Q. The home we are in now is in a subdivision built by a reputable builder and is a standard floor plan on one floor. The problem is on the south side of the house there is a lot of sunshine that comes in the windows. I have to pull the blinds most of the daylight hours. When it rains, and I have the windows open even a crack, I get wet interior windowsills. I finally noticed that the overhangs on the house are just 12” and the overhang on the gable ends is only 8”. Our previous house had much bigger overhangs, maybe 24 or 30” and when it rained, we rarely had a problem. I don’t ever remember the sunlight issue. We are thinking about building again. What would be considered proper size overhangs? — Jason of Auburn
A. Most homeowners don’t consider it but overhangs on your home make a difference in the function of your house. Larger overhangs can have an impact on the home's style also.
The more of an overhang you have the more they protect the wall and window/door systems from water, wind, snow and ice.
Standard production homes often do not have large overhangs because they are slightly more money to build. The roof slope can have an impact. If the roof pitch is high, a large overhang can get in the way of your doors and windows opening properly.
One universal rule to keep sunshine in the summer from not shining directly into your windows is the 45% rule. It is the distance, height from your windowsill to the bottom of the overhang times 45%.
For example, you have a 48” tall window and the distance from the top of the window to the overhang is 8”, total 56” x 45% equals basically 25” overhang. This size overhang is fairly standard or larger with a custom home especially with the taller windows and walls common today.