What makes a chalet style house?
Chalet-style houses are possibly best known for their dramatic, triangular profile, with dramatically pitched roofs and overhanging eaves, and are typically covered in clapboards. These roofs are ideal for cold climates, as their slope prevents large amounts of snow from accumulating on top of the house.
Because they were originally designed to be built on steep, uneven terrain, traditional cabins have a small, compact footprint, minimizing the amount of excavation required for construction. But thanks to modern construction techniques and materials, today’s cabins come in all different sizes and can be designed to accommodate large families.
Reflecting their Alpine heritage, the chalet-style houses are built from natural materials, left exposed and unadulterated to blend in with their idyllic surroundings. Foundations are usually made of stone or cement, and if the cabin is built on sloping ground, the foundation will be exposed on the downhill side.
The house itself is primarily built of wood which, apart from being treated to withstand the elements, is left unfinished. The color of a cabin depends on the type of wood it is built with; historic cabins use wood native to its surroundings, but thanks to advances in transportation and the globalization of the construction industry, cabins can be built with all types of lumber imported from around the world. Although some homeowners may choose to paint over the exposed wood, most cottages you’ll find on the real estate market follow the old European design traditions.