Arid Abodes: 5 Tips for Dry Climate Home Design

In recent decades, a growing number of homeowners have been drawn to the unique beauty and predictable sunshine commonly found in dry, arid regions. As these climates have grown in popularity for residents, those in the construction industry have taken notice. Top Arizona, Nevada, and Utah home builders have come up with proven strategies to make the structures they build last longer and provide homeowners with a comfortable lifestyle. Here are some of the most important elements they incorporate when drawing up plans for dry climate homes:

Dry Climate Home Design - Arid Abodes: 5 Tips for Dry Climate Home Design
Image: libertyhomes.com

  1. Employ Strategic Orientation

One area of study architects try to master is building orientation. They learn which angles and layouts are most advantageous to use in different climates to best take advantage of environmental conditions. The goal is to maximize comfort. In a hot, dry climate, it’s important to keep the home and residents protected from the sun’s powerful rays. This can be done by structuring a home in such a way that the building’s solar exposure is kept at a minimum. If the home’s most lengthy walls face north and south rather than east and west, for example, less direct sunlight will shine in through the windows. If you’re building a home in this type of region, you can install windows and doors on the northern and western sides of the house that receive the least amount of direct sunlight.

  1. Build Thick, Smooth Walls

Thick, smooth building materials make perfect walls for a desert abode. They serve as an insulator against the heat of the sun. Concrete blocks and traditional adobe are both sensible wall building materials for this type of climate. They’re dense, durable, and ideal for keeping homeowners comfortable year round. You can paint them with paint obtained at your local hardware store that’s specifically designed to withstand the intensity of the sun.

  1. Keep Hot Air Outside and Cool Air Inside

The most important thing to remember about installing windows and doors into your dry climate home is that they must be as air tight as possible. Otherwise, you may end up paying huge energy bills trying to keep your home cool. Windows that are inset into the walls or that include large awnings are ideal. Another consideration is double-paned windows. The extra pane can add another layer of protection for the heat and intensity of the sunlight.


  1. Think Green to Save On Energy Costs

One of the advantages of living in a dry, hot climate is the opportunity to harness the sun’s energy. Installing solar panels or even solar panel shingles that are currently on the market can greatly reduce your energy bills. Since water is scarce, you can look into installing water saving low-flow toilets. You could even check into a residential graywater system that can allow you to use treated and recycled water. Though helpful in any region, energy star appliances are another way to save on energy costs and help the environment when building a home in the desert.

  1. Use Landscaping To Relieve Heat

The type of landscaping you incorporate into your home design can affect the level of comfort you experience living in a dry, hot climate. Planting trees around the exterior of your home, particularly on the side that will receive the most intense sunlight, can make a positive difference. If you live in an area where it’s difficult to grow large trees or you’d like some relief while the trees are still growing, you could consider purchasing some large, high quality outdoor awnings. Another landscaping tip that will save on energy costs is to plant vegetation that can withstand drought conditions. Your local plant nursery should be able to give plenty of advice on which plants grow best in the area. Building your home with a courtyard in the center is another way to enjoy outdoor space with a minimal amount of direct sunlight. Courtyards are wonderful for dry, hot climates, because the walls of your home can provide shade from different angles as the sun moves through the sky during the day. They’re also ideal locations to enjoy a relaxing dinner under the stars at night.

Climate is a major factor to consider when it comes to building a home you’ll be happy to live in all year long. If you’re working with Utah home builders in a home in a dry climate, keep these tips in mind. They can help you to maximize the advantages while downplaying the disadvantages of living in a hot, sunny location.

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