Architecture isn’t just about aesthetics; it also plays an important role in the functionality of a home. There are countless factors an architect has to keep in mind while designing a house or a building. For example: how much light will a room get during the day? What about ventilation? How will the changes in weather affect the interior? People have their own preferences when it comes to the orientation of a residential unit. A lot of people prefer sunlight in their homes while others don’t really find it pleasant. In this blog, we will analyze the pros and cons of living in west-facing homes to help you make an informed decision.
The orientation of a home means the positioning of a house or the direction your home is built-in. It is easy to identify in which direction your house is built, if you don’t know it already, by standing in front of your house and recording the direction using a compass.
But what role does orientation play in home design? Well, it affects the amount of light and heat a house or an apartment gets throughout the year since the path of the sun keeps changing due to the continuous movement of the earth around its axis. There is no right or wrong home orientation but you must spend some time on research before you choose because you will be spending a fortune to build or buy such a home.
People who live in hot climatic regions may want to build west-facing homes so that sunlight reaches the facade only in the evening, when the temperature lowers down. However, people living in northern areas may want a totally different orientation through which the inside of their homes get maximum sunlight and heat during the daytime.
The analysis of west-facing homes below will give you a fair understanding if you should go with west-facing home orientation or not.
Benefits Of West-facing Homes
Let’s begin by exploring the benefits of houses and buildings facing west.
- Beautiful sunset views
- Less sunlight exposure in front rooms
- Better utility of backyard
Beautiful Sunset Views
If you are one of those people who enjoy sunset views and the formation of clouds in the evening then west-facing homes are for you. It’s one of the best ways to unwind after a hectic day at work: looking at the mesmerizing views of the golden sun bidding adieu to the world while sipping on a cup of tea with your loved ones.
Another aspect of looking at this can be that the front part of your house will get sunlight till later until the sun completely goes down. The temperature will be lowered and rays won’t be as harsh as they are during the mid-part of the day. So, you get to enjoy the view from the front and also get access to sunlight till late hours.
Less Sunlight Exposure In Front Rooms
While there are many advantages of letting the sunlight in your home, many people don’t find it to be as pleasant in summers as they do in winters. If your house faces the east, it will be exposed to direct sunlight for the most part of the day. Consequently, it increases the temperature in front rooms during summers, especially in the upper portions.
A west-facing home will only be exposed to direct sunlight through windows during later hours of the day when the temperature is actually lowering. If you sleep through a better part of the day on a weekend or holidays, west-facing homes will be a choice you would want to make. On the other hand, if your home has a different orientation, you will need to invest in some quality curtains and blinders to stop the sunlight from entering the room.
Better Utility Of Backyard
If you live in a west-facing home, your backyard is facing east and that is where the sunlight will be present for the most part of the day. We all have to dry our laundry but it looks messy and unpresentable if it is being dried on the front lawn. A west-facing home allows you to use your backyard more effectively even during the daytime.
Downside Of West-facing Homes
There are some downsides of living in a west-facing house. Nonetheless, you should know about these beforehand to make an informed decision.
- Less access to natural light
- Winters will be cold
- Higher utility bills
Less Access To Natural Light
Allowing the sunlight in your house has many benefits such as it kills germs and carries health benefits among many others. In homes facing west, the exposure of sunlight is not as much as in other house orientations which is why the only natural source of kicking the germs out of one’s home is through adequate ventilation.
Winters Will Be Cold
As you move towards the south in Pakistan, the duration of the winter season shortens and the temperature, compared to the north, is also higher. People prefer to buy homes that get ample direct sunlight during the day so their homes can remain warm and cosy for the most part during the day and at night they can turn on their heaters. Contrary to other home orientations, west-facing houses and apartments will not be as comfortable and warm as others.
Even though there are plenty of heating options available to make the inside of a home considerably warm, not everyone has the budget to manage the running cost of this equipment.
Higher Utility Bills
The orientation of a house matters because of the sunlight that enters your house. Sunlight plays an important role in the lives of people living in a house. The rooms on the east side of the house will have plenty of sunlight but those will probably be the rooms less used especially in the summer season. You will have to keep this in mind while building a west-facing home that your monthly utility bills will increase since you will have to use artificial lighting and heating. Apart from the one-time investment that you will need, you will also have to account for the running expenses of the house that will surely increase.
As mentioned earlier, it is a personal preference to get a west-facing home but keep in mind that not everyone has the same preference. Upon reselling the house, you may have to consider lowering the asking price since buyers might be reluctant to invest in a West-facing property.
There you have it – everything you need to know about making the right decision about the west orientation of your home. If you want to leave feedback for us, get in touch by writing to us at email@example.com and keep following Zameen Blog, Pakistan’s largest lifestyle blog.
COVER IMAGE CREDITS: SHUTTERSTOCK