The A-frame house is an icon. With its steep roofline, it became a wildly popular building type, particularly in vacation homes, through the mid-’50s and ’60s. Now a company called Everywhere Inc. wants to make it easier for you to build your own, selling you the plans to a neat 1,574-square-foot cabin called Ayfraym.
All the blueprints and material specifications needed to put it together are included in a cardboard box. They come both on a flash drive in PDF format and printed on 36-by-24-inch sheets. The company says that the package also includes reading materials about the house, discount codes to build some of the stuff you need at providers all around the United States, as well as a door knob, a hammer, and a hat with the company logo.
The cost? $1,950.
Traditionally, if you wanted to build a cabin such as this one, you would have to hire architects and spend tens of thousands of dollars just to plan the project–and that’s just the financial outlay. Then there’s the mental toll of attempting to communicate your wishes to a professional and having them materialized in exactly the way you imagine them. The Ayfraym plans skip that step: if you like the house you are seeing in these renderings, you just buy the plan for a couple grand and go straight into the construction process.
The company claims that the total estimated construction cost ranges from $252,000 to $277,000, which includes permits, basic site preparation work, foundation work, and everything else Everywhere Inc. would need to finish the structure. According to company CEO Brand Winnie, who cofounded the company with his wife after leaving his tech job in Silicon Valley, the company has a network of partners for construction and materials through 16 states. You can look at how much it would cost in each of these states on the map on Everywhere’s page.
However, you don’t have to work with them at all if you don’t want to. You can buy the plans, and then hand them off to the contractor of your choosing or build it yourself. (The estimates above don’t include the land, so you have to add that to the total cost.)
Everywhere Inc. started as a company that sold designer trailer homes, but that venture stalled. While many people are hesitant to invest money in trailer homes, they are comfortable buying standardized plans to build a permanent home, Winnie says. He hopes that blueprints-in-a-box–plus the company’s services to turn the plans into the final product with the collaboration of contractors–are a surer bet.
The inspiration for Ayfraym came from his family history: “Growing up as a kid, I would always travel to our cabin that my grandpa Fred built in the ’70s,” Winnie says. “It’s up near the Tetons on the border of Idaho and Wyoming, and it’s one of my favorite places on Earth. The cabin my grandfather built was the base camp for all things adventure in the region, and it’s created some of my best memories.”
From the renderings, it looks like Winnie and his partners have tried to capture that spirit. Now it remains to be seen whether the final product fulfills its promise of good house design at an affordable price.