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Which side of house is best to be North or South facing?
38

KnackersYard · 07/05/2015 11:17

Just house hunting and would love opinions on this!

If you imagine a very standard Victorian terrace/semi or 1930s semi, with 3 or 4 bedrooms, where the living room is at the front of the house, and the kitchen and dining room is often at the back. Similarly - master bedroom and one more bedroom most likely to be at the front of the house; bathroom and other bedroom at the back.

Is it more important to have the front of the house sunny (living room), or the back (kitchen)?

We're not able to buy a house with a very big garden, but would like a smallish one.

What are people's views on this?

And if it's a choice between east and west - which side of the house is better off facing east, which side west?

All views grately appreciated!

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Zinxie · 07/05/2015 11:20

Sunny garden, sunny kitchen, more important to me. But I sit in the kitchen to eat, drink tea, chat at the table, etc.

Tend to use living room more in the evening.

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Momagain1 · 07/05/2015 11:34

Ideally, the street should run north-south, so both front and back gardens get sun all day, and the morning vs. evening issue is minimised.

I used to always think I would prefer morning sun in the kitchen. But truly, Most of the year it hardly matters, breakfast is long over by the time the sun is up in winter. In summer we lie in anyway. We ended up with a house on a street that veers to the northwest, so my kitchen gets lots of afternoon light. I am usually in the kitchen in late afternoons so this is nice. Especially in winter.

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beansagain · 07/05/2015 11:39

South or west facing garden always best and you'll find this reflected in a added premium of about 15% for houses on the sunny side of the street.

For me, I particularly like west facing for evening sunshine for bbqs and I wouldn't even view a house with a north or east facing back garden.

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Zinxie · 07/05/2015 11:56

I also wouldn't bother looking at a house with a north facing garden. South facing garden is a great boon in the UK. We have been able to sit outside having coffee and reading the papers etc a fair amount this year, Easter holidays, DD got a suntan by revising in the garden!

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Woozlebear · 07/05/2015 14:01

I've had both, and preferred the kitchen getting morning sun. With your typical house this also means the garden gets morning sun, which I also prefer, but know lots disagree with me. My biggest hate is not getting sun to perk myself up in the morning.

My holy grail is a house where I just get the bloody light all the time!

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KnackersYard · 07/05/2015 14:17

Hi all thanks for replies.

Was just at an agent's now.

This may sound very daft, but it seems I'm not very good at estimating what direction the house is pointing in. I just said to the agent that a house I was looking at looked good as it was pointing west, and apparently it was actually pointing South.

If I'm looking at google maps..... Is the top of the map not north??

<Helpless emoticon>

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addictedtosugar · 07/05/2015 14:18

I wouldn't get a terrace with a north facing yard. It will never get any sun, and may well turn green and slimy if you never do anything to it (looking at you, Lynne).

South or West great, East OK.

Happy Hunting

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KnackersYard · 07/05/2015 14:30

It's okay, I'm not going mad - the best description of the aspect is SW, so neither of us were strictly accurate.

There is another house I really like but the garden (small) is most definitely north. Kitchen / dining also north. Is it a deal breaker? knows the answer already, but hoping someone will say no

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Sidge · 07/05/2015 14:55

I like the back of the house to face South or SW; the garden then gets the most sunshine and it's great for summer BBQs. Also if the kitchen is at hte back you get the best light in the afternoon/evening when we're in there the most.

I like my bedroom facing north or NW so I don't get a bright bedroom early in the morning, I can draw the curtains in the summer to keep it cooler.

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UsedToBeAPaxmanFan · 07/05/2015 14:57

only you can tell if it's a deal breaker for you. For me, it is a definite deal breaker. I would never buy a house with a norh facing garden, especially if it was a small garden.

The best aspect, I think, is South West facing garden. We've got that at the moment, and our kitchen/diner looks onto it. Our living room faces north, but that's fine. It doesn't really get much sun, but we tend to only use it in the evenigs. We work full time, so morning sun isn't a priority fopr us. Evening sun is, though - lovely to sit on a warm patio with a glass of wine when you get home from work!

Your priorities might be different, and houses with north facing gardens are a lot cheaper!

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ClaudiaNaughton · 07/05/2015 14:59

Buy a compass. Take on all viewings. Don't take EA's word. Another who would not view N facing back.

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MargotLovedTom · 07/05/2015 15:05

We have an east facing back garden, but we have arranged patios and seating areas so there is somewhere sunny to sit all day until fairly late in the height of summer. There's a lovely warm conservatory at the back, and having a west facing front garden means I can be out there in the sun faffing about in the garden and keeping an eye on the dc if they're playing out in the street after school and early evening.

I'd probably prefer a south facing back garden but I'm pretty happy with our set up. Definitely wouldn't like north facing thoug.

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PenguindreamsofDraco · 07/05/2015 15:22

We have a north facing garden and kitchen. It's nice! Kitchen gets the morning sun via one window but doesn't overheat. There's always some sun in a bit of the back garden, but I'm not a great sun worshipper. There is always sun in the sitting room and main bedroom, so they feel nice and welcoming and warm. Depends on priorities though.

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CoteDAzur · 07/05/2015 15:30

Ideally, the front of the house (living room, with the largest windows) would face South. In the winter, sunlight will come at an angle and enter the house for the longest time as it goes from East to West in front of the house. In the summer, it will be higher in the sky, so will not unnecessarily heat the house.

... is what I remember from design classes at university for my architecture degree.

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LemonEmmaP · 07/05/2015 15:32

We have a north facing back garden now, and had the same in our last house. While it's not an ideal arrangement, I don't think it's as bad as others have made out. Our current garden is long (45m perhaps) so there is plenty of garden in the sun for most of the day. Admittedly, in the winter, only the very far end of the garden gets sun, but quite frankly we're not using the garden for sun at that time of year anyway. In summer, the sun comes within a few feet of the back door during the day, and we have morning and evening sun right into the back of the house. Our living room faces south and is always warm because of the sun. Our old kitchen did tend to be a bit gloomy, but we have added Velux windows and bifold doors - it's now very light indeed. One other (minor) downside is that we have a loft extension with dormer windows on the rear (north) and Velux on the front (south) - the rooms with the Veluxes get incredibly hot in summer as the sun shines in through them all day.

Obviously I would say don't rule out houses with north facing gardens, but I would always advise ensuring you turn off any lights that are on when you view to see what the natural light is like.

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ChablisTyrant · 07/05/2015 15:42

East front and west back is lovely in a terrace. Our garden is SW and we think it is perfect. It does mean the front rooms are darker in the afternoon.

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KnackersYard · 07/05/2015 16:06

Thanks all - that's very helpful! Unfortunately we definitely don't have the budget for bi-folding doors or new windows, so will have to work with what's there.

I'm definitely going to be buying a compass!

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KnackersYard · 07/05/2015 16:07

(and also not believe what the estate agents say!)

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specialsubject · 07/05/2015 16:29

I took a compass to every house I viewed. More than one agent was intrigued, and more than one said 'what's that?'. And one said 'why does it matter?'

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Marmitelover55 · 07/05/2015 18:28

Our Victorian semi faces south west at the front and north east at the back. We have new bifolds and 5 veluxes in the kitchen so it is very light and bright all day. I love sitting on the patio in the sun for a coffee in the morning.

We also have a raised deck in the bottom right hand corner of the garden which has the sun on it until 8pm in the summer. Admittedly there is no sun at all in the garden in the middle of winter, but we wouldn't be out there then anyway.

Whilst I would have preferred the aspects to have been the other way round, it certainly wasn't a deal breaker for us and I have got to love it Smile

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Apatite1 · 07/05/2015 19:47

Cotedazure that's how our house is exactly. I love it.

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themagicamulet · 07/05/2015 20:16

Our garden is sw facing. My neighbour on the opposite side of the street gets no sun at all in the afternoon. Not so much of an issue now our DCs are older but it was striking when we both had toddlers - our garden would still be light and warm on summer afternoons/evenings while hers was actively chilly. Is it really true that there is a 10-15% premium for a SW facing garden?

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KnackersYard · 07/05/2015 20:16

Thanks all. Will have a ponder!

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WhatKatyDidnt · 07/05/2015 20:17

You need to also think about what surrounds the house - massive trees and houses will cast shadows over what would otherwise be a sunny garden.

We have a west facing garden that's pretty shady thanks to next door's trees - I don't mind at all though cos I hate sitting in the sun

We used to have a north facing garden that actually got lovely dappled sunshine all afternoon in the summer.

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vez123 · 07/05/2015 20:55

We also have a NE facing kitchen and garden. It wasn't my preference either but it was a compromise I was willing to take to get the house in this location. Things are never perfect!
Our garden is completely sunny in the summer and it's only 40 feet long. Our patio gets the sun in the morning and is then partially in the shade until early afternoon. We also built another patio at the top end of the garden which is a real sun trap and we use it a lot on warm days in the spring and autumn.

You just have to know how much of a compromise you are willing to take when buying a house. Also, it just isn't true that North facing gardens get no sun. It all depends on the length of the garden, it's elevation, how overlooked etc.

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