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If you're dreaming of building a cozy ski lodge in the mountains, consider the A-frame housing design. With its steep roof and floor-to-ceiling windows, it's the perfect fit for snowy locations. The steep slope helps the snow slide right off, which is one reason you'll see A-frame buildings in sections of Colorado, Utah and other mountainous regions.

This contemporary folk housing design has been around since the 1950s and has some interesting interior features. The roofing creates extra loft space near the top--too high for living space, but ideal for storage and accent lighting.

While this contemporary folk design is ideal for vacation homes, it is not as practical for year-round use. The slope of the roof leaves little room for interior rooms, making furniture placement a challenge. There also are trade-offs on the maintenance front. The long sloping roof means that you have little exterior building materials to maintain. Then again, there is all that extra roofing material.

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