Photography & travel tips from an award-winning photographer, educator & wanderlust

The making of a tiny A-frame cabin (part 2)

Thank you for tuning back in, last week’s post was very bitter sweet, where we reminisced about the three weeks of construction of a tiny A-frame. Again, we came across this design online, which was built by a construction company following the plans of one of 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 left over 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 more 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 home made brew.

When the wall is up, its a whole different experience. Luckily, Montana has almost no mosquitos to speak of in the summer time, 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 hamocks and the stars slowly start to peak through the tree tops. If you haven’t seen the stars in Montana, then you havent 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 summer time.
  • 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 summer time 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.

Stay here!


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UPDATE: We’ve been featured in:

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


  1. 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!

    • 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. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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?!

    • 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

    • 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.

  8. 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!!!

  9. 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?

    • 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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