General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

What's the ideal direction a house should face?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7775 points ) June 22nd, 2010

should it face north, south, east, west? why?

do you live you in a cool climate? a wet one? dry? hot? mountainous? hilly? do you wish the driveway of your house was on the south side so snow would melt faster in colder states?

had you ever considered where your backyard or front yard is for gardening or whatever? did you buy your house much like a camper who seeks out the best place to pitch a tent?

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15 Answers

lilikoi's avatar

There is no single ideal direction for all houses everywhere. Many variables are involved in siting a house. From an architectural standpoint, you want to maximize views and minimize noise, dust, or other potential pollution. From a realtor’s perspective, you want to maximize resell value. From a mechanical engineer’s view, you want to put all your fenestration on the north or south facing sides to minimize HVAC loads if you are in a warm climate and perhaps east/west in a cold climate. From the civil engineer’s perspective, you want to situate the house to maximize drainage efficiency and minimize hardscape. From a structural/geotech engineer’s position, you want to put the house on soil that doesn’t shrink/swell. From a landscape architect’s position, you want to minimize building footprint to leave more land to plant. From an ecological standpoint, you want to take all these disciplines into consideration when designing the house and then again when situating it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I live up North in a cold climate. The house faces north. That leaves the backyard and gardens on the south side – perfect for enjoying the summer sunshine and we can capture heat to warm the kitchen and porch where we spend most of our time.

Coloma's avatar

My house faces Southeast.

Great sunrises, and full morning sun on the deck, but shady by late afternoon.

I prefer Easterly facing homes because I practically live on my deck all night long in the summer, want the shade by late afternoon.

I also have my barn facing Southwest so the critters don’t get blasted with the North winds in winter.

Lightlyseared's avatar

My house (well flat) faces towards the Thames and has views over parliament, Big Ben and St Pauls which makes is worth more than if it was pointing the other way.

charliecompany34's avatar

the front of my house curbside faces west which means i get a lot of evening sun—hot sun in the summer. i need trees so my grass will not brown. my backyard is in the east, so grass is thick and that is real cool when trying to impress at a BBQ. but i think my next house should be sought out much like a camping area to pitch the perfect tent.

i should probably go “southeast.”

charliecompany34's avatar

@rebbel wow, that was a cool video. seems the homeowner wants all vistas.

rebbel's avatar

@charliecompany34
Thanks, it is pretty cool, he?
I would like one of those, although maybe in an other location, something a little less trafficky.

charliecompany34's avatar

@rebbel i agree, but the concept is cutting edge!

filmfann's avatar

My new place up North faces South, and the family room window faces North. This is cool, since you don’t get direct sunlight in the family room.

YARNLADY's avatar

My current house is facing North, and we have pleasant weather in the back yard every day and night of the year. The kitchen is in the South/West corner, and gets too hot in the summer.

Cruiser's avatar

South exposure rocks or at least where ever your main deck sitting place sits. It also depends do you like sunrise or sunset in your bedroom window!! I am a Southern man myself!! ;)

AmWiser's avatar

Could you imagine this world if all the houses faced the same direction?

MaryW's avatar

I would consider every one of the points in your questions. Plus where I want my bedroom. I live in Oklahoma where every season could happen any day several times a day. We have had the temp change more than 30 to 50 degrees in one day. The wind from 0 to 60 in an instant. I think the internal design of the house is as important as the out side. The driveway and entry doors are important here because of blowing snow, so south is better. I love the bedroom to be with an eastern window for mornings and shady afternoons. A wrap around porch on the south and west and trees on the north .
The barn has a north south aisle to capture the wind from the south in the summer. It is shut on the west and north in the winter.
And finally… yes we looked for all of this when we bought and found a great property and only had to add the porch.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

In the temperate northern hemisphere, the side with the most glass area should face south, for the greatest solar heat gain in winter. These windows should be shaded in summer to keep solar heat out.

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