In our efforts to create our passive solar house we are taking a few key ideas from our current place. It faces East and has a large front porch and back deck with a big overhang. Both the porch and deck are fantastic and keep the house very cool and shaded in the summer, but it does in the winter too, which isn't a good thing. And when I say cool, its probably 15 degrees cooler in the house than outside....Brrr cold in the winter. Its also hard to have house plants in the winter because there is little sun that penetrates the house.