but then again you’re surrounded by beautiful forest every time you step foot outside this cabin.

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  31. David Calder

    Any chance you have a link to the building plans that you guys used as a guide ? Thanks !

  32. Patrick Gray

    I’m curious what you do about humidity? I live in the Southeastern US and I would love to build this but the humidity gets really thick in the summer.

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  34. Nicholas Hey

    Looks awesome!

    I am considering building one of these but have concerns about bugs/pests. Did you have any problems in that regard?

    • AllaPonomareva

      We live on a mountain, so if you’re not conscientious about food storage, then you’ve got mice or ant problems, but if you stay on top of that, then you should be good to go!

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  36. Steve and Deb Mikula

    I love your tiny A frame and have plans to build one of my own in Colorado! Can you tell me what the measurements are for your decks. It’s hard to tell from the pictures. THanks!!

    • AllaPonomareva

      Very cool, good luck with your build! For us, the deck was recycled from another project and came in sections which we put on and take off to avoid snow shed and ease of removal.

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