The houses in the district have not been built according to any town planning scheme but have been put up haphazardly in clusters on level ground at places where water springs are accessible or on the bank of the river in the valley. The houses are mainly built of stones and are generally double-storeyed, a few having three to five storeys. There are paved courtyards at front knwon as 'Chauk' where people do their threshing, weaving, spinning and other house hold works. Multi storey houses have balcony at times and a mud or stone staircase or a wooden ladder leads to the upper storey.
The roofs are generally made of wood. They usually have a sloping structure of timber covered with quartzite slabs known locally as "Patals". Sloping roofs are made as the region receives good amount of rainfall and snowfall. Due to sloping roofs the precipitation doesn't collect on top of the house and make the roof collaspe. The rain/snow runs off of the roof and onto the ground. The wealthy inhabitants use galvanized iron sheets to construct the roofs.The houses are built in rows of half a dozen or so and strikingly picturesque in their fort like appearance.
There are very low rooms on the ground floor, which are usually 1.8 - 2.0 metres high, being used for housing the cattle. At times the cattle sheds are made at some distance from the villages.Most of the times, besides the cowsheds are made small shelters mainly with poles and branches to store grass and wooden logs (used as fuel). These structures are known locally as 'Chappers'.
Most of the villages of chamoli are made on hills tops and are scattered all over the himalayas. One village may consist of as low as 20-25 housesholds and as many as 200 - 250 households. The markets, hospitals , colleges are made mainly in valleys hence the people have to travel a long distance for even their daily needs also.