For our next and hopefully LAST home, I look forward to having our home seating in the middle of the woods. Environmental shading is a way of using natural resources to block the heat before it can get to your house. In other words, environmental shading is kind of like putting a hat on your house or like using greenery as an umbrella that would shield you from the sun at the beach. Environmental shading is important and not used enough in the South, especially not by big fancy "developers." For them, environmental shading only gets in their way of making more money.
|This part of our land leads to the area where we want to build our cabin.|
|Crawfish boil across the street at our neighbor's for their daughter's|
birthday party. We all have to stand outside and make our drive-ways
our gathering places, under the blaring sun!
|As it gets later in the day, the heat gets bearable|
|Living in the city does have its perks - it sure is easy to get together|
and we just have to walk across the street to go back home.
In Texas, the need for solar "heat" is not as necessary. It's usually TOO hot. I have a need to get AWAY from the intense solar heat! Therefore, I believe it is better to keep the cabin in the midst of forest trees so that we can have relief from the many months of sweltering Texas heat. Our winters are usually not so bad, except for a few freak days out of the year, so there's no valid concern for us to let the house be partially exposed to the sun. I'd just rather enjoy the cool temperatures.
A few strategically planted trees and shrubs and vines can make a huge difference in how it feels inside your home and these plantings can make a marked dent in those monthly electric bills that you can't stop from coming in the mail. However, it seems that every house we've owned has been so expensive to keep cool during the hot weather months, simply because our homes are built so close to one another, with concrete foundations, added to the fact that we simply can't have trees all around us. To make matters worse, too many builders clear cut land for development and as they build a house, they stick a twig tree in the front yard which will take twenty years to provide ample environmental shading. So, a lot of people in our neighborhood utilize a faster solution by putting up a trellis in hot spots and then letting vines grow upward so they can provide a heat barrier.
|I love this cabin, but it's TOO MUCH in the full sun.|
I do realize that the area around the house will be completely transformed from the look we are accustomed to enjoying in the city. We probably won't be surrounded by a little sectioned off yard with organized driveways and sidewalks. Once we're in the country, the heavy shading by mostly pine trees will likely mean that we will have a yard that will look natural with an outdoor carpet of pine-needles and leaves. This will require that our porches be covered and that our outdoor patios be partially covered. But, I look forward to this woodsy look and I greatly anticipate the coolness of our home.
|Nicely done screened porch. But, trees and needed nearby for shading.|
|This little cabin is sweet.|
|What about this ultra-modern spin on a "log cabin?" I got a kick out of it.|
|I could do some sittin on a porch similar to this...|