Why the Direction Your Home Faces Matters
You might not think about it when you’re looking at houses, but you’ll notice that the direction your home faces matters once you’re in it.
When buying a home, you have so many things to consider: neighborhood, number of bedrooms, the age of the home and more. In fact, the list is so long you may have never considered the direction your home faces as important. That’s right, as important as kitchen size and floor coverings, home orientation plays a key role in several important ways.
In the northern hemisphere, the sun stays in the southern sky. If you want a cooler kitchen later in the afternoon when you’re making dinner, you want the kitchen opposite the 4 o’clock sun. If you want to awaken to the sun, you want your bedroom exposed to the sunrise.
A home with a lot of glass opening to the outdoors is more exposed to changes in temperatures. If the glass faces the sun during the hottest part of the day, your air conditioning will work harder in the summer. A lot of windows on the north side of your home can make a room to be drafty and extra cold in winter, requiring supplemental heat.
To minimize the rise in temperature caused by direct sunlight, try heat-reducing window film.
In an area where the view matters—mountains, beach or skyline—the direction your home faces is important. After all, you don’t want to have to go into the laundry room to get a glimpse of the beautiful sunset.
Winter Snow and Ice
If your house faces north, and that’s where the nasty winter snow and ice comes from, your driveway, sidewalk and front entrance will likely be hazardous for several months. Snow melting off the roof may cause ice dams and icicles that can be dangerous and destructive. However, with a north-facing house, your backyard will melt before the front, so if your garage is in the back of the house, and you go in and out through the back door in the winter, this orientation can be okay.
The Front Door
Some folks have a thing about presentation. If you prefer guests to enter your home through the front door, don’t buy a house with the back door opening onto the driveway. Even though the saying goes, “Back door guests are best,” if everyone who comes to call needs to step over the boots on your mudroom floor, you won’t be happy. For you, the direction your home faces matters a great deal.