September 29, 2018

Captains Log: City to Gritty

One thing I NEVER imagined with building an A-frame is all the nay-sayers!!! Why is this “stupid”? Why is this “wasteful space”? (Hello soaring ceilings much?) Why is building an A-frame going to be something we “will regret”?

First of all, the intention with this cabin is to be a guest house to our future big house. We are taking the engineering efforts to extend our build site to put it clear in the back with a large clearing over looking our rock formations and mountain view. We are doing this so the front of our build site will be open for our future big house.

Imagine a hidden but gorgeous rock path with natural stairs down to this amazing A-frame cabin overlooking millions of acres of forest!

And, at the same time as guest cabin, this will also be the home we will raise our 2 kids through elementary school and bring in our final baby as well.

No, this is not a pregnancy announcement lol. But we love the 3 year age gap and William will be 2 this year. So final baby planning is on our minds and we are arranging with baby #3 in mind (come on team girl!!)

I’ve learned that it is a requirement to have an architect on your side and to separate the job of architect from the builder.

At first I thought I saw the benefits of an all in one stop, with the builder also being the structural engineer and architect. But really, that is NOT the route to go at all. Much better to separate it all out because the builder starts daydreaming of what it will be like to actually build and then tries to make you change your mind or just complains and complains.

But just bringing completed plans and saying “this is it! Can you build it?” Is sooooo much better! And easier. And less stressful than the push back.

I ran into one of my new neighbors today who also thought A-frames were the worst idea ever. Seriously, I’m about to just keep my plans a secret and do a big reveal and Cronin Cabin launch party once it is completed. Who would want to come to our cabin launch party?! ?

The more people push us, the rebel (in both Todd and I) just want to prove MORE that A-frames ARE incredible. And completely appropriate for the mountains and the coolest hangout space ever.

Here are some of our design inspirations. This weekend we are finalizing our interiors and exteriors for the next step: BLUEPRINTS!


  • Dana Martoia Malensky I loveeeeee A frames. I think ours is an A frame as well.
  • Kayla Leonard These are gorgeous!!
  • Chelsea Guetz Hixson I think it sounds/looks cool. I admire you guys for your creativity!
  • Mary Beth-Jerry Cronin You’ll love the fabulously high ceiling, all of those grand views & never worrying about a roof collapse! Can’t wait to be a guest in the A frame after the main home is built!!!
  • Susie Smith Becar My husband Allyn dreams of building an A frame cabin someday! They are so cool looking!
  • Handlebar Henry It’s your it however you like. You are going to be the one that lives in it..not all the other people.
  • Rachel McCash Cronin YES EXACTLY! I think I am going to start saying this exact same thing!
  • Lynne Morgan Looks fabulous!
  • Susan Carlson I think it looks fantastic! And even if I didn’t, what does that have to do with anything? It’s your house, you build it exactly how you want, and to hell with what anyone else says
  • Mischa Brooks Having an A frame house is my dream house! It is on my Vision Board! Love these pictures! Yay you!!!
  • Marcia Dudley I agree, it’s your house, do it the way you want. On the other hand, sometimes when faced with such overwhelming, it seems, opposition it’s good to stop, take an honest look at what folks are saying and see if there is any merit in their opposition. …See More
  • Kristy Cronin I LOVE THIS ! Go for it
  • Marissa Elizabeth Sherman A frames are super common, especially where is snows, what is wrong with these people? Is it considered an old school building style now or something?
  • Jessica Zabel I am so baffled by all that you have experienced. I’m taking note of it all!!!! Chris has always wanted an A-Frame house. We have the architect, but now I’m concerned about builders. Thanks for posting your journey, it’s actually been a learning experience for me!
    • Rachel McCash Cronin Yes! We are also doing a VA construction loan and have to go with VA approved builders. So maybe that is the issue haha and traditional builders are a better fit ??‍♀️. But we WILL find a VA builder that will build an A-Frame! ??
    • Jessica Zabel Rachel McCash Cronin interesting. Do they give more explication why they don’t want to do it? I feel like it’s so simple, but is it hard to build?
    • Rachel McCash Cronin ”haven’t build one in 15 years”, “no one build those anymore”, “where do you put cabinets?” (We want floating shelves), “the ceiling will be too low on the edges” (that’s what an a-frame is), “those were what early settlers built because they didn’t know how to build”, “what you want is a yurt!” (Wtf is that?), “traditional houses are easier to build and time is money!”, “never built one before,” “you want a hidden garage in your mountain side!”, “why don’t we just skip the guest house and just start on your big house that you can add onto later?”, “you need more space because Todd is 6’6” “, “you will want cabinets and not floating shelves”, “where will the HVAC go?” (We don’t want HVAC), “but you need HVAC!”, etc
    • Jessica Zabel Rachel McCash Cronin ? talk about needing to tho k outside the box.
    • Rachel McCash Cronin Jessica Zabel hence why I stopped talking to builders about design and an just going back and forth with the architect lolEdit or delete this
  • Joelle Lane Love love love a frame style cabin homes!
  • York Bryan I 100% support this and you can even rent it out as a cool place to shoot! 🙂 I would visit regardless!
  • Sonja Simon I love love love this there are so many of these in Europe I say go for it some people are not used to it but it’s your house the style u ❤️. I’m come to your beautiful cabin home and omg the picture during winter how can u not fall in love with it
  • Amy K.M. White You should talk to people.who live in A-frames and see if they have feedback you can improve on.
  • Lisa Mckown What do they care if it is a wasteful space if this is what you want? Why is it a bad idea? Doesn’t make sense.
  • Carly Beth Rachel, my very good family friends (basically second parents) have an A-frame cabin in bear lake. We have SO many amazing memories there. They’ve had it for probably close to 30 years because I have been going there for as long as I can remember. Would you like to talk to them about A-frame living? They’ve done some add-on’s and remodeling over the years. Maybe they have some tips or advice? (As far as finalizing your plans goes)
  • Kera Macfarlane Neilson That will be so incredible!!
  • Keith Bryce I’m excited to see what the results look like!! ????
  • Caroline Antoinette Are you apart of if the fb group about design?
  • Bryan Huddleston I love A-frames. I lived in one for several years in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Totally agreed, it’s perfect for the mountain life!