Friday Cabins #27: Q&A with DIY Cabin Builder Heather Scott
Get the 411 on this perfect little A-Frame project from the UK countryside
Whew! Another week, another Friday. Time sure does fly, doesn't it? Every Friday, here at Cabins Etc, we bring you Friday Cabins —a round-up of cabin and cabin adjacent material from the pages of Field Mag for weekend inspo and ~daydreamin~. (You already know this.)
We continue to be #blessed with good weather here in NYC, and we don't know about you, but all our friends seem like they're on vacation. So, whether you're planning on heading out too, or hunkering down in the heat, we've got some solid material for you peruse today.
After sharing our fabulous Q&A with Barbados designer and cabin builder Junior Sealy recently, we’ve been on a real how-did-they-do-that kick. And so, for today’s email story time, we tracked down woodworker and self-taught metalworker Heather Scott to ask her a couple of questions about her process of building a super neat A-frame cabin in the UK
Read on to learn more about design inspo, the build process, and what Scott herself learned from the project.
Then log off and treat yourself to the great outdoors this weekend!
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Why did you select the A-Frame shape for this build?
I chose the A-Frame shape for it’s simplicity and strength. The forces are balanced in a equilateral triangle so it makes for a strong structure and is simpler than considering the junctions betweens a roof and walls.
In my design I’m always looking to pare things back and make things easier to construct and replicate with the intention of making the idea of building a shelter more accessible to people. The designs that stick with me tend to be the most simple, like a canvas ridge tent—a few poles and a bit of canvas that anyone can put up and use. Spot on!
Care to share any sources of design inspiration from the project?
Most of my research came from books of the de Stijl movement—I’m inspired by Dutch design and the key players like furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld—as well as American architect Andrew Geller’s “Beach Houses.” It’s a special one.
In my everyday life it’s the community of makers in Cornwall that inspire me—the independent designers and makers, like Francli, that have created incredible business fueled with integrity.
I rarely do a project without a bit of Youtube support too! I enjoyed Andrew Szeto’s videos about his A-Frame, his enthusiasm is infectious.
How long did the build take, from start to finish?
From finalizing design to installing the furniture it was a five month project, three to four of those were on site building time for me and fellow carpenter, Ben Hobbs, who’s skill and experience was an incredible support.
With the build complete, looking back, what key learnings have you taken away from the process?
I have worked on a few build projects over the years—including building a single story straw bale house in 2018—but this was the first time I oversaw the design and fabrication of a whole build, starting with initial sketches all the way through to choosing the soft furnishings. With no formal training in architecture, construction or interior design, it was a very steep learning curve!
If I did it again, I would try and be less stubbornly independent and ask for help more! It was a big project to take on, and an impossible one to do alone. The knowledge and wisdom I got from other people working in the field was invaluable, as there are so many elements to consider in creating a building that’s built to last.