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Hello and question on which direction your cave faces

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Hello and question on which direction your cave faces

Post by DannyandJosie on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:16 pm

Hi everyone,

My wife and I have been talking and planning to buy a cave house for the last couple of years. We had initially planned to rent, but the current exchange rate, low purchase costs and a belief that within the next couple of years (when we hope to move permanently) that prices will rise has led us to consider buying later this year. As such we have booked a month to come over in September and are currently putting together a wish list and undertaking research. We are looking in the Galera/Huescar area and see many people saying that you want a south facing cave house, whilst seeing that most for sale are east or west facing. I am guessing that a fair number of people here have cave houses that don't face south and am wondering how important this is and what peoples experiences are. This site was a great find and have already been working my way through it and am sure that we will regularly be asking for your advise. Many thanks. danny & Josie

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Re: Hello and question on which direction your cave faces

Post by miron on Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:57 am

A lot of Spanish people prefer east facing caves, which in summer get the morning sun but are in shade during the afternon when it can be extremely hot. A west facing cave might not get much sun at all in the winter, if it is built into a high hillside. My cave faces south-west, but has a small hill above, so the patio gets the sun from mid-morning onwards. There are some areas which are in shade right through the winter months which affects what you can plant there. It really does get hot in the summer so we've built a shaded area, and retreat into the cave most summer afternoons for while. When we were looking to buy a cave I always took a compass with me! If you find a property you really like it's worth visiting at different times of the day to get an idea of how the sun will affect it. The prevailing wind seems to be from the south-west, so if you don't like strong breezes that's worth thinking about too - it dries the washing well though!

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Re: Hello and question on which direction your cave faces

Post by MSA on Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:48 am

we got two caves, one facing south , one facing east .

South has a very stable warm temp , unheated 15°c, sunny days the temp inside clims to 20 without heating .
With heating 3 hours a day ( wood ) the temp setlle arond 22°c .
Our windows are 2 x 2.5 meter ( x2 ) and we have a veranda, with highly isolation and all windows

East temp is 14°c , needs heating to maintain the temp around 20
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Re: Hello and question on which direction your cave faces

Post by Mariposa on Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:22 am

Welcome to the Forum!

From chatting with some of the older people in my area, the direction a cave faced used to be quite important many, many years ago, when it was being dug out.  The surrounding area, shelter from mountains, etc., all being taken into consideration.  

These days, with modern forms of ventillation and heating, it is no longer such a priority.  I know people that live in caves that face in various directions with, no problems whatsoever. If light inside the cave is important to you, then direction might be even more of a consideration to you.

As Miron says, the Spanish seem to prefer East facing.  They tend to eat outside in the evening and don't want the heat that some South and West facing caves can get.  Which ever way it faces, if eating outside is a priority, then just put up some form of shade structure, either permanent or temporary!

IMHO it is all down to personal preference and how you want to use your cave.  I wanted West facing, as I love photography and sunsets are my main interest.  My cave is South/West facing and I love it.  It also means I have no problems with sun for my Solar system.

The type of rock/earth the cave is formed from is very important.   I think this has been discussed on other threads.  Also, if you don't want it too warm inside in the summer, not too much new build, or if it has some, make sure it is well insulated!

Caroline
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Re: Hello and question on which direction your cave faces

Post by MSA on Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:01 pm

our cave is banana shape

east in the breakfast room
south in the isolated veranda
west in the dining room
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Re: Hello and question on which direction your cave faces

Post by DannyandJosie on Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:43 pm

Thanks for your comments which have set our minds at ease as all the caves that meet our criteria and budget so far are west facing.

DannyandJosie

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Re: Hello and question on which direction your cave faces

Post by Tim Cullis on Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:28 pm

Our cave is facing due west so we get sun in the evening right until it sets and we get to see some absolutely stunning sunsets. Which sounds great, but as miron points out, we don't get the morning sun, and in winter time this means not until 11am is there sun on the patio. Also, in the summer we need to close the shutters in the afternoon to stop the cave heating up too much.

I love our cave, so this is a minor moan in the grand scheme of things. What is really important is shade and the previous owner seems to have relied on beach umbrellas which have a habit of taking off over the valley in high winds, a bit like Mary Poppins. So we had a large external shaded area built which is perfect.
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Re: Hello and question on which direction your cave faces

Post by MSA on Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:11 pm

if your windows are 50 cm build in in the cave , the high sun does get in the cave in the summer .
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Re: Hello and question on which direction your cave faces

Post by Edofwigan on Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:33 pm

Forums are awesome.

I am new and reading answers, important answers to questions, I had not even thought of !

Thank you, one and all study

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