East or West, where is the best spot for your terrace?

The first sunrays

After a cold, miserable winter, Spring can’t come soon enough. At the sight of the first rays of sunshine, I get the urge to start brightening up my garden. But, sitting outside already? Nah, it’s much too cold for that yet. However, there are always those lucky few who, in almost no time at all, start sharing lots of happy selfies shot on their very own sunny terrace. Would you like to be able to do that too? Then use this blog to check if your terrace is in the sunniest spot of your garden.

The position of the sun

Most often, we prefer ease and simplicity, and so place our terrace behind the house and close to the kitchen, so we don’t need to walk very far. Plus, it usually allows for the most privacy. But is that really the best spot if you want to enjoy the sunshine as much as possible? In a number of cases, not necessarily. For instance, if your garden faces north, then you’ll have less sun there than your neighbours who have their garden opposite yours with a south-facing garden. With a west or east-facing garden, you’re in between, and therefore, get to enjoy the morning or evening sun. To get the maximum enjoyment from the hours of sunlight you have, you could always think of moving your terrace towards the rear or side of your garden. Whether this is truly an option for you, would depend on the length of your garden and the amount of shade cast over it. It can be quite surprising sometimes, as in the summer, you might enjoy sunbathing in a spot, where, on a sunny winter’s day, not a ray of sunlight can reach.

Don't be fooled by shade

It’s possible to calculate the length of shade cast by an object, so a rough guideline you can use is as follows:

In the summer, the shadows cast are approximately half the height of the object that creates the shade. This object can be, for example, your house, shed, fencing, trees, etc. In the winter, the shadows are longer. Then, multiply the height of the object by 2.5. The result is a rough estimate of how many metres away from the object you will need to be in order to have direct sunlight. Or you could always search online for free software to make 3D drawings, which will also calculate the shade factor for you.

If you know how much shade your house, fencing and hedging cast, you will be able to work out where the sunniest spot is in your garden. Of course, it is important to create shady spots where necessary, especially in a south-facing garden, where having some shade is a must. Parasols, sail shades, tents, or whatever your heart desires, all are available in a wide range of types, sizes and colours. You will easily find the best solution to fit your garden furniture or lounge set. Just don’t forget the suntan lotion.

Sheltered from the wind and rain

If you don’t have very much space in your garden, yet you still enjoy sitting outside, then a terrace roof system is an ideal solution, as you can always sit there sheltered from the wind and protected from the rain. There’s something available to suit every budget. If you’re handy with tools, then you can get started using a special kit which can be made to measure, or you can have a specialist build it for you. You can also choose from various materials (plastic or glass) and designs (only the roof or a full conservatory). Then, by adding a terrace heater, you will even be comfortable sitting there during those chilly nights.

Would you like to get some more inspiration on how to dress up your garden? Then read my blogs: 7 steps to happiness on your balcony or small terrace and How to create a unique look in your garden.

How does your terrace look right now? Share your experience and tips with us on Facebook.

~ Lorna ~

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