home perched on the side of a hill has advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages could be listed as: 1.
Good drainage. 2. Sliding off of frost. 3. Possible geological space
under the hill holding water for a well. 4. Pleasant view of surrounding
countryside. 5. Cool breezes in the summer to waft through the house,
and by the way, this was why the Romans built their homes on a hillside.
6. The ability to see one's guests come and go 7. A place for family and
friends to come for a brief respite and relief from their burdens,
enabling them to return to their daily lives refreshed and rested.
The disadvantages are: 1. Winter winds
are often swift and cold making life miserable for man and beast. It can
tear at yard furniture, sheds, or anything else light and easily picked
up. 2. The good drainage can become a swift run off of valuable rain
water taking with it top soil 3. With the loss of topsoil comes a dry
hard packed ground 4. Roads to the location must be designed so as to
catch the water rather than to become a funnel for the run off. 5. A
house standing at the top of a hill can look bleak and
"spooky" without a tie to the grounds around it. 6. Gardening
must be looked toward with a different set of rules because of the above
problems. 7. A simple mowing of the grounds will not be enough to care
for the landscape
On this particular article we will
address the north entrance. Depending on what room is entered through
this doorway becomes an important issue. If it is the entrance to be
used mostly it is certainly necessary to block the swift cold wind from
the room. Really, there is only one way to do this and that is to build
a small enclosed atrium. Depending on the amount of money one wishes to
spend determines the size and decor. This off the living room entrance
is four foot by twelve foot. The Romans, of course, built them large
enough to enclose a pool while having an open roof. They were generally
flanked by cylindrical shaped pillars. The lower half of this
comparatively very modest one is covered with tin siding. It is to be
insulated and covered with a light paneling inside. Covering the floor
will be a ceramic tile.
There is a greatly increased comfort to
the room the minute it is completed. The difference in the temperature
can be immediately experienced. A room that was once always cold and
uncomfortable becomes pleasant and cozy. Not having the blast of the
wind coming in with a person is very pleasant also. The savings in
heating cost is not to be overlooked, because it is considerable.
The glass on the upper part of the atrium
keeps the view and it is not lost to the room on the north. The view on
a hill side is certainly well worth preserving and saving at all costs.
Since the atrium is not heated one has to take advantage of spring,
summer and fall for hanging plants to decorate the small space. They do
increase the beauty of the tiny room.
The door entering the living room holds a
full length glass storm door. This will allow you to leave the larger
door open late into the fall and early in the spring where potted green
plants extend the seasons holding away the length of time one has to
live with bleak winter days.