Imagine saying to your friends, "We're headed out of town this weekend. We're going to our chalet." They would think you are off to the Swiss Alps and would most likely be envious. But, in reality, your chalet is right here in the good ol' USA, and it's a custom-built home from Wausau Homes.
But where did this concept of a chalet originate? Historically, a chalet was a type of mountain dwelling used by Swiss and Austrian shepherds. Built from wood and natural materials in the surrounding areas, chalets were designed to withstand the cold, snowy climate. With pitched roofs to prevent snow accumulation, large windows to take in the views, and a fireplace for warmth, chalets were famous for their small, cozy atmosphere.
The chalet style home has now come to be known as a vacation retreat due to its rustic charm. Thanks to modern day construction techniques and materials Chalets can now be built to fit any size family or location.
And lucky for you, Wausau Homes offers a variety of chalet floor plans for you to choose from. So, if you're thinking of building a vacation home that has that "rustic feel," be sure to check out our chalet style floor plans at the end of this article.
What makes a chalet distinctive from other floor plan designs?
Let's take a closer look at the characteristics that distinguish a chalet and may help you decide if it's right for your new vacation home.
The defining characteristic of a chalet is the unique A-frame architecture. A-frame houses have steeply angled trusses that begin at or near the baseline and meet in the apex to form a triangle-shaped building. The horizontal beams generally support the upper sleeping loft and stabilize the structure while also acting as the crossbar of the A. With this design comes a sloping roof that helps to keep snow and ice from building up, protecting the integrity of the home.
This type of architecture got its start in the mid-20th century and became popular for vacation homes because of its distinctive look and the fact that it's well-suited for cold climates. Europe is a hot spot for this type of style, but it has gained popularity here in the U.S.
Dramatic Overhanging Eaves
Another important element of chalet style homes is the dramatic overhanging eaves. Overhanging eaves extend beyond the walls of the home, and often have a decorative trim adding to the charm of the home.
The eaves also serve a practical purpose. They protect the walls of the house from the weather, and they keep rain and snow from entering the home. And if you dare to leave the warmth of your home during the cold winter months, you will appreciate the shelter of the eaves.
Constructed Out of Wood or Timber
Historically chalets were built from wood and natural materials because it was a readily available resource in the surrounding mountainous areas.
Today, chalet style homes are often built from timber because it has a natural, rustic look and it's very durable. Timber is also a sustainable resource, so you can feel good about using it to build your vacation home. If you're looking for a vacation home that's built to last, consider a timber-built chalet style home.
Large, Picturesque Windows
Chalet-style homes are designed with large, stunning windows with panoramic views. These windows let in plenty of natural light and overlook the breathtaking landscape.
The large beautiful windows of your chalet will help you unwind and absorb the beauty of your environment whether you're sitting by the fire or enjoying a glass of wine on the patio. With these windows, you'll be able to take in all the beauty of winter and soak in the warmth of the summer.
Simplistic Open Concept Floor Plan
Chalet-style homes are known for their open concept floor plans, which help to maximize the square footage of the home. A majority of chalets are designed with two-stories, where the kitchen and gathering areas are typically situated on the first floor, whereas the bedrooms are located on the upper level loft area, which overlooks the heart of the home.
The simplistic layout creates a welcoming atmosphere that makes entertaining a breeze, with the right amount of privacy at night.
The vaulted ceilings found in chalet style homes are one of the breathtaking features that make these homes beautiful. The high ceilings create an open, airy atmosphere in the home with clear views to the upstairs loft. This elevated design feature adds a touch of elegance and luxury to the home.
The fireplace is not just a practical addition to a chalet floor plan but it's also a central focal point. These fireplaces create a warm and cozy atmosphere that fills the home.
They are the perfect place to gather with friends and family on a cold winter night or curl up with a good book and a hot cup of cocoa and let the stresses of the day melt away.
The best part about designing a central fireplace feature is customizing it to suit your style. Whether you prefer a traditional fireplace or one with a more modern twist, Wausau Homes has you covered. Work with your local independent builder to find the perfect fireplace for your chalet style home.
Our Top Five Chalet Style Floor Plans
At Wausau Homes, we specialize in creating chalet style homes that perfectly embody the rustic charm. With our wide variety of customizable options, you can design the perfect home to match your style and needs. Whether you’re looking for a spacious open concept floor plan or something more traditional, we have a chalet style floor plan for you.
Start planning your "weekend away at the chalet" with our top five chalet style floor plans.
Chalets Designed With You In Mind
When you build your chalet-style home with Wausau Homes, you can be sure that every detail has been customized to make your home perfect for you. Our independent local builders will work with you to create a custom floor plan that reflects your unique lifestyle and personality. From the height of the A-frame roof to the placement of the large, picturesque windows, we want your chalet home to be everything you’ve always dreamed of. Let us show you how easy it is to have the home of your dreams! Find a Wausau Homes builder today.