12 Sans Souci Park Booterstown - Garden orientation


Hi folks,

The garden of this house looks to be north east. However, it looks long and not blocked from the sides.

Would this garden get much sun? I’ve always been drawn to South or West facing gardens but notice that the house next door to us (both south facing gardens) loses sun a lot earlier than us in the evening. I think this is due to trees blocking the sun to the west for them but not us.

It’s making me think that I should rethink my preferred garden orientation on the basis of more than just n/s/e/w, but rather on what will potentially block the sun.

I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on this.

I’m not sure how to paste the link…



This should give you an idea:

Unfortunately, there’s an issue with the Maps setup on that site, so it doesn’t look like satellite images are available. You should be able to check it out in another tab, keeping in mind the heights of nearby trees and buildings.




The whole orientation thing is over egged. As you correctly intuit, the sun you receive has more to do with obstacles than orientation. In fact, the only relevance of orientation is that you may have to take the house itself into account as an obstacle. What you really need is to be able to calculate the length of a shadow, including that of the house.

Here’s a particular house with a directly north facing back garden. The pitch of the roof is important. Once the sun elevation is greater than the roof pitch (38 degrees in this case, which is typical for an Irish roof) then the obstacle you are measuring is the gutter line, not the roof line.

So in this case a 17’ gutter line casts a 22’ shadow at midday on April 1st, a 16’ shadow on May 15th, and a 10ft shadow at mid summer. In general, for an object of height x, the shadow length will be x / tan(α), where α is the solar elevation angle.

You can get the noonday solar elevation for any location and day of the year from timeanddate.com. Of course, it’s more complicated than that. The sun elevation varies throughout the day, as well as the year. The noonday elevation is a maximum. You would need more complicated tools to show the shadows for a particular time of day.

The web app that spacebaby posted will give you the solar azimuth (direction of the sun) for any time of day and date. That will help you identify which obstacles are the important ones, depending on how/when you plan to use a garden. As you say, trees, walls, and other obstacles are just as important as the house itself. An architect would have shadow analysis software for figuring this out.


Thanks. That’s great!


Hi for what it’s worth, I lived next door for many years. The front garden gets tonnes of sun, the back garden is a sun trap but not right behind the house. Those houses are fabulous and well built but would need to be brought up to spec with modern insulation if not done already. Re the garden it is wide and long enough to catch plenty of sun…


Thanks. I actually phoned about viewing it a couple of weeks ago. Bidding at 955k with three active bidders at that time.


Ah yes, not surprised. At the height of the market these houses went for way more than twice that. Best of luck. House on my road 5 miles further south by the coast (no view) on the market for 895 (not worth it at all) and not a patch on Sans Souci, so I was shocked at the 12 Sans Souci price tag. Booterstown is a fantastic spot for all, access to town for work, shopping, schools, and all the amenities and you still get the scent of the sea air. It’s even close enough for those nights when you can’t get a taxi home from town and there is a lovely happy atmosphere mornings when all the kids and parents are walking to school though the avenue is logjammed as are any at that time if beside schools. Best of luck with the search, I know how painful it can be only too well.


Thanks. I certainly have house hunting fatigue at the moment. My husband is keen that we wait until next year to buy, but I am keen to just settle in the house we plan on staying in for the rest of our days.

Having said that, we just have not found that house yet.