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Old 09-19-2009, 12:04 AM
 
5 posts, read 15,259 times
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Default Which direction should the front of your house face?

This is not meant to be a joke - we'd like to build a house and assuming the view is the same in all directions, which way should your house face?

Do you want the setting sun, the morning sun - and why?

Thanks.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:41 AM
 
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This of course depends on many factors but the conventional wisdom would be to have the long dimension of the house facing north | south and the short dimension facing east | west. East | west light is low in the sky and harder to control when it comes into windows ... also afternoon sun tends to be the worst in regards to heat gains, etc. so typically reducing east west exposure is preferred. South exposure is more easily controlled with overhangs which block summer sun but let in the low mid-day sun in the winter ... but really other factors siting, views and entry sequence can and often do override these design intentions.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
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North-South facing for passive solar. The breezes here run out of the north in the winter and out of the south in the summer. Very few to no windows on west ..avoid the setting sun.

My house is north/south facing. The front is towards north and the back towards south.
My kitchen gets the rising sun which isn't too bad even in the summer. I do have covered front and back porches and eaves long enough to block direct sun when it hits 11am or so.
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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The above advice on orientation is correct, except for a quibble regarding wind direction.

Predominate wind directions for 11 months of the year are out of the South Southeast. The month of Dec. is the only month when winds out of the N NNE are more common then out of the South.

wind direction in Austin

Wind Roses 1984 - 1992 - Texas Commission on Environmental Quality - www.tceq.state.tx.us
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
16,240 posts, read 22,156,849 times
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Out here in the country north of Austin, with porches on front and back (back for the rising sun, front for the setting sun), and with no big buildings around to confuse things, the prevailing winds reliably come from the south/southeast in the warm months of the year, and from the north/northwest in the cold months of the year. .

What you'd want to do to decide how to situate your house is to pay attention to the lot. Not just the view, but everything about it. Also, the surroundings of the lot. Hang out on it at different times of day, see how it feels, what the prevailing breezes are on that particular lot, etc.

I'd think if you're going to have a breakfast area in your house, you'd want it to get the morning sun. You want as little of the western sun, in this part of the world, as possible - do plantings on that side. I don't think you should rule out windows on any side of the house, but, then, I live in a house that was built in the early 20th century, pre-air-conditioning, and with the windows placed properly, we can be comfortable long after everyone else has cranked up the AC, simply by opening the windows and, if necessary, turning on the ceiling fans. If we had no windows on the west side of the house, we couldn't do that.
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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You definitely need to take into consideration the local terrain and landscaping. If your propert is on the North side of a hill you are not going to get many breezes from the South.

You definitely should consider adding trees to shade your house especially on the East and West.
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:49 AM
 
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I'd do it so that your rear roof slant is facing south to allow for solar panels that don't muck up your curb appeal some time in the future.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Hutto, Tx
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Our house faces North/South. We have windows on the West side of the house but planted trees near them to block some of the sunlight.
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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ummmm, the street?

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Old 09-19-2009, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
74,367 posts, read 34,513,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
I don't think you should rule out windows on any side of the house,...
I agree with that. I do have windows on all 4 sides..I have 2 bathrooms on the west side of the house and both have windows that open.

The breezes flow nicely through the house on the cools days when you can have all the windows open.
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