What is the best wood to build a chalet?

Article published on September 8, 2017 at 11:10 AM

Many types of wood can be used to build a cabin, but some are better suited than others depending on the local climate and your aesthetic preferences.

What is the best wood for the frame of a chalet?

A wooden frame must fulfill two essential roles: be very robust in the long term and offer the best possible thermal comfort in the home. This is why it is essential to select the right material for its construction: this choice is based in particular on the mechanical and structural classification of wood species, defined by standard NF EN 338.

For example, spruce, fir and larch are classified C30, while Douglas-fir and poplar are classified C24. The higher this number, the stronger the mechanical properties of the gasoline. Therefore, a resistance greater than or equal to level C24 is strongly recommended to ensure the solidity of a structure.

This is why the frame of a wooden chalet is generally made of spruce, larch or even pine, which all offer sufficient strength. However, each species has its own characteristics:

  • Larch is a good choice for cold regions because it is very resistant to bad weather and extreme temperatures. It is the highest quality wood in terms of thermal and sound insulation.
  • Spruce combines strength and lightness, but it is less resistant to humidity.
  • Douglas pine has the advantage of being naturally rot-proof, in addition to being very resistant.

What is the best wood for cladding a chalet?

Choosing suitable cladding is crucial for the construction of a wooden chalet. Indeed, it is necessary to take into account its long-term resistance, its adaptation to the climate and weather, but also its aesthetic appearance: the cladding constitutes the directly visible part of the wooden house.

Douglas pine is a very popular solution for its great durability and low maintenance. In addition, its beautiful red-brown color brings a real character to the building.

Larch is a good alternative, and requires rigorous maintenance to maintain its color, namely: a fungicide and insecticide treatment, a layer of stain and a waterproof coating.

What is the best wood for the interior of a chalet?

For interior design, hardwoods are preferred to resinous species. Indeed, oak, chestnut or even beech are materials perfectly suited to joinery, floors and furniture. Well treated and well crafted, hardwood has an excellent lifespan.

Oak is often the preferred species for finishes, joinery and floors. Its heavy weight is largely offset by its unfailing solidity, but also by the touch of elegance and warmth that it brings to the interior of the chalet.

Beech is also a good choice for finishes, parquet floors, joinery or even worktops, with its pretty color varying from gray-white to light pink. As for chestnut, it lends itself perfectly to doors and windows with its light and warm color.

Finally, pine is an interesting alternative to bring lightness and clarity to the interior.

What is the best wood for the exterior fittings of a chalet?

Whether it is installing a cabin, a shelter or a small garden chalet, the choice of wood is also important for exterior fittings.

Here, the choice is most often towards tropical species such as iroko, bangkirai, almendrillo, teak or even merbeau. Indeed, these woods from distant lands have exceptional resistance to bad weather, which makes them materials of choice for garden furniture.

For the construction of a terrace, it is strongly recommended to use category IV wood, suitable for horizontal installation outdoors and in prolonged contact with potentially damp ground.

Here it is possible to use certain softwoods such as Douglas-fir, larch or Scots pine with autoclave treatment.