The First Video Tour of our A-Frame Cabin

March 5, 2018

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While we shared before photos of our new cabin back in November (check out those here), we realized we never took or shared a before video tour of the A-frame we bought last Fall. So last week, we drove up for that specific purpose. It’s a quick hour to get there and the drive is beautiful!

Here’s the tour:


A few notes (if you prefer to watch it on YouTube, click here):

• The audio is really soft–sorry about that.

• Most all the furniture and stuff you see at the cabin was there when we bought it. TVs, couches, beds, dining furniture. Too many dressers. We brought up fresh bedding and added the sectional in the main living room recently.

• The cabin is nestled on a mountainside which is amazing (the views!) but has also proved to be challenging in a lot of ways this winter. We can’t receive deliveries there (there’s a public box the size of a refrigerator a mile down the road for FedEx deliveries) so we’ll have to bring everything up ourselves.

• There’s probably 3-4 feet of snow there right now and it’s difficult to get the steep driveway consistently plowed.

• You’ll see in the video just how rough the kitchen is, but before we can do that, we have to redo the floors (we’ll be laying wood floors throughout), but before we do that we have to address the fireplaces since they’ll likely change the footprint of the floors.

• We’d like to automate both fireplaces so that we can turn them on (and start heating the cabin) before we are driving up (or before guests arrive) so we don’t have to wear coats for a couple hours inside.

We’re starting our first mini-renovation up there this month! So it won’t be long before the cabin no longer looks like the video.

PS. One of our favorite things to do is watch old video tours of our current home (we take them at least yearly). Here’s the most recent one from September–it’s already changed!


What do you think?

  1. Katy says:

    Hey Julia, i realize this post is old but I wondered if you could share how many square feet this house is. We are looking at building an a-frame mountain house (you inspired us!!) and yours looks to be a perfect size. Hard to tell how big it is though so if you could share, I would so appreciate it! Thanks!

  2. What a view!! Such an amazing space I really cannot wait to see what you guys do with it.

  3. So excited to see what you will do! The possibilities are certainly endless!

    Our first purchase was an older cedar home built in the 70s that also was located on a hill looking out over a bay. It had a private access driveway that we shared with two other families. My husband and I both worked out of town and the responsibility of having to keep it cleared, even when we weren’t there was definitely a nuisance. . . along with icy road conditions in winter and so on. We ended up selling it after three years, which we NEVER thought would happen, but it made the most sense. The memories there will always be very special to us as I’m sure you will make so many of your own with your girls. There really is no better place to raise children than in nature; running wild and free and exploring the woods around them! Our cedar home was so cozy, warm and welcoming, but we’ve since built a new home inspired by that “treehouse” as I called it and we’re making new memories each day!

    Good luck with the renos! I can’t wait to see what you tackle first!

  4. Sara says:

    It’s amazing! I’m so excited now!

  5. katy says:

    I love it!! Can you believe there was a time you were frustrated with the market and you weren’t finding anything? Patience worked for you! It’s so great!! I wondered while watching it doesn’t have HVAC? Is it really old and wasn’t required then? Is it not common for vacation cabins like that?

    I wonder if you could put radiant heat throughout to help keep it cozy. Thats also a really efficient way to heat a home and you could schedule it to turn on before arriving.

    • Chris says:

      Central air isn’t a requirement for homes, typically. Cabins especially are often heated using space heaters and fireplaces (gas or wood). But we’re finding it really is not efficient at all and we’re looking into what it would look like to get HVAC up there.

  6. Sandy says:

    My parents have a cabin in Tahoe (about 4 hours from us in Santa Clara) and our heat is connected to our security systems. We have it set so that we can use a phone to call the house to turn off the alarm and to turn the heat on. Our house is pretty similar to yours (A frame/open loft/fireplace with radiant floor heat) and we love it as well. We don’t have any mailing address at the house, so we can’t get any mail delivered there. It’s both a blessing and curse when you want to mail things straight there! I can’t wait to see what you guys do with the house. :)

  7. Heather says:

    I’m so excited to follow your renovation! My husband and I just bought a smaller A-frame cabin in Tahoe that needs to be renovated. I can relate exactly to your comment about needing to address the fireplace before we can install wood floors so we can then update the kitchen! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Courtney says:

    Do you have easy access to swim in the lake when it’s sunmer time?

    • Julia says:

      I think there are a couple spots where you can walk in, but it’s mostly boat access. But if you can get a boat in, there are docks where you can set up and just hang out all day.

  9. Han says:

    What do you use for heat now when you are not there since you have to keep the cabin somewhat warm for the pipes not to freeze right?

    • Julia says:

      The cabins are built and insulated to keep the pipes from freezing. The cabin is built into the hill, so most of the pipes are below the freeze line. We also keep the radiant heating in the floors on which helps.

  10. Chantal says:

    What a perfect country house, love the size and functionality of it. I’d like to understand the plan for the bedrooms. I think you referred to the loft space as potential kids room. Of course nothing cuter than a bunk bed room but since it’s opened to the main living space, wouldn’t early sleeping kids be an issue when you entertained? Late night dinners, doing dishes, chat in front of that fireplace?
    It would be fun to see how you plan to use the space and even what are your upgrade plans for the futur.

    I’m sure your cabin posts will be my favorites! Keep up the amazing work!

    • Julia says:

      We’re definitely still working out the bedroom plans. A bunk room downstairs (next to the laundry room) would also be fun, especially since that’s where the game area is.

  11. Your a-frame has so much potential!! Have you thought about closing off the loft to make it a true master bedroom? Heat would likely be an issue but perhaps one of those long skinny wall units that heats and cools might work well. Maybe cooling is never needed!! My kids ALWAYS want to a sleep in a bunkroom but doesn’t look like that would be possible unless it shares with the washer/dryer :)

    • Julia says:

      There’s a big bedroom downstairs (next to the laundry room) that could work for a bunk room, but because it’s so private we thought that might be a good place for a proper bedroom with a king size bed? It’s the only room that can fit a king size bed, but it’s also the only room for a bunk room–so we’re torn.

      • Allison says:

        We have a lake house that’s an A-frame that we pretty much flipped. We went back and forth about whether or not to close in the loft to make another bedroom… In the end we opted to leave it open, it was the cheaper option and we figured if it turned out we really needed to enclose it we could do that down the road.

        It’s been a couple years now and we are SOOO GLAD we did not enclose it, the view is amazing and it makes the whole house feel more open. I could see it being a bit of an issue if you had small kids you’d want to have sleep up there, but I think they’ll be fine, especially since you have the lower level living space that you could use after they’re in bed. And you could always sleep them in a bedroom instead. We have mostly adults/teens and it’s not an issue at all.

    • I guess looking at overall sleeping space is important. If you have 2 real BRs now plus the loft, you are maxed out at 2 families (with 2-3 kids each) really using the space which is probably plenty. One more family if you have kids bunked in with parents. Another option would be to build a wall of bunks in the family room so that when the kids go to bed, they are downstairs and adults are still upstairs. If I closed off the loft, I would do it with some interior windows so you don’t lose the amazing view. When we rent houses, I like to make sure I have a true bedroom and not a loft though… But my kids (tweens) and teenagers would not mind it one bit!

  12. Allison says:

    What a beautiful house!! I can’t wait to see what you do with it :-).

    Propane fireplaces are so much more convenient than pellet stoves/wood burning fireplaces, though I think nothing can beat a pellet stove for the amount of heat they give off. But probably worth the trade off – heat at the flick of a button is the best! Can you get reliable propane deliveries to the property in the winter?

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