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Thread: Buying a house - N/E/S/W orientation?

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    Default Buying a house - N/E/S/W orientation?

    Looking to build a home pretty soon. Curious what the majority would prefer for the orientation of their home.

    Will likely be going with a South or West facing backyard for more sunlight later in the day.

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    Keep in mind a south facing backyard = snow and ice on the sidewalk and driveway all winter. Some prefer the opposite. Personally I'd do north facing house if I had a large back yard and deck.
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    Corner lot (next to a park), east facing front, with lots of windows on east, south and west sides
    Last edited by Escape; 03-05-2017 at 10:19 PM.

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    In order

    South back
    West back
    East back
    North back

    a Corner lot with a south back and west side exposure would be amazing


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    Agreed, thinking of selling my north back, end lot.

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    S, SW, or W back yard.

    Our summers are too short and you need to enjoy as much sun and heat as possible in the back yard. And those directions make a huge difference.

    If you aren't lazy and actually shovel your snow, N/NE/E front yards are perfectly fine. In fact, for those lazy people, a south backyard often end up with more ice because the snow will start melting during the day when you are at work, and then freeze by the time you get home so it is harder to clear.

    And shade on your driveway is much better for washing your vehicle in the summer.

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    Got a South facing backyard based on the common belief that it's better (didn't think too much about it). Hate it hate it hate it.

    Part of the reason is because we have large windows. This translates to MASSIVE heat in the summer coming into the house. It isn't even great in winter as the sun is blinding since it's so low in the sky.

    We rarely go out into the backyard as it's usually scorching (don't have a massive pergola with horizontal shading as of yet, even large umbrellas are way too tiny). I suppose the tomatoes like it, but then my lawn/trees need more water (not too much tree cover as it's a newer neighbourhood that also doesn't seem to like trees - move-up street).

    Driveway is rarely clear, as the bits that are hard to scrape never melt. Perhaps it is a blessing based on posts above, the piles that build up could melt too much if they get too much sun. Driveways and sidewalks across the street (which face south) tend to be clear most of the time though.

    If I were to get another house, I'd try to get an east facing backyard. Sun in the morning/early afternoon when it's cool enough for the sunlight to be pleasant, then some shade as the day really starts to heat up. Part of the lawn would still get sunlight if you really wanted it.

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    Originally posted by Sasuke_Kensai
    Got a South facing backyard based on the common belief that it's better (didn't think too much about it). Hate it hate it hate it.

    Part of the reason is because we have large windows. This translates to MASSIVE heat in the summer coming into the house. It isn't even great in winter as the sun is blinding since it's so low in the sky.

    We rarely go out into the backyard as it's usually scorching (don't have a massive pergola with horizontal shading as of yet, even large umbrellas are way too tiny). I suppose the tomatoes like it, but then my lawn/trees need more water (not too much tree cover as it's a newer neighbourhood that also doesn't seem to like trees - move-up street).

    Driveway is rarely clear, as the bits that are hard to scrape never melt. Perhaps it is a blessing based on posts above, the piles that build up could melt too much if they get too much sun. Driveways and sidewalks across the street (which face south) tend to be clear most of the time though.

    If I were to get another house, I'd try to get an east facing backyard. Sun in the morning/early afternoon when it's cool enough for the sunlight to be pleasant, then some shade as the day really starts to heat up. Part of the lawn would still get sunlight if you really wanted it.
    I can concur. But some people like it hot, then south backyard is for you.

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    Had south facing back yard. Not only could I not stand the way it heated up the house, but you were pretty much relegated to sitting under an umbrella when it was really hot, which defeats the purpose. I now have a north facing back yard which I was told is the least desirable, but I love it.

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    West facing backyard used to be the rule of thumb, for me it still is. All depends on the individual though.
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    I've had both.

    Old house was a north back yard, i always needed a sweater or patio heater on in the summer. No one would want to sit on the deck or patio either, in the middle of July / Aug.
    It was great that the driveway required less work.

    Current house:
    We have a north front, south back and while I agree the heat at the back on the house sucks (master is at the back) and i can't use my patio between 11:30 and 3, once the sun swings to the side our wall blocks the evening sun so we can sit outside in the evening. I would like to get something to shade the patio in the day, an awning or some sort of overhead shade but it's not a priority right now.
    Our driveway is the last to melt.. oh well.

    I still prefer a south back / north front.

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    we have a SW facing backyard and I prefer it. Gets pretty hot but I don't mind it and it means I don't have to needlessly waste water on our front lawn (which is much bigger than our back lawn)

    I would however consider where the bedrooms are and if you are going to have A/C. We don't have A/C and our master faces NE which is nice as it doesn't get super hot in the summer our back bedrooms facing SW get extremely hot.

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    Re sale wise, south facing backyard is preferred, backing onto a park or wooded forest or ravine. You have those two in the bag you are good to go.

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    Originally posted by Sasuke_Kensai
    Got a South facing backyard based on the common belief that it's better (didn't think too much about it). Hate it hate it hate it.

    Part of the reason is because we have large windows. This translates to MASSIVE heat in the summer coming into the house. It isn't even great in winter as the sun is blinding since it's so low in the sky.

    We rarely go out into the backyard as it's usually scorching (don't have a massive pergola with horizontal shading as of yet, even large umbrellas are way too tiny). I suppose the tomatoes like it, but then my lawn/trees need more water (not too much tree cover as it's a newer neighbourhood that also doesn't seem to like trees - move-up street).

    Driveway is rarely clear, as the bits that are hard to scrape never melt. Perhaps it is a blessing based on posts above, the piles that build up could melt too much if they get too much sun. Driveways and sidewalks across the street (which face south) tend to be clear most of the time though.

    If I were to get another house, I'd try to get an east facing backyard. Sun in the morning/early afternoon when it's cool enough for the sunlight to be pleasant, then some shade as the day really starts to heat up. Part of the lawn would still get sunlight if you really wanted it.
    Want to trade houses?

    My east-facing back is depressingly sun-deprived in the afternoons/evenings. I get morning sun, but I'd rather have sun later in the day to sit out on the deck in the evenings. I like the heat and the sun so I guess I picked the wrong house. I guess the good thing is that my house stays pretty cool in the summer.

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    Had three houses all with different facing backyards.

    House #1 West facing backyard - Holy hell was it ever hot in the summer. Nobody wants to be outside when we have BBQs. Everyone just wound up staying inside. Even a pergola didn't help in the late evenings when the sun creeps in sideways. Bedroom was facing that direction and hot nights were miserable.

    House #2 East facing backyard - It was nice up until mid-afternoon and then shady in the evenings. People aren't trying to hide indoors as much, but does get chilly after a while. Back lawn was nice and lush, but the front lawn took a beating. Iced up driveway sucks.

    House #3 North facing backyard - Have only been here through one summer without backyard landscaping for most of the summer, so can't really gauge it. We were able to get sun in the north backyard throughout the summer as there isn't much obstruction to the west of us. I do know that winter has been kind on the driveway with less shoveling. Call me lazy, but I don't particularly enjoy shoveling the driveway, especially when it's iced up. Haven't had to open up the window too much throughout the summer because it never got too hot in the house.

    So far, I prefer north backyard. Just my 2 cents.

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    I like my South front, North back west exposed corner lot. Bedrooms are at the North end of the house so the garage/bonus room and front area take the heat in the summer. I also have a pretty big back yard so I can still sit right in the sun if wanted or hang in the shade.
    It's super nice to have a dry driveway after clearing it while the folk across the way fight the ice all winter. Also have a corner with no sidewalk is a bonus (except when folk drive/park on the lawn )

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    I don't know what yard positioning has to do with how hot your house gets, just make sure the small windows face south I love my south facing deck, fabutan isn't getting my money when the sun gives it away for free

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    Originally posted by Swank
    I don't know what yard positioning has to do with how hot your house gets, just make sure the small windows face south
    My buddy's house:
    South facing back yard; north exposure.
    Their living room is on the back side, with floor to ceiling windows, as well as the master bedroom 3 panel window.

    vs. turn the same house around 180: most of the front is garage door with smaller bonus room windows.

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    In our new build (which we get in 2 weeks - yay!) it has an East facing back yard. We didn't buy the lot for it's orientation though, so this was just the way it worked out.

    We have floor to ceiling 20ft windows in the back of the house where the great room is, so it should make for one hell of a bright morning - which I like. It also means that the rear should get a reprieve from the sun past noon, which is good for our son who's room is in the back, as well as ensuring that when everything is at it's hottest that the great room doesn't become unbearably hot with all that glass.

    It also means that while the sun moves through the day that the home on the south side beside us should shield us somewhat from constant sun and help avoiding overheating the house. (The trade-off is more heating in the winter I guess)

    Then in the evening, the front gets the sun which I like in case I want to work in the front or on my cars in the PM.

    Yes, it would be nice to have the sun in the back yard after work so we can enjoy it, but sometimes it is nice to have a cooler spot to sit as well. Our back yard is big enough that as long as the sun isn't way down on the horizon, we should have at least SOME direct sunlight there even in the evenings.


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    It's personal preference. My old house had a south facing backyard, I'm not sure I'd do that again. It was great for growing tomatoes, but it really, really heated up the house and it was insanely bright inside.

    A house where the backyard faces SE might be better, you knockout some of the light when the sun is setting, but the backyard is still bright for extended periods.

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