5 Orientation and Design Considerations for Your Custom Home

Posted by Andrew Barden on Jun 8, 2020 11:29:26 AM
Andrew Barden

You’ve found the perfect lot -- plenty of space with great views. You’ve worked with our in-house design team to come up with your fully customized floor plan for your home. 

Now you’re ready to continue your work with your Barden Independent Dealer and see your dream home become a reality. 

Hold on. 

Did you remember the sun? The wind? Or what about the beautiful landscaping you’ve been planning?

The position of your home on its lot, as well as design elements like window and room placement, make all the difference in how you’ll enjoy your living space. 

5 Orientation and Design Considerations for Your Custom Home

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While there are plenty of things to consider when creating your custom home, here are 5 environmental factors we see future homeowners often overlook: 

1. Daily Light Cycle

Though we all know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, it’s easy to forget how its daily path affects your new home. Position your home incorrectly and your bedrooms may never get light from the sunrise or you may be doomed to suffer sunset television glare for life! 

A properly positioned home allows morning sunlight into the bedrooms to help you wake up. It also prevents the sunset from blinding you and your family during evening activities.

Along those same lines, patio and porch placement along your home relative to the sun’s daily path is also something to be mindful of. No one wants to be in the sweltering heat or blinded by the sun while trying to relax outside. 

2. Yearly Light Cycle

Another overlooked element when it comes to the sun and your home is how architectural design features can help keep utility bills in check. 

During the warmer months the sun is higher in the sky, oftentimes requiring air conditioning, fans, and open windows to cool down our homes. 

Overhangs incorporated into your custom home’s design can block out the harsh summer sun and keep your windows in the shade.  This, in turn, prevents the summer heat from penetrating your home and your wallet with cooling costs.

On the flip side, overhangs help keep your home warmer in the winter months. How?  In winter, the sun is lower in the sky, as are its rays.   Properly designed, overhangs can allow these warm rays to shine into your home, unobstructed. It may seem minimal, but it truly does make a huge difference!

Between seasons, a more subtle phenomenon occurs.

In the summertime the sun travels on an arc coming from the north. In the winter, the arc shifts southward. Using the same logic from above, you’ll want more light coming into the house in the winter and less in the summer. To do this, positioning the main living space with a long wall with several large windows facing directly south (or as close as possible) will take advantage of the valuable winter sun. Decreasing its northern exposure ensures your home stays comfortable during the hot months.

3. Wind Direction

We pay good money to move air through our homes to keep them at a comfortable temperature year-round, but rarely consider nature’s air conditioning as a solution. Checking local weather patterns for the prevailing wind direction and adding windows to take advantage accordingly can set your home up for a beautiful, cooling summertime breeze. 

4. Landscaping

Landscaping has a lot of potential in managing your home’s exposure to the elements. 

Just like the sun’s path, wind also changes direction depending on the season. What else changes seasonally? The amount of leaves on the branches of your landscaping of course!

An expert can landscape your home so that leaves on trees and other large plants can direct wind toward your home in the summer. In the winter, those same plants can act as a wind barrier. This requires an exceptional set of skills and knowledge, but how cool is that?!

The sun’s path and position in the sky can also play a role in how well plants around your home take. If you’re a gardener and plan to have beautiful beds along your home, keep its orientation toward the sun in mind. Plants need plenty of sunlight to thrive! 

5. Views

Far too often at Barden, we see customers picking floor plans before choosing a lot to build on,  thus completely ignoring what you’ll see from the windows of your beautiful new home. On top of everything above, you’ll want your windows positioned to view the most beautiful parts of your new surroundings. Great views are a terrible thing to waste. 

Custom Home Design That Works With Nature 

Designing a home that meets all your custom needs and takes environmental phenomena into consideration is a big undertaking. That’s why our expert draftsmen are available to help you. 

At Barden, our team is always willing to lend our expert advice and opinions to help you create your perfect home. All you need to do is ask!

Have a question for our experts? Email me at abarden@bardenbp.com and I’ll make sure you get your answer.

Ready to start designing your custom home? Check out our Home Plan Gallery

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Topics: Exterior Design, Technical Specs, Process, Floor Plans, Site Prep, Home Customization

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