Construction & Design

How Are Alpine Chalets Built?

You may be lucky enough to have stayed in a chalet in the French Alps before, and if you haven’t, it’s certainly one to tick off the list. With modern technology often combined with traditional features, you may be wondering: how are alpine chalets built?

We often marvel at how such impressive properties are built in sometimes remote and challenging environments. So, we interviewed the owners of Rocalillie Lodge, who recently built their stunning chalet in St Gervais to find out how alpine chalets are built. Read on to see how they did it…

In November 2021, the OVO Network Team was fortunate to spend a few nights at the wonderful Rocalillie Lodge. Our main takeaway was how impressive the building was.

From the incredible mountain views that could be enjoyed out of the large windows to the cosy cinema room, the space was so well considered. Down to the finishing touches such as our personal favourites – the bathtubs, which were fit for a king, it was clear that no detail had been forgotten.

So, how did they transform a plot of land into the ultimate alpine chalet?…


What materials did you use to build Rocalillie Lodge?

“We mainly used concrete and wood to build the chalet. We sourced the structural insulated panels from the UK and the concrete was locally sourced. The wood was from Lalliard, a local company. The tiles were sourced in Italy and the bathrooms and kitchen sourced in the UK.

How are the materials durable for the weather conditions?

“The structural insulated panels or ‘SIPS panels’ don’t allow any breeze. They’re better value for money when it comes to heating, and they comply with building regulations.”

How long did it take?

“Overall it took 2 years. The foundations took 3 weeks, cladding was done in 4 weeks. Luckily, the build wasn’t delayed due to Covid!”

Discover properties we work with

The outdoor pool at Rocalillie Lodge, Saint Gervais.

Including features such as pools and hot tubs can really increase your rental income. At OVO Network, we find that our guests love properties where the owner has added facilities that guests may not necessarily have at home.

If you can, investing more in spa facilities can encourage higher occupancy rates and therefore maximise your income.

Challenges and Considerations

What were the main challenges?

“From an English perspective, the difference in culture was sometimes a challenge. You also need to plan everything well in advance and make sure everything is ready to go to with the Mairie.

Always make sure you have all the quotes and enlist a project manager if you’re building the property yourself. I’d recommend buying land through local estate agents.”

The Concept

What was the concept for your chalet? 

“The concept was a modern style but kept within the classic chalet-style.”

Did you always know you would rent the chalet?

“Yes! This was always the goal for us.”

Did you work with any architects? If so, who?

“Yes, Thibaut Pigelet. He’s very local, so he knows everyone around. We didn’t work with any interior designers for the project.”

Did you add any personal touches to the build?

“Yes! The cinema room and open staircase were personal touches.”

So, that’s how one owner did it. But there are so many different types, styles, and designs of chalets out there.

If you’re considering building an Alpine Chalet and want to rent it out in the French Alps, then get in touch with our sales team on +33 (0)4 56 67 42 13 to see how we can help make your business a success. Or, head to our website below to find out more about our business solutions.

About Author

Hi I’m Amy and I run the OVO Network Blog. I have spent winters in the Alps since 2016 and I am now based in the beautiful town of Annecy. I love making the most of being surrounded by the lake and mountains with my dog!