It’s no secret that A-frames are among the most wish-listed on Airbnb. The platform even featured them on its homepage to promote unique Airbnb stays. More and more people are booking A-frame cabins, and more and more owners are renting them out – for a premium.
Not sure? Take a look at these top A-frame rentals and see how much they’re charging. (This one outside Yosemite Park in the USA makes $10,000 per month.) And don’t forget to check out the calendars on the above listings. You’ll see just how many months they’re booked ahead.
A-frame Cabins’ Comeback
A-frames first rose to popularity in America in the 50s and 60s. The U.S. economy had recovered from the war already, and families had the ability to afford second homes. Middle-class couples bought vacation homes in the woods where they could relax over the weekend. The triangular roof became their design of choice. Its distinctive steep silhouette became the trend those days and it quickly became an architectural icon of the era.
Fast-forward to the 2010s. The Great Recession of 2008 saw the rise of downsizing, minimalism, and the simple living movement. Along with tiny houses and shipping container homes, A-frame cabins started popping up. Now, a decade later, it’s seeing a major resurgence. From Japan to Tehran, triangle-roofed cabanas are on a worldwide renaissance.
Social media is a huge contributing factor. Just search the hashtag “#aframe” on Instagram and you’ll find more than 300,000 posts tagged with that word. Accounts like @aframeaddicts, @aframedaily, and @aframedreams can give any follower some quick A-frame inspiration. Places like @cabinchronicles, @cabinlove, and @cabinporn provide drool-worthy images of all sorts of cabins, with a great many of them being A-frames.
It’s no surprise. The A-frame’s sharp yet charming look is straight out of a fairytale book. When nestled amongst snow-capped hills and surrounded by endless pine trees, it stands out. At night, bordered with string lights, it becomes almost magical. A-frames are just very photogenic.
On videos, they’re just as popular. Check out YouTube and find countless cabin-build time-lapse videos that get millions of views. Click on some tutorials and they’ll show you how a tiny solo cabin can be built in a matter of weeks or a large, 2-story family home in just 3 months.
Need we say more? A-frame houses have come back, and they’re back with a vengeance. Travel is back with a vengeance, too, after the Covid shutdowns. If you’re iffy about investing in an A-frame rental, now’s the time to get serious.
Why A-frame Cabins Make Great Rentals
Whether it’s a tiny solo retreat or a 4-bedroom, multi-story affair – with a loft and a cedar deck, too – an A-frame is a hit on Airbnb. Why? Ponder these points. A-frame cabins are:
1. Cozy and romantic. You’ll likely find them in ski resorts, lakeside retreats, or mountain destinations – surrounded by woods and natural scenery. They’re a cozy shelter from the wild, but their front and back walls often have massive, floor-to-ceiling windows that let in sunshine and warmth.
That’s why A-frame cabins have become the face of glamping. People who want to stay close to nature appreciate their giant windows and skylights, which let them gaze at stars, sunsets, and tree lines.
While no one would give traditional structures a second look, most eyes would be drawn to an A-frame’s shape. Its steeply angled roof is an instant eye-catcher even from afar. And when people think of vacation, they don’t want to go to a place that looks and feels like a regular home. They want things to be a little different.
Now, imagine if you had an A-frame and how it would look on an Airbnb search result. Compared with dozens, if not hundreds of other listings in your locale, how easy would yours stand out?
2. Quick and easy to build. A-frames are easy to set up. Many are available in pre-fab kits that come in different sizes. They’re already provided with floor plans, building materials, and easy-to-follow DIY instructions. Most models, in fact, can be put up by just 2 to 4 people.
A-frame houses require less time, labor, and materials to set up than regular house structures. And with pre-fab kits, there’s an option to expand later. As your business’ or family’s needs grow, you can increase your A-frame’s length accordingly.
3. Affordable. Because A-frame houses have roofs that already fuseunction as walls, they’re more cost-effective than a classic four-wall home.
Pre-fab house kits will save you even more money and worries compared to building a cabin from scratch. Construction waste is minimized on-site and fewer mistakes are made – if at all. You won’t have to worry about sub-contractor delays, supply problems, and weather damage to your building materials because everything is bundled already and delivered to your site complete, neatly packaged and in order.
And, as mentioned earlier, pre-fab kit homes come in different sizes and prices, allowing you to find the one that’s best suited to your budget, location, and operational capacity.
4. Sturdy and durable. During snowfall, an A-frame’s rectangular roof helps it stand up to harsh climates like wind, rain, and snow. This means there’s less risk of damage or collapse, especially when they’re made out of metal. Plus, its steeply sloping sides won’t allow snow to build up
And when it comes to A-frame house kits, make no mistake about them – they’re built to last. Manufacturers like Avrame go out of their way to source highest quality materials – from lumber to screws to roof underlayment – to make their structure impervious to the elements.
5. Eco and off-grid-friendly. A-frames are perfect for off-grid locations because their large surface area is suitable for installing solar panels. This makes them cost-efficient and good for the environment. During the summer, they’re still energy-efficient because there are no vertical walls that hinder the flow of air.
According to FieldMag, an A-frame’s roof and walls create tight seams that insulate the entire house very well. Because heat rises, it’s easy to keep bedrooms in the loft space warm, while the lower living area can stay heated with a wood-burning stove or fireplace and plenty of sunlight during the day. Avrame houses also come with a flat truss system which helps to eliminate gaps in insulation material.
Most A-frame homes are also built with sustainably-harvested timber that isn’t treated with harmful chemicals.
Additionally, the pre-cut house kits are very compact to ship.
6. You can get a quick ROI. Building a kit home to use as a rental is a smart move because you can get a return on your investment in a short time. If you own, purchase, or even just rent a remote, rural property with stunning views, you can build and rent an A-frame cabin and it’ll eventually pay for itself. Your monthly income will cover the purchase or down payment, monthly mortgage, and operational costs.
Plus, vacation rentals are tax write-offs. You can claim certain expenses as business costs, making you eligible for tax deductions. These include overhead costs, supplies, furnishings, HOA dues, loan interest, and even depreciation.
7. They’re great for retirement. Just like any real estate investment, cabin rentals are a good investment for retirement. They can also be a buffer against hard times in life like an economic downturn, job loss, or business failure.
In the meantime, you can use your A-frame as your own vacation home during the slow season or whenever you need to relax and unwind.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JD Lara enjoys writing about travel, off-grid living, real estate, hospitality, and homesteading. She has written for sites like OffTheGridNews, YouQueen, ShortTermSage, and UniqueSleeps. She loves the countryside and looks forward to living a full, 100% off-grid lifestyle someday.