Mountain chalet, 3 criteria for choosing a window
Updated: Jul 15, 2021
When we first visited Chalet Les Cerises, we dreamed of installing a panoramic window to enjoy the amazing mountain view from the sofa.
That was two years ago to the day, and it has now become a reality. The amount of light and space gained is absolutely incredible. The view extends over a good part of the Mont-Blanc Massif from Warens to Mont-Joly, passing by the Aiguille Verte, the Aiguille du Midi, the Mont Maudit, the Dôme du Goûter and the Bionnassay. We had done a lot of research to find out what would be the best choice, we are happy to share our experiences.
Wood or aluminium for a chalet?
Both materials are interesting, and the choice was complicated, each having its advantages. The most important argument in favour of wood is that a chalet with cladding or planks will logically have the same material for its frames as for its facades. The warmth of wood is inimitable, and it will weather over time in the same way as the whole chalet.
Aluminium is much lighter and less susceptible to deformation. Its rigidity means that it will hold up better over time. But above all, we fell in love with the slimness of its uprights, which allows us to forget the structure in favour of the glass surfaces. The finishes offered: rust tint on the inside and the trompe-l'oeil polka dot on the outside were enough to convince us. The result is extremely credible, with the wood impression blending perfectly with the recently sandblasted façade.
What kind of glazing is recommended in the mountains?
Depending on the orientation of the chalet, double or triple glazing will be required. The two most important factors to consider are insulation and solar gain. In simple terms, triple glazing is ideal for a northern exposure, but a south-facing chalet will store heat in summer. It is considered that one square metre of sunny glazing can heat as much as a 1000Watt radiator, which is considerable. Consider asking your installer to compare these two factors in order to get the best benefits.
For our part, a south-east orientation guided our choice towards double glazing. The radiator that we removed to install the bay window was not replaced. The morning sunshine more than makes up for the absence of the convector heater.
The opening with galandage to take maximum advantage of the beautiful days.
Probably one of the most spectacular features of the chalet. When the three panels fit into the wall, there is no longer any visual obstacle between the sofa and the Mont Blanc range. The view is breathtaking and the spectacle is total. The best spot to enjoy the sunrise with a sky of fire, or a sea of clouds. And what about the evening at sunset, when the pink mountain with the last rays of the sun announces the end of the day! When we rent the Chalet Les Cerises, it is always a joyful moment when the guests discover the mountains for the first time through this panoramic opening. We can always see stars in the eyes of our guests... What happiness!
If we had to do it again, we would not change anything... Or we would have done it earlier.