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Smallish Timber Frame A-Frame Dwellings ?  RSS feed

 
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Anyone ever given any thought to this ?   It seems to me  A-Frames can be
cheaper, faster and simpler and further savings might be had if some logs were
used for some of the basic load bearing structure.

 
Posts: 16
Location: Saskatchewan
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Ooh man I've never put much thought into it before but you sure have my mind thinking now! With just a few simple timber joints there logs could make each section of A with the part above the horizontal brace being a lift.
With an A every three or four feet it would essentially be easily modular, as in build 12 feet of building this year and it would be easy to make it longer in the future.
It also solves another problem I have been trying to think of a solution for and that is the roof. I could not find a free or natural roof that would be effective and long lasting. With the A frame it's just the walls to worry about (or extremely sloped roof depends on how you look at it) which would be easy to find coverings for.
Thanks for peaking my interest.
 
Scott Perkins
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I think essentially we are talking about timber frame construction that requires much less precision in acquiring and shaping logs etc.   I am thinking raw tree trunks the size and length as needed without getting too fancy for the most major load bearing components.   I found a metal roofing company in North Georgia that has a lot of factory seconds and damaged roofing panels that usually involves scratches in the paint coating at a huge discount and I consider the roof to be the most expensive part of the project.  The only thing really needed for 1st class equivalency in the whole structure would be the screws holding the roof on and maybe some timber connectors for the A-Frame joints.   I have seen a fancy alternative to expensive connectors in a project where a guy copied a project which used rope and cord to tie sticks and logs together but he instead used galvanized cables instead of rope and cord and it is likely as strong as the much more expensive connectors.

Just thinking out loud....  Did you ever consider that an Indian Teepee  is just a round A-Frame or an A-Frame Dome/Igloo ?  Alas, I guess dealing with all the triangles for the roof would be too much trouble.  There is nothing better than long rectangular metal roof pieces overlapped which could be easily done on an A-Frame.
 
pollinator
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I have thought of this before and always concluded that it would work well. I would think with rot resistant wood, and a fairly level, if not gently sloping site would work well with a rubble-filled foundation system. But for building it itself, it leaves the builder with (2) bird mouth joints on the bottom cord, then a tennon joint at the peak, truss completing a vert strong triangle shape. Using 8 x 8 foot timbers, a person could easily span 12 feet due to the lack of snow load, making a 36 foot long building out of only (4) bents. Assuming the golden ratio was used for building width, that would be a 24 x 36 foot building. A person could then use Steel or wood structural panels for the roof to get a super high R-factor.

About the only issue is with the design itself in that it is limited on light and floor space due to the A shape design. David and Jeanie in their book "Cabins" overcame this with a design that had a dormer of sorts running down both sides of the A frame to allow for more headroom and window placement. It would mean more carpentry and joinery of course, but considering its benefits, may well be worth doing. I felt it was, but peoples opinions may differ.
 
Scott Perkins
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If you can manage to keep the wood dry it will last a few thousand years. Rot resistant wood is needed when you dont think you can keep it dry.
 
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