From Sunlight Dynamics to Property Value: Understanding Your West-Facing Backyard

Paul West/ Backyard Construction

Are you tired of the same boring backyard? Perhaps you want something more exciting that will give you the freedom to enjoy the outdoors while still being close to home? A west-facing backyard could be the perfect solution for you! The sun’s dynamic energy in this orientation provides a great opportunity for a variety of outdoor activities and plant selection. Plus, it can even increase your property value. But there are some potential challenges that come with a west-facing backyard, too. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of having a west-facing backyard, so you can make an informed decision that fits your lifestyle.

Key Takeaways

  • West-facing backyard offers more sun exposure and outdoor time.
  • It can boost property value in the real estate market.
  • Challenges include heat, glare, and lack of shade.
  • Solutions include installing shade structures, planting trees strategically, and using lightweight furniture.


A west-facing backyard can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on your perspective. On the upside, it can provide more sun exposure, which can mean more outdoor time for you and your family. The heat and glare can be beneficial for promoting plant growth. On the downside, the heat and glare can make for an uncomfortable outdoor temperature, as well as create extra issues with water evaporation and dryness.

Furthermore, with a west-facing backyard you may have to deal with more wind, as the exposure often increases the wind speed. Also, it can be harder to find shade in a west-facing backyard, meaning you’ll need to find other ways to stay cool during the summer months. Lastly, the sun exposure may also cause damage to outdoor furniture and other materials due to sun bleaching and fading.

Overall, whether or not a west-facing backyard is a blessing or a curse depends on your own individual needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a spot to get some sun exposure and promote plant growth, then it may be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a cooler spot to relax and escape the heat, then this may not be the best choice. Weigh the pros and cons carefully to make the best decision for your needs.

Sunlight Dynamics in a West-Facing Backyard

Having a space that’s westwardly-oriented has its own set of benefits and drawbacks when it comes to the dynamics of sunlight. Depending on the time of year, peak sunlight and shade times can vary dramatically. In the summer months, a west-facing backyard will have a longer period of sunlight during the day, making it an ideal place for outdoor activities such as barbecues and gardening. When it comes to energy efficiency, having more sunlight can help reduce electricity bills as it allows you to take advantage of natural light.

When planning your patio placement, it is important to take into account the amount of shade your backyard will receive. During the winter months, the sun will be lower in the sky which could mean more shade. To maximize your outdoor space, consider installing outdoor furniture and shade structures to provide relief from the sun during peak times. This can also help to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere that you can enjoy year-round.

When it comes to the pros and cons of a west-facing backyard, there are a few things to consider. On the one hand, having a longer period of sunlight can be beneficial for activities and energy efficiency. On the other hand, the amount of shade could be a challenge during certain times of the year. With careful planning and consideration of furniture and shade structures, you can create an outdoor space that you can enjoy regardless of the time of year.

Choosing The Best Outdoor Activities in a West-Facing Backyard

When deciding on the best outdoor activities for a westwardly-oriented space, it is important to consider the dynamics of sunlight and the amount of shade it will receive. Sun damage can occur quickly, and overexposure to the sun can easily ruin an outdoor activity. The property value of a west-facing house may be affected by the amount of sun and heat the backyard receives.

Time of Day Shade Heat
Morning Plenty of Shade Cooler Temperatures
Midday Partial Shade Hot Temperatures
Afternoon Little Shade Very Hot Temperatures
Evening Plenty of Shade Cooling Down

A west-facing backyard can be suitable for some outdoor activities, if strategies are used to mitigate the sun’s heat and glare. For instance, timing activities for the cooler parts of the day, like in the morning or evening, can provide plenty of shade and cooler temperatures. Shade structures, such as awnings, canopies, and umbrellas, can also be used to reduce the amount of sun exposure and add some aesthetic value. Similarly, strategically placed trees and shrubs can provide a natural source of shade.

Running, biking, and playing sports can be enjoyable activities in a west-facing space, as long as the afternoon heat is taken into account. Swimming and lounging in a pool are also great options, as they offer protection from the sun. Activities like gardening, reading, and outdoor dining can be pleasant in the mornings and evenings, when the shade is plentiful and the temperatures are milder.

When it comes to outdoor activities in a west-facing backyard, it is important to consider the sun’s dynamics and plan accordingly. By taking the right precautions, like using shade structures and timing activities for cooler parts of the day, people can enjoy the outdoors while avoiding sun damage and overexposure.

Plant Selection for West-Facing Gardens

Carefully selecting plants for your garden can be an overwhelming task, especially if the garden is facing westwards; with the right planning, you can create an oasis of lush greenery that will thrive despite the scorching afternoon sun – as if it were a magical wonderland. When picking plants for a west-facing outdoor environment, you must take into consideration climate considerations, sunlight hours, and cooling costs. Choose plants that can withstand the heat and direct sunlight, as well as those that will provide shade and cool the environment. Shade-loving plants, such as ferns and hostas, should be planted in the afternoon sun for maximum protection. Sun-loving plants, like lavender and roses, should be planted in areas that receive the most sunlight throughout the day. Also, be mindful of the landscape design, and select plants that will complement each other in terms of size, texture, and color. With the right planning, you can create a beautiful and vibrant garden that will thrive and bring joy to your outdoor space.

Energy Efficiency Implications of a West-Facing Backyard

A west-facing backyard can have major implications for energy efficiency, from cooling costs to natural lighting. Gardening considerations such as plant selection, shade, and temperature need to be taken into account to ensure maximum efficiency. Here are four tips for optimizing a west-facing backyard for energy efficiency:

  1. Design an outdoor living space to enjoy outdoor activities and take advantage of the natural light.
  2. Plant trees and shrubs that can provide shade and reduce cooling costs.
  3. Install reflective surfaces such as awnings, trellises, or patios to reduce heat gain.
  4. Consider the orientation of your home when designing the backyard.

With the right design and gardening considerations, a west-facing backyard can be an efficient and enjoyable outdoor living space. Utilizing natural light and reflective surfaces can help reduce cooling costs while optimizing outdoor activities. With careful planning, you can create an energy-efficient backyard that allows you to enjoy the outdoors year-round.

Impact on Property Value

Having a west-facing backyard can drastically boost a property’s value, with savvy buyers nowadays increasingly drawn to its contemporary appeal. The main benefit of a west-facing backyard is that it gets plenty of afternoon sun and offers stunning sunset views. It also reveals seasonal changes in the landscape throughout the year, with the changing light creating different hues and tones. These features make a west-facing backyard an attractive option for potential buyers and can help to increase the value of a property.

Real estate agents are also aware of the benefits of a west-facing backyard, and are likely to list these features when trying to sell a property. This can be a great way to attract potential buyers and add an extra layer of appeal to the home. of course, having a west-facing backyard can assist in a quicker sale and often result in a higher sale price.

By investing in a west-facing backyard, homeowners can expect to see a return on their investment in the long run. A well-maintained and landscaped backyard will only add to the appeal of the property and attract more buyers, as well as potentially increasing the selling price. As the real estate market continues to evolve, having a west-facing backyard can be a great way to stand out and maximize a property’s value.

Designing a West-Facing Backyard

Designing a west-facing backyard can be challenging, but with the right elements and placement, you can create an outdoor space that is beautiful and functional. Consider adding outdoor living spaces, gardens, and shade structures to get the most out of your west-facing backyard. With a little bit of creativity, you can create a backyard oasis that is perfect for entertaining, relaxing, and enjoying the outdoors.

Outdoor living space

You can maximize your outdoor living space with a west facing backyard. With the sun setting in the west, you can enjoy your outdoor living space in the late afternoon and evening. This allows for more freedom to spend time outside and create enjoyable memories.

Pros Cons
More outdoor time Intense afternoon heat
Beauty of sunsets Difficult to shade
Flexible design options More chances for pests

When designing your west facing backyard, you can choose from a variety of options. With the right landscaping, you can create a space that is beautiful and comfortable. However, the afternoon sun can cause intense heat, so you will need to find ways to shade the area. It’s also thru that, the hot afternoon sun can attract more pests.

When you consider all the pros and cons of a west facing backyard, you can make the best decision for your outdoor living space. With the right balance of landscaping and design, you can create an enjoyable and comfortable space.


Adding a garden to your outdoor living space can create a pleasant and inviting atmosphere. If you have a west-facing backyard, you can take advantage of the sun to grow a variety of plants. This will provide you with a beautiful and natural space that you can enjoy with family and friends. There are also plenty of options for adding seating and other features to create a relaxing atmosphere. The cons of a west-facing backyard include the possibility of higher temperatures and more intense sunlight, which can be hard on plants that don’t like the heat. You may also have to deal with strong winds, which can make it difficult to enjoy your outdoor space. However, with proper planning and maintenance, you can make the most of a west-facing backyard and enjoy the benefits of having a garden.

Shade structures

Installing a shade structure in your outdoor space can provide relief from the sun’s rays while adding an interesting aesthetic to your landscape. Studies have found that shade structures can reduce the temperature of an outdoor area by as much as 10 degrees. A west-facing backyard may benefit from extra protection from the sun, making shade structures a great add on. Here are some of the benefits of installing a shade structure in a west-facing backyard:

  1. Create a comfortable area for outdoor activities.
  2. Reduce the risk of sunburns.
  3. Reduce the temperature during hot summer days.
  4. Block the harsh glare of the sun.

Shade structures can be a great way to make the most of your west-facing backyard. Whether you choose a standalone structure or an integrated one, you can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about the sun’s intensity. With the right structure in place, you can relax and enjoy the outdoor space without worrying about the heat.

Addressing Potential Challenges of a West-Facing Backyard

Considering a west-facing backyard for your home can present unique challenges, but with the right preparation, you can make it an enjoyable space! One of the main concerns is the afternoon sun, which can make the area too hot or too bright. Another challenge is the lack of natural shade, which can make the area uncomfortable and unbearable in the summer months.

Pros Cons
Natural Lighting Afternoon Sun
Evening Breeze Lack of Shade
Garden Growth Possible Overheating

Fortunately, there are ways to make a west-facing backyard more comfortable. Installing a pergola or an awning can provide much-needed shade and help reduce the amount of sun exposure. Planting trees or shrubs around the perimeter can offer protection from the sun and create a breezy atmosphere.

It’s also important to consider the type of furniture you’ll be using. Choose items that are lightweight and easy to move around, so you can adjust them according to the sun’s position. Lastly, install a misting system to help cool down the area during hot summer days.

Creating a west-facing backyard takes some extra effort, but with the right planning, it can be a comfortable and enjoyable space. Just be sure to take the necessary steps to protect against the sun’s rays and make the area as comfortable as possible. With a little bit of effort, you can turn your west-facing backyard into an oasis!


Overall, having a west-facing backyard can have both pros and cons. With the right design, you can make the most of your space by taking advantage of the sunlight dynamics, choosing the best outdoor activities, and selecting the right plants. Note that you can also increase the value of your property and make your backyard energy efficient. However, you must be prepared to address any potential challenges that come with a west-facing backyard. Ultimately, if you take the time to consider all the factors, you can create a beautiful and functional backyard that will be an asset to your home.


What does “west-facing” mean?

“West-facing” refers to the direction your house or backyard facing towards the west. It means that the back of the house or the garden receives the sunlight during the afternoon and evening hours when the sun sets in the west.

What are the advantages of living in a west-facing house?

Living in a west-facing house has several benefits. Firstly, the rooms at the back of the house can enjoy the warm afternoon sunlight. Secondly, if you have a garden at the back, it will get the evening sun, making it an ideal spot for outdoor activities or gardening.

Are there any drawbacks to living in a west-facing house?

Yes, there are some cons of living in a house with a west-facing backyard. One major drawback is that during the winter months, the rooms at the back may not receive as much sunlight as they do in the summer. This can make the rooms colder and darker. If you prefer waking up to the morning sunlight, having the rooms at the front may be more beneficial for you.

What should I consider if I want a west-facing backyard?

If you are specifically looking for a west-facing backyard, you should consider the orientation of the house you plan to buy. Make sure the house faces west or has enough open space at the back to create a garden that gets ample sunlight during the afternoon and evening.

Are there any benefits and drawbacks to having rooms at the back of the house?

Having rooms at the back of the house in a west-facing orientation has both advantages and disadvantages. The benefits include enjoying warm afternoon sunlight and having a garden that gets the evening sun. However, the drawback is that these rooms may not get as much sunlight during the winter months and can feel colder compared to rooms at the front of the house.

Does the front garden get any sunlight in a west-facing house?

In a west-facing house, the front garden will not receive direct sunlight during the afternoon and evening hours. However, it may still receive indirect sunlight depending on factors like the height of surrounding structures or trees, and the presence of any obstacles that may cast shadows on the garden.

How does the direction your house faces impact the amount of sunlight it receives?

The direction your house faces plays a vital role in determining the amount of sunlight it receives. In the case of a west-facing house, the back of the house and garden

Further Reading For More Information

  1. What Is The Best Direction For A Backyard To Face? – UpgradedHome
  2. How to Deal with a West-Facing Patio – Buhrt Builders
  3. Shaded West Facing Patio – Photos & Ideas – Houzz
Paul West
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About Paul West

Longstanding and passionate about really having family fun in the backyard. I'm no expert but I've picked up a thing or two along the way!