House orientation

How important is it to have a south facing/sunny back garden? How much does this add to the value of the property? We went to see a house today which we liked but it had a north facing back garden-we’re not sure if this should be a deal breaker or not.

Depends on your likes and dislikes. I’m not a sun-lover so it wouldn’t bother me in that regard but I like to garden and though I’ve done it in a North facing garden, it has its limitations. Depends on the length of the garden too. Long and you’ll get some sun though it’ll be at the bottom of the garden at the times you may want to sit out in it. If you neither sunbathe nor garden with any enthusiasm, then buy a house you like near a park and it won’t matter.

It makes a big difference to the feel of a house in my opinion. It’s not just about whether you’re a sun-lover, but also how much sunlight you get coming into the back of the house where the kitchen and patio etc. are likely to be.

Buyers definitely pay more for a southerly/westerly aspect, primarily because there’s always more competition for those houses. Many people would never buy a house with a north or easterly aspect. Some people don’t even notice when buying, and then realise that their north facing kitchen is always dark. Agents frequently lie about this so it’s important to check!

In my experience there can be a big premium for south or south west or westerly over north or east. Certainly during the boom years premium could be substantial

In today’s market I think it can be the difference between selling and not.

Personally I would not even bother to look at a house with Ne facing garden. But other people don’t seem to notice! Depends on when your likely to be in the house too. Eg if you work and spend most of time in house in evenings westerly orientation is more important IMO

Agree with post above, EAs often get it wrong. Se often means almost east and is next to useless.

Good guide is if they don’t mention orientation then it’s definitely bad! Sunny garden usually means its rubbish unless accompanied by west or south etc.

There is a good app which can be used with google maps to show where sun sets and rise at all times of the year … Mentioned on the pin somewhere very useful
In the middle of summer the sun actually set in nw so nw gardens often quite good and better than se IMO

Finally you should also take account of length of garden. Sw or west is all very well unless you have obstructions which means sun dips out of view early.

Deal breaker for me.
disagree with dame that it doesn’t matter if you aren’t interested in the garden, for me it’s more from the point of view of light coming into the back of the house. Vital if you need to extend or the original house will be very dark and depressing.

Dealbreaker for me. I bought a south facing gardened house without so much as giving orientation a thought. But wouldn’t dream of anything else but a well-orientated house now (South/South-East at a push) To have light in the most used part of the house is … priceless.

House orientation? I’d say definitely gay if you can afford it. Or at the very least, bi-curious in a good neighbourhood.

I’d go for west, over south. Later sun is more important than early sun for BBQs, home from work, etc.
As mentioned the sun is very north-west setting during the summer.

East is a no go, but north, or north-westerly is fine as long as the garden is long enough and there arent a huge amount of trees in neighbours gardens.


The other benefit of a south/south-west orientation is that the living areas of the house get passive solar gain, which really cuts down on heating bills. We bought a south west facing site when we built our house and put loads of glazing in the south and the south west, keeping the windows as small as possible in the north/north east of the house. It makes the house really pleasant to live in (although it looks very “plain” from the front :slight_smile: )

What are peoples views on SE orientation?

What about Southwest for the living room and Northeast for the bedrooms?

East or northeast (or even due north) is good for a bedroom, being cool and dark in the early part of the night. A generally western orientation is a disaster. It will be hot in summer and in mid June won’t be properly dark until midnight.

Solution: Stick one of these at the bottom of yer NE-facing garden

I’ll get me coat… :-GC

I bought a new build house back in 2002 and paid the extra for a west-facing back garden. This was a great move for the 2 BBQs we’ve had since then. While the west-facing aspect has been great for evening light at the back of the house, it does have the tendency to make our dining area (next to double glazed patio doors) a sweatbox any time the sun comes out. Thankfully that’s been of a rarity these last few summers :unamused:

North facing back garden is okay for sun in summer months - not so good for rest of year.
If your primary concern evening summer sun then back garden should not be in an eastern quadrant.
Light can be maximised through use of glass doors, skylights etc.

Refer to

+1 regarding the BBQ, something to also consider is wind direction as I tried to have a BBQ and it nearly landed at the neighbors, I had to use a picnic blanket and bins to try and block the wind.

I have SE in the back and it works for me. The back terrace gets the sun in the evening (house is detached), and the plants on one side get sun from early morning to late afternoon; on the other side probably early morning until mid afternoon because the perimeter wall is quite tall.
In the mornings the kitchen (at back of the house) is bathed in light; in the late evenings I have sun coming through the front window into the sitting room.

You mean homeosexual?