When it comes to buying a house, there are many things you need to consider – what location, how many bedrooms, house type, price, the list could go on. And that’s before you’ve even thought about the direction of the garden!
To help you through this important decision, we’ve got a guide all about buying a house with a west facing garden and whether or not it’s a good idea.
Got a specific question and want a quick answer? Use this menu as a guide:
- What is a west facing garden?
- How much sun does a west facing garden get?
- Pros of a west facing garden
- Cons of a west facing garden
- What is the best direction for a garden to face?
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What is a west facing garden?
A west facing garden is exactly what it sounds like – a garden facing west. The direction a garden faces will affect how much sun it enjoys throughout the day, making it something you need to think about in detail before deciding to buy a house.
If you’re unsure about the direction your garden is facing, then there’s a simple way to work it out. Either take a real compass or a compass app on your phone and point it towards the bottom of your garden.
This will mean you have your back against your house wall and you’re pointing the compass away. The compass will then display the direction that your garden is facing.
Alternatively, you can go on ‘Google Maps’ and type in the address of the property you’re interested in. Then if you view the house on ‘street view’ the compass will display which way the garden is facing, with the red part of the arrow pointing to North.
How much sun does a west facing garden get?
A property that has a west facing garden will get sun in the back garden all afternoon, which tends to be from 1 pm onwards, right up until sunset, as the sun sets in the west.
In the sunnier months, a garden facing west may get the sun a bit earlier, with the sun being higher in the sky.
Of course, how much sun your garden will get will depend upon whether you have any obstacles in the way, such as big trees or other houses close by. If this is the case, your garden will naturally have more shadows even throughout the afternoon, leaving you with a shaded back garden most of the time.
When does a west facing garden get the sun?
A west facing garden will get the sun in the afternoon from about 1 pm onwards, with it being completely in shade throughout the morning. This is because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
If you have a garden facing west, you will have to bear in mind how much sun you get, and when, for deciding what you want to plant in your garden. This is key because any flowers will need to be able to stand full sun all afternoon whilst also being able to survive in the complete shade in the morning.
An idea of the type of flowers that would suit these conditions is:
Also, in the winter months, you may find that the amount of sun your west facing garden gets is significantly reduced, so it’s vital you consider this before buying a house with a garden facing west, especially if you’re a keen gardener.
Pros of a west facing garden
If you’re considering buying a property with a west facing garden, it’s natural to wonder whether or not it’s a good idea and whether you will get any benefits from a west facing garden.
To help you make your decision, we have listed here all the pros of buying a house with a garden facing west:
- Save on energy bills – this will come as good news with the current spike in energy prices. As west facing gardens get the sun from 1 pm up until sunset, there will be plenty of sunlight flooding into the property’s rooms. As lights are mainly turned on in a property on an evening, with the lighter evenings of a west facing garden, there’s no real need to turn the lights on, resulting in savings on your energy bills
- Longer nights entertaining – as a garden facing west gets the sun all afternoon and evening up until sunset, meaning it’s light well into the evening whilst also being hot. As a result of this, you’re able to have people over in your garden for longer and later into the night, which is ideal for people who want to entertain
- Ideal for some flowers – as we mentioned earlier, there are some flowers that really thrive in west facing gardens, which is good news for those who are big flower lovers!
- Better for families – as the garden will be shaded in the morning, it will be ideal for families with young children, as they’re able to play outside for several hours in the morning without the risk of getting sunburnt, which allows parents to limit the amount of sun their young children are getting
- Morning sunlight – a property with a west facing back garden will get sunlight at the front of the house in the morning. This is great for those who like to wake up naturally to sunlight, with the rooms at the front of the house being able to enjoy this
Cons of a west facing garden
Whilst a west facing back garden does bring a great deal of positives, there are naturally drawbacks which may be a deal-breaker for some. It’s vital you consider these cons before you go ahead with buying a house with a west facing garden:
- The house may get too hot – during the summer months, your house will receive a large amount of sun throughout the afternoon and evening, which can lead to rooms at the back of the house getting too hot. As a result of this, you may feel you need to invest in air conditioning to be able to keep the house cool, but this will further add to your energy bills. Also, the garden may get to be too hot for any plants or flowers, making it hard if you’re a keen gardener
- May negatively affect the property’s value – the most desired garden in the UK is a south facing garden, as it gets the most sun out of all the different garden directions. Due to a house with a west facing garden not being the most desirable, potential buyers aren’t willing to pay as high a price and therefore this can negatively affect the property’s value
- Limited playing hours – whilst we mentioned a west facing garden can be good for those with young families, it does also limit the number of hours kids can play in the garden to the morning time and much later in the afternoon, once the hottest part of the sun has passed. This can be difficult if the kids are young, as keeping them entertained in the house can be a struggle
- Gloomy back rooms – whilst the sun can be too much in the afternoon and evening time, during the morning the back of the house will be in the dark, making it feel like a more enclosed space than it actually is
- Bright in the morning – whilst we mentioned a west facing garden can be good for getting sun in the morning, which can be nice to wake up to, it can also be too much for some people, meaning blackout curtains or blinds may need to be installed
What is the best direction for a garden to face?
The best and most desired direction for your garden to face is a south facing garden. This is because they receive the most light all day long, which is something most buyers are looking for.
Having a south facing garden can actually increase your property’s value when it comes to selling, as there’s a high demand for a set amount of supply.
For people who are keen gardeners or those who love to entertain, the high priority is a garden which will have the most sun, as it will mean longer days in the garden and better growing conditions for plants.
Ultimately, there is no overall best direction for a garden to face as the answer will be down to what you personally want to get out of your garden.
To quickly summarise each garden direction to help you decide which garden will be best for you:
- West facing gardens get the light in the late afternoon and evening
- East facing gardens get the light in the morning
- South facing gardens get the light most light overall and will have the light throughout the whole day
- North facing gardens will get the least light overall and can be subject to damp
Well, that’s everything you need to know about a west facing garden, including when they get the sun, which flowers grow best and the pros and cons. Do you have another question to ask? Or maybe you have some insight to give? Whatever it is, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
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Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You’ll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in. Read more about Millie here.