DEN in the Wild: Window Rock A-Frame Interview with Major Parkhurst

Image via the Window Rock A-Frame on Airbnb.

Overlooking the scenic Tennessee Sequatchie Valley, surrounded by mountains, sits a house: the Window Rock A-Frame. Built by Nashville native and DEN customer, Major Parkhurst, this stunning A-Frame offers a “million-dollar view” of rolling hills and mountains as far as the eye can see. Located two hours outside of Nashville, Major rents out his house as a private and picturesque retreat from bustling city life. DEN recently sat down with Major to gain more insight into the process of his build, and what inspired him to get started.

Tell us a little bit about who you are.

I’m originally from Nashville but moved to New York and then to Austin, TX. I’ve worked in finance at the same company for about 18 years.

What was your inspiration behind building your A-Frame with DEN?

Following the pandemic, I wanted to potentially find an investment property back in Tennessee. I have a friend in Nashville, and we were planning on doing a motel conversion, so we went to Chattanooga together to look at some properties. We were under contract on a property there, but that unfortunately fell through due to complications of the buildsite. I was following several modern cabin accounts on Instagram and got inspired by the idea of A-Frames.

Image via the Window Rock A-Frame on Airbnb.

What did you take into consideration when starting your A-Frame build? Location? Design?

I knew I wanted the place to be on or near the water or to have a great view, and I found this location on the bluff in East Tennessee. When starting the design process, I changed the pitch of the roof because I wanted it to be steeper and I wanted to add a second-story bathroom. I actually bought architecture software for $99 and spent a lot of time on it during the design process. I knew I wanted a clean finish, and I loved the wood and oak look. The second-story bathroom is even inspired by pictures from DEN.

How did you find a builder?

I did a search for highly-rated builders in the area, met with a few of them, and liked the owner of Heartwood Homes. His wife is my co-host on Airbnb.

What was going through your mind when you first decided to build a home?

I was mulling over a couple of different plans and approaches to my build. I also originally planned to spend about 50% of my time there, but now it’s likely closer to 10%. Who knows, maybe I’ll eventually retire there!

Image via the Window Rock A-Frame on Airbnb.

What concerns did you have before buying?

It is a little daunting to start this big of a project, especially when working a full-time job. It requires a leap of faith and a large time and investment commitment. I emailed DEN quite a few times with questions like, “How do I open up the cabinets?” From this I learned about push-to-open hardware, and the idea of beveling the inside of the cabinet doors in such a way that no visible handles are needed.

How did you fund your build?

I took a home equity line of credit from my main home to buy the land, bought it in cash, and secured a construction loan to build it. I got recommendations from the builders I worked with, and I called around to compare rates at different banks. My construction loan turned into a mortgage with another bank. I will say that the way the interest rate moved over the course of the build caught me off guard.

Image via the Window Rock A-Frame on Airbnb.

What led to your decision to go with DEN for your A-Frame build?

I looked at several different A-Frame companies and spent a lot of time trying to decide which one to go with. DEN had the best style and the best all-in package, for sure. I’d describe the brand as modern, stylish, natural, and, in terms of the final product, ahead of its time.

To see more of Major’s Window Rock A-Frame, follow him on Instagram and visit his website!

Looking to get started on your own DEN build? Check out our plans here. If you like the idea of building your own cabin but feel overwhelmed by the construction process, check out BuiltBy DEN, our new streamlined home building service exclusively available in New York’s Hudson Valley.