Building a house or looking for a flat? Find true north!

by Barbora S. 28. April 2014 12:53

There are many things to consider when building or furnishing a house.  One of the crucial criteria that need to be taken into consideration is the cardinal directions. No matter whether you have a parcel on which you are going to build or an apartment that needs to be refurbished, the decisions concerning compass directions are very important. It does not need to be said that this is the factor that will have the biggest impact on the amount of sunshine penetrating the rooms during the day.

FloorPAD_Cardinal directions influence the amount of sunshine in rooms

Similarly to other areas connected to property building and decorating, the perfect orientation greatly depends on one’s taste. The preferences and opinions vary from one person to another but there are some general rules that can be relied on.

The first rule is that the sunshine is important mainly when it comes to those rooms where we spend a lot of time. Sunshine has great effect on one’s mood and comfort which is the reason why it is appropriate to direct living room south or south-west. In this case, the sun rays will be entering the living during almost the whole day. There are also some pros to having the living room turned south-east - the sun warms the room up in the morning and this way you will avoid the afternoon heat in the summer. The same direction is appropriate for children’s bedrooms where kids spend most of the day.

When it comes to the bedroom, you have to consider whether you would like to have it in the east and be woken up by the sun. Another option is to have it facing the north so that the sun will never disturb you. On the other hand, you can direct your bedroom westwards which will help to warm it and may therefore result in significant savings on heating.

The terrace is another chapter. If you dream of having your breakfast and coffee on a sunny terrace, you should go for an eastern or southeastern direction. However, if you leave your home early in the morning and can’t wait to spend delightful evenings with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine on the terrace after coming home from work, it will be more convenient to have the terrace facing the west. If you are a true sunshine lover try to direct the terrace south. In this case, though, you need to accept the fact that you probably won’t be able to enjoy your terrace during the hot sunny days.

FloorPAD_Amount of sunshine at home

And which rooms are eligible to face the north? All those that you do not spend too much time in such as garage, storeroom, study, or bathroom.

When making these important decisions, you cannot forget to take into consideration the region in which the property is located. In colder, northern regions, where there are only a few hot sunny days a year and the temperatures do not rise too high each ray of sun is most welcome. On the other hand, in the southern regions, the excess of sunshine may in extreme (though not exceptional) cases result in high investments in shading systems or air-conditioning.

There are also other influential factors such as the surrounding buildings that can shade your building parcel or the location of an entry to your parcel that you are not able to influence. Even though it is easier and cheaper to buy a ready-made building project, in case of a parcel which is not entirely perfect or is quite atypical it is advisable to go for a tailored project that will take into account not only your preferences but also the external conditions.

Regarding apartments, most of the predispositions are usually given and since the choice of apartments is limited, you will probably have to determine your priorities and consequently chose a flat that is closest to your ideals. The compass direction of the apartment, which will greatly influence your comfort, should definitely be among these priorities.

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