A-Frame vs Yurt – Pros & Cons – What You Need to Know

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If you are considering alternative housing options in today’s crazy real estate market, you might be considering the iconic A-frame cabin or simple living in a yurt.

While yurts and A-frame homes are two different options, there are some similarities. Both promote minimalist living and they are both cost-effective and relatively simple builds. However, there are also pros and cons of these two unique housing solutions.

A-frame Homes: Pros

Snowy Climes

You will find A-frame homes in ski towns and areas that experience heavy snowfall. The sharply-sloping roofs are best designed for deflecting snow and taking the load off the house. An A-frame home with a metallic roof prevents snow buildup most effectively.

Cost-effective Housing Solution

You can build a tiny A-frame home on a small budget. A few years ago, a popular lifestyle magazine featured a couple who built their simple and tiny A-frame cabin for just $700!  Of course, it can be as big and luxurious as your budget and style allows.

Aesthetically Pleasing Appearance

The typical A-shaped profile of an A-frame home is iconic and remains appealing today.  They are often found close to nature and blend with the environment which makes them a natural basecamp for outdoor adventurers.

Natural Light

The wide windows in the front and back provide beautiful natural light in an A-frame home. You can enhance this further by adding skylights.

Adequate Cross-ventilation

The wide doors and windows of an A-frame home provide excellent cross-ventilation. With the windows and doors open you will have plenty of fresh air.

Open-floor Plan

If you are a fan of open floor plans, you will find an A-frame home ideal as it creates open space for communal living.

Simple Design

Another important plus of an A-frame home is its simplistic design that lends itself to a minimalist lifestyle with it’s clean lines and open floor plan.

A-frame Homes: Cons

Space Restrictions

One of the primary disadvantages of an A-frame home is the sloping roof that somewhat restricts the availability of vertical space. So, when you are planning the interior and furniture, you need to measure carefully to ensure furniture and appliances fit in  the allocated space.

Limited Number of Rooms

Although the base of an A-frame home can be very spacious, the main volume of the home exists in the base of the triangle. As you move up, space becomes more and more constricted, particularly on the upper levels.  This can make for cozy attics but not necessarily huge bedrooms if that’s your thing.

Challenges with Stairs

If your A-frame home or cabin has multiple levels then you might face a challenge installing stairs. The restricted space generally limits options for staircase design.  Serial staircases are often used in A frame cabins and might be challenging for some people.

Absence of Walls

The sloping roof takes up most of the area of an A-frame home. Within the structure, you will observe a marked absence of vertical walls which can provide challenges with decorating and hanging art work.

Storage Space

In an A-frame home, storage space can be a challenge due to sloping roof.  There are plenty of solutions for any storage concerns, you’ll just want to plan ahead to make the house comfortable and meet your needs.

Lack of Privacy

While the glass windows are part of the A frame’s iconic appeal, it can also lead to privacy issues if you don’t have space from neighbors.  So consider your privacy needs before you build an A frame.

Uneven Heat Distribution

Due to the shape, consistently heating and cooling an A frame can be a bit challenging due to heat rising to the upper floors or peak. However, there are plenty of additional solutions to heat or cool your A frame home.


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Yurts: Pros

Minimalist Living

One of the most appealing aspects of yurt living is the simple lifestyle and being close to nature.  While yurts can be really basic structures, they can also have all the modern conveniences of a traditional home depending on your budget and lifestyle.

Robust Structure

A yurt may not be as strong as an A-frame home that has a firm foundation but it is reasonably resilient. Some of the bigger yurts have foundations like a regular house. Moreover, the round shape of a yurt helps it to deflect wind and snow. Yurts are known to survive well even in Arctic conditions.

Quick and Easy Construction

Many yurts today are available on the market in ready-to-build kits which are quick and easy to assemble and relatively affordable compared to the cost of building a house.

Cost-effective Housing

A yurt is one of the cheapest housing options you can find. For a few thousand dollars you can buy a large yurt with ample living space for you and your family.

Portable Home

When you buy a yurt, you can select the site where you want to build it. Since is relatively easy to assemble and disassemble, you can move it to another location if that’s a consideration for your lifestyle.

Yurts: Cons

Lack of Privacy

The open floor plan and lack of walls is not ideal if you are looking for private space in your home. Most conversations will be open for all to hear.  If that’s a concern, you’ll want to budget and plan to build interior walls.

Lack of Storage Space

Storage space in a yurt can be limited.  You can certainly build a shed or storage area adjacent to the yurt if that’s an issue but consider your storage needs before considering living in a yurt full time.

Pest Issues

Most yurts are located in outdoor spaces in mountains, hills, or forests. Because of the open-air nature of these dwellings, they are exposed to pests and wildlife.


What are the advantages of a Yurt?

Yurts have multiple advantages like a smaller carbon footprint, a cost-effective and simple lifestyle, and communing with nature among other benefits.

What is the ideal angle of an A-frame house?

The ideal angle of an A-frame house is 60° which is the angle of an equilateral triangle.

What gives A-frame houses their strength?

The ideal A-frame house has the profile of an equilateral triangle which is one of the strongest mechanical structures in the construction field.

Do yurts have bathrooms?

Although traditional yurts don’t have bathrooms, modern yurts can be build with all the conveniences of a home, including bathrooms and kitchens.