Buyer Tips

From Scraps to Sanctuary: A $700 A-Frame Cabin

To some, a pile of scrap wood might look like trash. But for Alla and Garrett Ponomareva, it was an opportunity to build something beautiful.

While vacationing on their family’s land in Missoula, MT, the couple discovered some old window frames and spare lumber from a dilapidated structure on the property. Inspired by the debris, Alla remembered an online blueprint for a tiny A-frame cabin she loved – and realized they had just enough material to build it.

With just three weeks of summer vacation left, the couple immediately began building the 80-square-foot cabin.

A-frame cabin with two chairs outside

They constructed the base of the cabin inside their barn and moved it to the build site. The walls went up next, with their newly upcycled windows.

Finally, the couple installed the cabin’s most remarkable feature: the wing wall. This translucent wall lifts up to expand the cabin’s living space and welcome the outdoors in.

A-frame cabin with wing wall

The cabin has features designed to weather Montana’s shifting seasons. A removable deck under the structure keeps the home elevated in summer and grounded in winter.

A-frame cabin with raised platform foundation

A grand tour of the cabin doesn’t take long, but it leaves a lasting impression.

Outside, the cabin’s stained tongue-and-groove plank walls almost blend in with their wooded surroundings. Inside, sunlight pours through the repurposed windows and glass wall, illuminating playful decor in shades of muted mint and coral.

A-frame cabin with twin beds and kitchenette

Like many remote retreats, the cabin is intentionally rugged. It has a small kitchenette, but no running water or indoor bathroom. Instead, there’s an outhouse and a solar shower just a short, scenic stroll away.

Thanks to the cabin’s off-grid location and seamless blend of indoor-outdoor living, it’s the perfect spot to soak up sweeping views of the Milky Way. And the best part? You don’t even have to get out of bed.