I recently realised that I have posted images of our house layout, but I forgot to give you a better idea about its position on the land and its relation towards world directions. I would like to fix that now.
While we were still looking to buy land, we knew there was no such thing as a perfect place. Like anything else, there are advantages and disadvantages one has to balance before making such a commitment. We had to scrutinise our priorities and most of all view many other lands in order to realise what a gem we found at the end of our search.
We live in a bigger district town of about 80 000 residents. There are plenty of schools, universities, rich cultural life, super markets, great infrastructure, a lot of sport events including an annual marathon, picturesque main square with abundance of cafes and restaurants. The town is surrounded by lovely hills all around and there are numerous little villages scattered around these hillsides in every direction. At the beginning we were considering to get a land within about 20-25 minute drive from our town. Looking back, I am so very happy we managed to get a place only about 7 minutes away.
We had viewed lands in new developments which are popping up everywhere. Not only were they small, on average around 600 square metres, they were very costly too. One main disadvantage of them is the fact, that you don't know who will be your future neighbour and what kind of building might appear next to you in the coming years. You obviously won't buy the last piece of land either as it will basically be a leftover.
Every now and then some random lands appeared. Although their asking prices were a bit more acceptable, they had other major defects. Once it was an electrical transformer in close vicinity of otherwise a delightful place, another time the offered land was just a field and one would need to go through a long turmoil of registering it as a suitable building site, then there was a land on the very top of a hill offering beautiful views, but terrible echoing noise from the road below and on one occasion we saw a new suburban area with decent lands, but unfortunately among birds singing my attention was drawn to a constant weird noise coming from a nearby ridge. We figured there was some kind of an underground pump.
Then we found our old house. Our very first impression of it was indeed positive. As I was finding out more and more information about it we were falling for its charm and the charm of the whole land surrounding it. That was the land we ended up buying.
The plot is roughly a rectangular shape. The access road is not very busy with traffic, because it is a dead end. The orange triangle represents a driveway we share with our neighbours and the brown footprint was the old house and the barn we demolished.
Here is the footprint of our new house. I also included positions of the neighbouring houses for better orientation. The North and South are clearly visible and being in the Northern hemisphere South is the sunny side for us.
The picture above also depicts our trees - two walnut, three apple and one pear. Since then I've planted three more. We decided to keep the old cellar behind the house. It needs to be renovated, but it's fully functional and practically the only building we left standing after demolishing.
The best position for a passive or low energy house is direct south facing. Unless going for an obscure angular shape or setting the house in an angle this was not an option for us. On the other hand I am happy to have a south corner, because of the broader variety of light it will bring mostly through south-east and south-west windows.
The elevation of the land at the front is the steepest. It has been altered after demolishing. The map below shows only a rough idea. Overall elevation from the very front to the very back is probably around six metres.
As you can see the house is located at the most level part of the whole plot though there is still a height difference.