Locating Your House and Passive Solar Energy


 Cynthia Brownell watercolor

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By Cynthia Brownell

In the last blog, I talked about hiring a forester or logging company to come in and help you clear your land. Granted, this scenario isn’t appropriate for everyone. Some lucky person will buy an already-established barn and house, or buy a piece of property in a large subdivided field. This is for the person who is standing in a mess of trees wondering, like we did, “Now what?”

Once the property is logged, it usually comes as a shock to most people because the land looks like a mess. It is amazing, however, to see how fast the forest can re-establish itself. When it comes to planning, you will have to stay on your toes. Our first year after the property was logged, we noticed a large growth of blackberry bushes. We were completely excited. Blackberry jam and jellies. After five years of berry picking I now have a strange fascination with running down a number of blackberry bushes with my lawn mower. They are everywhere!

Now that the land is cleared, the question is where to place your house. In the southern United States, house placement is different from where we live in the northern climate. Our winters are long and cold and summers are short and sweet. We needed to place our cabin in the most energy-efficient location on the property. We were so proud of ourselves; we placed the cabin in a location that would get the most sunlight throughout the day. This is what we learned:

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