The Best House Shape

When you are looking at builders web sites the main things you can look at besides Facades are Floor Plans………But what is the best shape for the overall house?

Making good use of Winter Sun

If you have a Well Orientated site (Longest dimension runs East West) and you are not Shaded by tall trees or other properties the best shape will normally be a rectangle.

This will provide a long wall with North Facing Windows where most of the rooms can be warmed in the window. As the other dimension will be shorter the sun will penetrate well into the house. Just make sure you have proper eaves or a pergola to avoid the summer sun.

If you have got either a South or North facing site it’s probably best to go for as wide a house as you can fit on the block.

No Winter Sun

You should aim to provide the maximum amount of internal space compared to wall space. This is both economic in terms of wall materials and minimisation of heat transfer (Less heat lost in winter, less heat gain in summer)

The shape that fits provides the most internal space for minimum walls is a circle…….but not everyone wants to live in a yurt.


A couple of practical problems are:

  • Getting furniture to fit
  • Although the space is efficient the diameter is fairly large so larger round houses won’t fit into most rectangular blocks.

Don’t want a round house, then the next best thing is to make the shape as close to a square as possible.

Have you got a yurt or other type of round house?…….. What do you like about it?


See Bubble Diagrams if you want to design your own home plan


1 Comment

  1. case

    Spot on with this write-up, thanks for that info.

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