opinions Please: Direction to face a house?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Queen Bee, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you could build your dream home from scratch and place it anywhere on your dream property, which direction would it face? and for what reason, please?

    Would the sun come into your living area or bedrooms in the am/pm?

    Thanks for your thoughts on these. Debbie
     
  2. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would face it so the kitchen faces south so I could put a greenhouse on back. Kinda depends on how much light you like. Some people don't like a bright room. Best if the most used rooms face the south. Helps with light bill and heat.
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I would orient the narrow ends to where the summer sun would hit them as the sun rises and sets in summer. This will keep the house a lot cooler and you know how hot it is here in August. :)
     
  4. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    If I could build my dream house, it would be built into a hill with only the front wall facing the south. Everything else would be underground. The front wall would be lots of pexiglass extending all the way across to accomodate an indoor greenhouse kind of thing.

    From the outside you'd have to pass through the greenhouse to reach the house proper.

    Did that make sense?
     
  5. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    personally i like my kitchen window to face east, so i can watch the sun rise while i eat my oatmeal. unfortunately, on this place, it's not possible. i have to content myself with a very nice southern exposure, that really helps with solar gain. in the summer i intend to have shrubs that will lose their leaves in winter, but block the sun in summer.
     
  6. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Kitchen east. Front south. Bedrooms shaded by oak trees.

    Small side north.
     
  7. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ladycat, been there and done that, but without the greenhouse. Big mistake, I fell into that solar gain, free heat, cheap light trap. Most folks with this kind of home brag about how little it costs to heat them, but they never mention how miserably hot they are. Our house is earth sheltered, well insulated, buried to the eaves, brick faced, and faces South, with lots of windows. It is very, very easy to heat, about 250 gallons of propane and 4-5 pickup loads of wood a year. I planned the overhang so the sun shines through the windows in the winter but not in the summer. We really can't tell much difference, warmth wise, on winter days with bright sun or on cloudy days with no sunshine. But, in the summer being buried in the ground we don't get much benefit from any breeze, and the brick holds the heat. Since the trees got large enough to provide some shade it is a little better, but it's still unbearably hot without AC. It costs a whole lot more to cool it than it does to heat it. If I were going to build another house the principal thing I would do different is face it any way BUT South. It would probably be oriented N-NE.
     
  8. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Well insulated (as in straw bale) with the most windows facing north (don't need much solar gain here).
     
  9. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you garden you will want the garden in the back. Face the front to the north, the back to the south. The short sides of the house: east and west. Take advantage of the south facing side to add lots of windows. Plan overhangs/trellises to help with heat in the summer.
     
  10. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    Hmm, I wonder if planting lots and lots of deciduous trees in front of that south wall would help?

    BTW, a monolithic dome would be my second choice.
     
  11. Michael83705

    Michael83705 Well-Known Member

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    On where it is geographically, what the climate is and what you are trying to do.

    Having said that, I almost always prefer a south facing house with big deciduous trees out front, Preferably a flowering Linden in the mix so I can make tea all winter. :)
     
  12. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    I would have my main living area facing west so I could enjoy the sunsets without having to go outside when it is too hot or too cold. And I would also orient my sleeping area so that my head could point East - supposedly that is the best direction to sleep in (but heavy, heavy curtains so the bedroom would stay dark)!

    Actually, I don't know a whole lot about Feng Shui but if I were building a house from scratch, I think I would study up on it a bit. Couldn't hurt.

    donsgal
     
  13. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We planted hybrid Ash and the shade does help some, but doesn't solve the basic problem.
     
  14. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    You make tea out of flowering Linden? Am I missing something here?

    donsgal
     
  15. outofmire

    outofmire Well-Known Member

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    I agree with everyone else, and that's what we did. Ours is facing south, with the kitchen on the east side to get the morning sun.
     
  16. wncramsey

    wncramsey Well-Known Member

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    I would think it would also depend on the construction materials. Our last house *subdivision) faced West with brick on 3 sides (east only had siding). The house was in the Houston, TX area. During the summer, the front rooms (formal living and dining rooms used as home offices) were unbearably hot and uncomfortable. During the winter, the rooms felt cold and damp until about 2pm and by 4pm the sun was gone and they would get cold again.

    The kitchen was on the north side, couldn't get anything to grow on that side so the view from the kitchen was blah, gray and moldy.


    I would have to study the potential plot of land and floor plan.

    Diane
     
  17. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

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    65284, I AGREE with you!!! We have walked our property and walked it and have situated our cabin site so that it will face N - NE, so I can sit on the porch in the summer and have my morning coffee facing the rising sun! In Colo. the morning sun is a warming and welcoming thing. The Western sun ISN'T!!! The bedrooms will be on the SW side, but the mtn. behind us will shelter us from about 3 PM on, so we should be well situated. We will have a small garden plot that will take advantage of most of the sunlight that filters through the Ponderosa's on to the garden.

    The land is bought and winter has set in. In the spring we will clean up the lot and have a driveway put in, as well as septic and water. We will prepare the foundation and be ready to have the cabin erected early in the spring of 2007. Happy times up here in the mtn's. :clap:
     
  18. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    We have a 10'-0" x 3'-6" widow facing south in the dining room, and a 3'-0" x 3'-6" window in the kitchen facing south. The sun is so nice in the -40 F winters. The passive solar really heats up our house in cold weather.

    [​IMG]
    South side windows at dinning room table, you can see the north facing winodws thru these south windows. Two sections of the big window are operable, and the smaller Kitchen window is too. We made these frames a few years ago using 2" x 12" pine, with modern double glazed windows.

    We have a 2'-0" overhang and that helps keep out the sun on warm summer days. We also have shutters on all our windows, and adjust them at an angle to help shade our south windows in summer. And we have 50% free-area fiberglass flexible screens we hang up sometimes.

    We also have 10'-0" x 3'-6" windows on the north side, because of our fantastic view out to the 55 acre hay field, in summer, and spectacular snow in winter. It is like living in a 'blind' -- we see Bear, Moose, Deer, Elk, etc. No shooting allowed, except with camera. Even though we have to heat more, it's worth it -- all year round, and the cross ventilation in summer is the best.

    [​IMG]
    This is looking out our 100 year-old window frames and single-glazed north windows two years ago. We will add more layers of glass, but now that the Blaze King is nearby, we keep them clear by burning more wood.

    On the second floor on the gable ends we have 3'-0" x 3'-6" windows, on each end, all this plus screens for all windows make a perfect temperature house with natural ventilation all summer long.

    I think you need to think about passive solar and natural ventilation relative to the prevailing wind directions.

    Lots of windows are best, IMHO,

    Alex
     
  19. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    check out adyurvedic ?sp ideas about face east or south best for main entrance.
     
  20. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

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    The plans we like best are the ones with the master bedroom & kitchen facing east, so we can see the sunrise in the morning. My husband is up before the sun, and I usually wake up with the sun, so a bright bedroom isn't a problem for us. It'd be nice to watch the sunrise from the breakfast table, too. Living area facing south, but with a good 2' overhand to keep out the mid-summer sun. Big wrap-around porch going around the south-west corner so we can enjoy the sunsets in the evenings, and have shade around noonday.