Should You Buy a Chalet-Style House? Pros and Cons

Should You Buy a Chalet-Style House? Pros and Cons

What is a chalet or a chalet-style house? This is a question often asked but not always easily answered. A chalet is essentially a type of home, but it has some unique features that set it apart from other dwellings.

In this article, Nawy Estate goes over the features of chalet-style houses, the pros and cons of owning a chalet-style house, and what you should consider before making your purchase!

What is a chalet?

A chalet, or Swiss Chalet, is a type of house or cottage typically built in the Alps. The word “chalet” comes from the French word for “cabin.” Chalets are often made of wood, with large windows and balconies to take in the stunning mountain views.

They usually have sloped roofs to shed snow easily, and many have a second story with dormer windows. The traditional chalet has an A-frame design, but modern chalets come in all shapes and sizes. Read on the history of chalets for more information about this charming bit of architecture. 

Chalet-style house

Inspired by the traditional chalets of the Alps, chalet-style houses began popping up in North America in the late 19th century. These homes usually have steeply pitched roofs, balconies, and large windows to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

They are often made of wood or stone and sometimes have a stucco exterior. Chalet-style houses come in all shapes and sizes, from small cottages to large mansions.

What are the features of a chalet-style house?


Chalets typically have several key features that set them apart from other types of homes. These features include:

A steeply pitched roof

Chalet-style homes usually have a very steeply pitched roof, whether in the Alps or North America. This is because, in snowy climates, it is important to have a roof that can shed snow easily to prevent avalanches.

The steep pitch also allows for extra headroom on the second floor, often used as living space.


Like many houses in mountain regions, chalets often have balconies. These are not only for taking in the stunning views but also for getting some fresh air and enjoying the outdoors.

Balconies on chalets are usually large and may be enclosed or open. So if you love to entertain, a chalet with a large balcony would be perfect for you!

Large windows

Chalets usually have large windows to take in the beautiful views of the mountains. They also let in lots of natural light, making the inside of the house feel bright and airy.

An A-frame design

Unique to chalets is their A-frame design. This means that the walls slope inwards, towards the roof’s peak.

This design is aesthetically pleasing and practical, as it allows for extra headroom on the second floor. However, it does make furnishing a chalet a bit more challenging!

Stone or wood construction

Most chalets are made of stone or wood, giving them a rustic feel. This construction is not only aesthetically pleasing but also very practical, as it helps the house to withstand heavy snowfall.

A stucco exterior

What is a stucco exterior? This is a type of plaster that is often used on the outside of chalets. It’s made of cement, sand, and lime, giving the house a smooth, textured look.

It is also very practical, as it helps to insulate the house and protect it from the elements. Chalet-style houses with stucco exteriors happen to be quite popular.

What are the pros of owning a chalet-style house?

Chalet-style homes have many features that make them unique and desirable. Some of the pros of owning a chalet-style house include:

The design is aesthetically pleasing.

Chalets have a very unique and appealing design. Nowadays, they come in all shapes and sizes, but the traditional A-frame design is still one of the most popular.

The design is especially popular in vacation homes or mountain regions, as it fits in perfectly with the natural surroundings.

They are practical.

Chalets aren’t all about appearances, they’re also very practical. The steeply pitched roof, for example, is not only striking but also functional, as it helps to shed snow easily.

The stucco exterior also functions as insulation, helping to keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer.

They are spacious.

One thing you won’t ever worry about in a chalet-style house is the lack of space! The high ceilings and open floor plan create a spacious feel, even in smaller homes.

The large windows also help to make the inside of the house feel bright and airy due to the increased natural light.

They’re perfect for entertaining.

If you’re looking for a home perfect for entertaining, then a chalet is definitely the way to go. The large balconies and open floor plans are ideal for hosting parties or gatherings.

What are the cons of owning a chalet-style house?

Of course, every type of house has its pros and cons. Some of the potential downsides of owning a chalet-style house include:

They can be difficult to heat.

One downside of having high ceilings and large windows is that it can make the house quite difficult to heat. This is especially true in older homes, which may not have been designed with energy efficiency in mind.

Because of its sheer size, a chalet can also be quite expensive to heat in winter. If you’re considering buying a chalet, make sure you factor the cost of heating into your budget.

They can be challenging to furnish.

Another potential downside of chalets is their unique design can make them quite challenging to furnish. The A-frame design, for example, means that you won’t be able to put furniture against the walls.

This can make it difficult to create a cozy and inviting space, especially in smaller chalets. That being said, if you’re going for a more minimalistic look, a chalet can be the perfect blank canvas.

They require regular maintenance.

Like any type of house, chalets require regular maintenance and upkeep. The stucco exterior, for example, needs to be repainted every few years.

The roof also needs to be checked and cleaned regularly, as leaves and debris can quickly build up and cause problems. If you’re not prepared to handle the regular maintenance, then a chalet might not be the right choice for you.

They’re not practical for families with children.

A chalet-style house design is not always the most practical choice for families with young children. The open floor plan, for example, can make it difficult to keep an eye on small children.

The steep stairs can also be a safety hazard for young kids, as they can easily fall and hurt themselves. If you have young children, you may want to consider a different style of the house.

Chat-Style House: Additional considerations

When considering whether to buy a chalet-style house, you should keep a few additional things in mind.

  • Get a real estate agent who specializes in chalets. If you’re serious about buying a chalet, it’s important to find a real estate agent specializing in this type of house. They will be able to help you find the perfect property and answer any questions you have.
  • Read up on chalet-style houses and talk to people who own them to understand better what they’re like to live in.
  • Consider your needs. When you’re looking at chalets, keep in mind your specific needs and requirements.
  • Consider the climate. If you’re worried about heating costs, then you may want to consider a chalet in a warmer climate. Check out Nawy Hacienda West in North Coast

The Bottom Line: Should you buy a chalet-style house?

Chalet-style houses are unique, spacious, and perfect for entertaining. However, they can be difficult to heat, expensive to maintain, and impractical for families with young children.

Before making a decision, talk to a real estate agent specializing in chalet-style houses, and weigh your options carefully. Happy buying!

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