Which Direction Should My House Face
When planning the design of a new house or when purchasing an existing home, the direction of the building in relation to the sun, is always a factor to consider. There is never an exact formula for sunlight exposure, but the optimum angle of building placement should maximize the time of day you wish to enjoy the sun.
Decide what time of day the sun is wanted. The backyard is the place most homeowners spend a majority of their time outdoors. This is particularly true of homes with a nice outdoor patio space, deck, or a swimming pool. For outdoor living space, ideally the backyard should face east or southeast. An east-facing yard that is not shielded by trees or other buildings receives early morning sunlight. The sunlight extends into late afternoon. Shade cast from the back of the house typically starts in the afternoon and extends through the rest of the evening. This is great for relaxing in the afternoon and evening hours. The opposite is true of yards facing north. There is a reason that moss grows well on the north side of trees. North facing yards are only good if you enjoy shade a majority of the time.
Consider yard objects that block the sun. Buildings, trees, bushes, walls, and other landscape or hard-scape items can shield the sunlight. Shields are useful to gain shade in yards that do not face an optimum direction to the sun. Shields to sunlight can also hinder a yard facing the correct direction. In general the following guidelines are used to have sunlight in a yard or specific direction of a building based on the direction it is facing.
Direction Facing the Sun
East - Sunlight in the morning
SE - early morning sunlight to late morning
South - sunlight late morning to early afternoon
SW - Early PM sunlight to late PM
West - Mid afternoon to late afternoon sun
North - No good sunlight hours except mid-day