Maybe its not the builder's fault, maybe the fault lies in the architect's hands. As far as I am concerned the two most important things to consider when building a house are natural light plus the free heat from the glorious sun in the winter, and the view. Rechelle from The Country Doctor's Wife, agrees with me, or I agree with her, about the light. (Read her blog titled The Play of Light.)
We live in a mountain valley, sometimes referred to as Happy Valley. Sometimes that is serious and sometimes it is in jest. The ones who say "Happy Valley," with half closed eyes will find fault everywhere. Those who say it with seriousness would be happy anywhere. Happy Valley is a good place to live. We have all four seasons and wonderful mountain views. The sunsets aren't bad either. The summers are hot, just like summers are supposed to be--except for this last summer when we baked--the winters are cold, giving us a nice excuse to buy cute coats.
When we bought our house I was sad, and glad too, that our house faced east . East is where the view is. But east is not where the warming summer sun is. The warming winter sun hits the side of the garage. With just a little planning a room could have been built to take advantage of that wonderful winter sun.
I grew up in a house with a sun room and it was a glorious place. If you were home from school sick you could go lay on the couch in the sun room and bake the germs right out of your system. The heat that collected there spilled into the rest of the house. If I could afford it I'd tear our present house down and build a passive solar one with the solar room filled with flowering plants, ferns dripping with greenness and a hammock or two. I wouldn't build somewhere else unless I could take every neighbor with me so there will have to be tearing down done.
On our way home from the far north of the state--where we had Thanksgiving dinner with our son, his beautiful wife and their two funny dogs--we passed a new subdivision not far from our home. I am still shaking my head in wonder. South walls had either no windows at all or they built bathrooms on that side with tiny slits for windows. On the side of the house with the best mountain view they often put a garage. That makes no sense to me. What's the matter with people?
If I were in charge every house would have a view. Every house would have a room facing south. Every house would have a long porch, facing the view, with porch swings and a little table filled with lemonade and sugar cookies in the summer and the porch swings would be filled with friends. In the winter the porch would have a little table filled with hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies and the porch swings would be filled with friends bundled up in warm winter coats. There would be much visiting and laughter.
If I were in charge homes would have personality and lots of glorious daylight, winter and summer and always some kind of wonderful view. It's all about the light and the view, as far as I'm concerned.
And you know what else? Someone is going to pay a million dollars for those awful viewless, dark houses. Sometimes the madness of others is simply amazing.