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Old 06-04-2014, 12:16 AM
16 posts, read 23,074 times
Reputation: 25


Hi Everyone:
I need your expert opinions in selecting an energy efficient lot, i.e. cooler in summers and warmer in winters. The community is Villas of Pecan Creek in East Plano.
I know, it depends on many factors and some being
i) whats the layout of the available lots
ii) whats the floor plan being built on that lot

that is why I have attached 3 diagrams here.
a) Lots available (high to low elevation in layout is also shown)
b) lower level
c) Upper level

I am trying to avoid lots with premiums so I request you all to pick me a zero-premium lot preferably. But if there is a good enough reason to go with a 3-5K premium lot, I will honestly review the advice and explore if I can come up with the money.

Another key factor is: Almost all the lot sizes are 55 by 110 with the only exception of cul-de-sacs and their premiums are outrageous. They are calling these small backyards, "executive yards," but I have two toddlers and would love to have a 55 by 120. The only 0-premium 55 by 120 is lot#3705 that has "east" facing and "west" family/master-bed/breakfast-nook. I think, setting sun will fry the master-bed and the family room and will also leave the backyard unbearably hotter for most part of the evenings. There is Jupiter Rd. on the other side of this back yard. I know, one doesnt spend most of the day in master bedroom and the mostly used areas will be family and kitchen but still, its bay windows will require investment on solar overhangs and even then still higher bills.

If I look at lot#2421 with "South" facing, the house at its rear is at at least 2-story higher, so my 110 size lot will have a wall of china ALWAYS keeping the sun away from the backyard but sitting in the backyard will feel like sitting besides empire state building, always in the shadow, even in winters. It will cover ALL view to nature, will barely allow rain and wind to ever touch us. But cooling wise, lot#2420 seems to be the coolest but the rear home looking over our backyard and covering all our view seems to be a no-no, unless you all have better for-reasons on this. One other positive about lot#2420 is that it will be surrounded by even expensive, more valuable houses. I dont know if that plays any role during re-sale.

Finally, if I consider lots#2420 and 2412 with "north" facing, 2420 will again be a 55 by 110 lot, and our south facing backyard will have the neighbor 2-story below us. So, we will have more privacy as no one will be looking over us. Not only this, majority of the windows will face south towards the backyard and in Summer, Sun travels north-east to north-west, and hopefully we will be cooler all day long in our family/master-bed. i dont know if sun's glare will still impact tv viewing but that might not be that much of a problem. But, to me, IF and ONLY IF, 55 by 110 yard is doable, then I am leaning towards this lot#2420 with north face and majority windows and backyard in the south.

2412 is kind of similar to 2420, but i want to stay away from T-junction, that is why 2420 seems to be a better pick over 2412. I dont want to consider houses on the boundaries as they go in complete darkness after sunset.

So, we have to pick one of the following three:
i) 3705: biggest lot, 55 by 120, with East facing and master's bay windows,living-room, patio,yard on the west. Currently, there are mature 5-7 deciduous trees very close to west wall but inside the lot and developers/architects might butcher them off. they are saying, their plan is to maintain as much as possible, thats why they are still there. Developers dont even know if they will give us backyard all the way to the brick wall on the west or even fence it at 120'. We have been told, they might join us directly to the west-brick wall and we might get even bigger yard than 120.

ii) 2421: 55 by 110, seems to stay the coolest with south facing, but the neighbor on our rear will be 2-story higher and will kill the entire view. I want my backyard to be a place full of happiness and life. So, a 25-30 feet stone/wood fence blocking this already a small backyard might be a no-no. what do you all say?

iii) 2420: 55 by 110, seems to have the best of both worlds with north face and windows/living/patio on the south. Then the sun's summer path will also keep the sun further north, hopefully not frying our bedrooms and living as I fear on lot#3705. but this will again be a 110' lot, dont like this small but 3705 might be very hot.

I love having a 55 by 120 lot, but 3705 being next to Jupiter, I dont know, if its okay to live right next to a major road, and even bigger factor to consider is, what affect will sun have when it will rise on your garage, stay over your house all day, and then even set facing "ALL" your windows, patio, and backyard, and possibly leave this wider 120'+ yard useless? And then also increase of 50-100 more dollars in electricity bills, expense and maintenance of solar screens.

I have to make this decision within 24 hours. On Thursday, we will be writing a contract and I need to make up my mind within these 24 hours.

Please help.

I appreciate all of you who are taking precious moments out of their busy lives and are contributing and helping inquirers like me in time of needs. I wish you all nothing but the very best of everything that comes your way.

Please see attachments.
Attached Thumbnails
Need Guidance for Lot selection-lot-choice.jpg   Need Guidance for Lot selection-lower.jpg   Need Guidance for Lot selection-upper.jpg  
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:37 AM
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
6,210 posts, read 4,995,945 times
Reputation: 13533
I have owned many homes and have generally overcome directional challenges with proper window coverings, window tinting, etc. but special attention needs to be paid to west-facing windows here in DFW.

The most energy efficient home I owned was built by an architect with the home design developed to maximize light and minimize cooling costs. It was a gas heated home facing south with no windows at all facing west. Right now I live in a house that faces south and (cul-de-saq) angles to the east at front. The entire back of the house is french doors and windows, and with the face of the house angling east the rear has a northwest exposure. The glaring sun seeping thru the windows from 6pm on is almost unbearable -- even with tinted windows we have to keep shades and shutters closed all evening.

So, on your house's western exposure, my only recommendation is to minimize those windows. Oh, and for resale to the many "fung" believers, be sure no staircase near the front door.....also good if you can avoid the number 4 in the address b/c some cultures believe its unlucky.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:31 AM
277 posts, read 554,905 times
Reputation: 109
Based on your floor plan, the majority of your front doesn't have that many windows. I suggest to get the lot that is South facing (# 2421). My house is just like yours in that the front doesn't have that many windows in the front, so the common areas are in the rear of the house. In my case, my house faces North, and the afternoon summer sun is on the backside of my house and it puts a damper when hanging outside in the back (which gives me a great reason to get a pool now). The afternoon sun is bad in the summer, so try to situate your house accordingly. I hope you had some time to analyze how the sun affects the lots you are considering as it will affect your heating/cooling of your home.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:43 AM
4,191 posts, read 4,354,491 times
Reputation: 4775
Put shutters on west facing windows and then plant trees to eventually shade them, don't eliminate them. No windows on the entire side of a house makes it creepy and not-inviting, and is not a wise choice for modern buyers.

Just like JCL said, make sure your house is oriented north to south, not east to west.
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