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Old 08-24-2007, 12:46 PM
Location: West Round Rock
433 posts, read 1,227,451 times
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It's a relatively insignificant detail (but I like to cover all the bases), but are there any benefits in which direction an Austin home faces?
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:38 PM
24 posts, read 325,276 times
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We asked our Realtor and she said that we just didn't want an East facing house, because then the afternoon sun fills your backyard and makes things very hot back there.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:52 PM
112 posts, read 544,842 times
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If you believe in Fengshui, you should have a house facing south. By this direction, either front or back won't hit directly by sun.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:59 PM
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I just bought a home and insisted in only viewing homes where the back yard and the main living parts of the home were facing SOUTH. This allows sun in the back yard/garden/pool area for the entire year, despite the season or the angle of the sun. Additionally, it keeps the main living area of the home well lit. It does mean you may need to keep the A/C on a lower setting in order to stay cool in the rooms that get a lot of sun. I have solar tint on my windows as well as good shades which I keep down during the hottest parts of the day. I would be totally depressed if the main rooms in my home faced NORTHERLY. Additionally, having just moved from South Florida, I find the southerly exposures are the best for planting.
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:02 AM
Location: Southwest Austin
5,535 posts, read 12,239,130 times
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North is best for passive solar reasons. But there are lots of opinions. Another viewpoint is to face whatever direction presents the fairest weather orientation. In other words, if the worst storms and winds come from the North, try to face south.

I never have had a buyer reject or be more interested in a home because of the compass orientation though. Not once. I'm building a new home that faces East, which I don't like, but it's not enough of an issue to have caused me to pass up the lot. The quality of windows and insulation available today reduce a lot of the late afternood heat issues. Plus we have trees for shade.

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Old 08-25-2007, 10:38 AM
Location: 78737
343 posts, read 1,110,080 times
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When I built my house I specifically chose a lot that faced east to west. My reasons were:

1.My bedroom is in the west of the house, so I don't have to worry about sleeping in with the sun coming up.

2.My house is on a 11ft slab with a un-obstructive view of the west. I built A deck on the back (west) of my house to take advantage of that.

3.If I wanted to work in the garage later in the day, the sun is on the other side of the house, so it's not so hot.
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:11 PM
273 posts, read 1,032,875 times
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Interesting question. By "facing" do you mean which way the front door faces? Or, which direction the majority of the living areas or the places you spend the most time are facing?

In Seattle, you most definitely want windows to your living areas, or the majority of your house facing south/southwest. The object being to maximize the amount of light you get, year round. In Texas, I would think that type of orientation would be too hot, so a house with windows/living areas facing north/northeast would be more desirable. But that's not what I'm reading here.

Austin-Steve, I saw a house in the Seattle area I would have rejected based on orientation. It was a house a friend of mine was considering buying, as it was on acreage and that is what they were interested in. But, the entire house was oriented to the north. The living room, the dining area, the kitchen, the bedrooms. In fact, the south side of the house didn't have ANY windows at all. What the fuh? Why would someone build a house like that in Washington?!? I found it unbelievable.
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:34 PM
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our front door faces west but our living space faces east and the kitchen faces south--we have 2 large pecan trees and a hackberry there which give some shade from afternoon sun--our backyard gets sun in morning but by 4-5 it is starting to get shade and we can spend time in the evening/night outside when there is light and be in full shade--that is nice---if we had a pool we might not like it so well--but we don't---and as hot as it gets in the summer and stays at night, I think the pool would stay warm enough to swin in w/o problem until middle of septemeber or later...---might not warm up as well in spring however...
putting solar collectors on roof would be difficult because S roof line is pretty well shaded and front faces west/street view so HOA would probably veto them from the "look"
it is nice to have the garage on west side to me because that blocks off heat/sun from house space and you don't have to have windows on that wall...
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:24 PM
105 posts, read 541,356 times
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We bought our house in November several years ago. The front has a NE orientation, and the back faces SW. When we saw the house the first time, my husband sat down on the huge deck and said, "you can look at the rest if you want, I found where I want to be."

We quickly learned that we can barely use that wonderful deck. It gets full sun and heat in the afternoon (there are no well-positioned trees to offer shade) and makes is pretty unbearable for several hours a day, in peak outdoor entertaining season. The good news is, we don't have mosquitos---they don't like it back there either!!!

Further, we have to have heavy shades on all the windows across the back of the house to control the excessive afternoon light--but that makes it so dark in the morning that we have to turn lamps on to see.

The neighbors across the street, who have the oppposite orientation, can enjoy their backyard much better than we do, but they have to fight the mosquitos constantly. (Of course, the fact that they have a pool doesn't help that.)
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Old 08-25-2007, 09:36 PM
112 posts, read 544,842 times
Reputation: 58
Originally Posted by austin-steve View Post
I never have had a buyer reject or be more interested in a home because of the compass orientation though. Not once.
When I lived in Michigan many year ago, I rejected deal on a very nice house just bcause the main living areas and back yard face directly to west. Instead I bought a house with back yard facing east. In the summer time, while I stayed on my deck enjoying the cool breeze in the late afternoon, no one from my backyead neighbors was on their beautiful deck. That was in Michigan. I cann't imagine how hot it can get in Texas if it faces directly to the west.
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