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View Full Version : North? South? Which direction would you want your house to face?



snowzilla
04-13-2006, 01:56 PM
DH and I are currently in the process of looking for a new home, and we keep debating the merits of having a north-facing front yard, versus a north-facing backyard, etc.

Does anybody have any insight on which direction would be more desirable?

Let me say up front that I am a true amateur when it comes to gardening, so part of my confusion stems from whether I would want to have a low-maintenance front yard with shade plants, so the house has street appeal, or a low-mainenance back yard, so we can enjoy it without having to work on it all the time.

Also, if you're looking and the house you like is in a cul-de-sac, and it's facing northeast or southeast, etc - that confuses me even more!

Any thoughts/opinions/personal experience would be appreciated!

ejs
04-13-2006, 02:03 PM
I'd be more concerned about East/West as opposed to North/South. Think about the sun rising and setting. Do you want morning sun or afternoon sun coming in to your house?

fuzzy
04-13-2006, 02:05 PM
They always say you want the majority of your windows facing south. It'll give you more sun in the winter and less in the summer.

elladee
04-13-2006, 02:07 PM
I'd want the kitchen to be facing south, especially if there was a window over the sink. There's just something about a sunny kitchen window...

greenbunny
04-13-2006, 02:15 PM
We live in a cul de sac, and our house faces southwest. The front gets the hell baked out of it all year--our front doors are a chalky mess. We will have to paint them at least every other year to keep it nice. All the plants up against the house die from the reflected heat. I definitely do not recommend it if you can help it--but that alone was not a deal breaker.

Lindsan
04-13-2006, 02:55 PM
I would say that the place I would have my garden furniture and spend most time in should be facing south. Otherwise I would have to sit in the shade all the time. Not fun.

I agree with the statement that many windows should face south. It's more economical and energy saving.

DallasLady
04-13-2006, 03:03 PM
I'd be more concerned about East/West as opposed to North/South. Think about the sun rising and setting. Do you want morning sun or afternoon sun coming in to your house?

That was our concern. DH was adamant (sp?) about us not getting a house that faced west. Morning sun (east facing) is not as bad as afternoon sun. North would have been ok, but he really wanted a house facing south and that's what we bought.

I guess it also depends on where the majority of the windows are. If your garage is rear-attached (like ours is) you will probably have more windows in the front. If it is front attached, your windows will be in the back.

Now, as far as gardening goes, it depends on what you want to grow and where. Some plants need morning sun, some need afternoon, and some need shade.

Sophia
04-13-2006, 03:08 PM
Considering it's blazing hot & blindingly sunny most of the year where I live, I much prefer to have a north-facing back yard precisely so I can sit in the shade. Otherwise I'd never be outside.

hockeybrat
04-13-2006, 03:16 PM
That was our concern. DH was adamant (sp?) about us not getting a house that faced west. Morning sun (east facing) is not as bad as afternoon sun. North would have been ok, but he really wanted a house facing south and that's what we bought.

I guess it also depends on where the majority of the windows are. If your garage is rear-attached (like ours is) you will probably have more windows in the front. If it is front attached, your windows will be in the back.

Now, as far as gardening goes, it depends on what you want to grow and where. Some plants need morning sun, some need afternoon, and some need shade.


We have a rear facing garage too and our big concern was not really the sun but whether or not we would end up with an icy driveway in the winter. That was our main concern.

We have plants all over the house depending on how much light they need.

Rose
04-13-2006, 05:36 PM
It's somethin I don't care about it or ever even look up.

allison
04-13-2006, 05:53 PM
Considering it's blazing hot & blindingly sunny most of the year where I live, I much prefer to have a north-facing back yard precisely so I can sit in the shade. Otherwise I'd never be outside.

That was our same thought. Our front yard faces south where most of the sun comes in. We don't have near as many windows in the front as we do the back where our kitchen/breakfast/family room is. We like to enjoy our back yard which faces north. Our back yard gets plenty of sun for our plants and the house sheilds us from the sun on our back porch. Our house also gets plenty of sunlight throughout eventhough the majority of our windows face north. Our home stays cooler this way as well.

BTB
04-13-2006, 06:07 PM
That was our concern. DH was adamant (sp?) about us not getting a house that faced west. Morning sun (east facing) is not as bad as afternoon sun.

My answer is the opposite, really wanted a house facing west to get all the afternoon sun we can - but I'm buying in Wisconsin, and this quote is from a Texan. :)

Wrighty26
04-13-2006, 07:52 PM
That was our same thought. Our front yard faces south where most of the sun comes in. We don't have near as many windows in the front as we do the back where our kitchen/breakfast/family room is. We like to enjoy our back yard which faces north. Our back yard gets plenty of sun for our plants and the house sheilds us from the sun on our back porch. Our house also gets plenty of sunlight throughout eventhough the majority of our windows face north. Our home stays cooler this way as well.

Same for us! The guy that installed our window treatments said that our house was in the ideal location to deal with the FL summers. It wasn't even something we were considering when we picked out the lot--but I'm really happy with our south-facing front yard/north-facing backyard!

amorey
04-13-2006, 08:07 PM
My house faces west. Our bedroom is in the back, which means the morning sun shines in our windows, which I love.

I think the layout of the house would depend on which way I would want it to face. Our kitchen is on the south side of our house which makes it nice and sunny and cheery. It would also be nice having a sunny living room/family room. Trees make a difference, too. My backyard is super sunny most of the day because there are no trees to shade it. It's great for gardening. The trees in our neighborhood much bigger than the houses, so they play more of a role in the sun you get then the direction of your house.

snowzilla
04-14-2006, 07:20 AM
Thanks everyone. :) I guess I should have noted that I'm in Canada, so we do get nice, hot (albeit short) summers, but our winters can be long and cold. You've definitely given us something to think about. I knew I could count on the ladies of CC to share their perspectives! :)

chortles
04-22-2006, 09:21 PM
I think you should do a fung shui evaluation :) It might help guide your decision.

PS - you've got a PM...

2kCougar
04-23-2006, 04:50 AM
Our backyard faces south and I wouldn't have it any other way. Our kitchen, family room, and breakfast area are parts of 1 big room. We have plenty of light during the day. Our neighbors always have the lights on in their kitchens b/c they face north. This exposure also allows me to have flowers and shrubs in the front of the house that need some shade (like impatients).

sue-bert
05-09-2006, 01:00 AM
I think it depends a lot on the climate and the location of windows (as opposed to front/back of the house).

For example, I live in a location where it is **HOT** 6 months out of the year, so I'd like my house to be as cool as possible, so we avoid southern exposures whenever possible. On the other hand, I grew up in the North Eastern US, and my bedroom was in the North East corner of the house, and I always had one extra blanket compared to everyone else because my room was chillier.

Northern light is suppoosed to be the "purest" light, so if, for example, you are an artist with an in-house studio, you may prefer Northern exposure in that room.

LexyLou
05-10-2006, 12:23 PM
I don't know about North vs South but we just moved to NJ from CA and our realtor said you want a house that faces east because then the sun will melt the snow in your front yard and driveway faster then if your house faced east.

Asha
05-12-2006, 06:16 AM
our house faces south, but we really didn't even consider that when buying the house. now, that we are here, i really enjoy getting all this direct sun. it especially helps in the winter.