The Difference Between Regular and Zero Lot Lines

When building a brand new home, one of the most important things for homeowners to consider is choosing the right lot. This means considering how close to each of the property lines the home should be when it's plotted. Regular and zero lot line lots are the primary types of home lots orientations.

Bailee Schaetzle

June 25, 2020
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Discussed below are some of the pros and cons of each lot style to help you determine which is best for your wants and needs.

Regular Lot Lines

A lot with a regular lot line has the house plotted squarely in the middle of the lot.

Regular lots allow for plenty of extra space on all sides and are a popular choice for homeowners who:

  1. Enjoy more space in their yard
  2. Want to build additions on to their home or garage
  3. Want use the additional space between the homes for additional parking
A diagram of a regular lot line property

Most regular lots provide at least four feet of free space on all sides of the house.

This gives enough room to add a wide number of finishing touches – such as installing more light-catching windows on each side of the frame to let in light on sunny days.

While standard lot properties are more versatile, they are also generally more expensive.

For example, maybe you decide that you want to take advantage of the extra space and make an extension to your garage or house during the build. Although this will increase the square footage and value of the home, the extensions will require additional materials and labor which will increase your level of investment.

Open concept kitchen with extended floorplan built on a regular sized lot

Regular lot line properties are wider and bigger than zero lot builds. If you decide that you are not interested in an extension, then you will have extra space that will require more landscaping or maintenance.

Regular lot line properties are an excellent choice for those who want that extra flexibility and customization.

Zero Lot Line Homes

A zero lot line property is one that has one external side wall on the edge of its neighbors’ property line.

The “on the edge” configuration requires less lot space to build the house, which means the lots sizes are smaller and generally more affordable.

As you can see in the image above, the zero lot line has a smaller lot size and is three feet closer to the house next to it.

Zero lot line properties may be perceived to offer a bit less seclusion, however the minimum of 5’ between you and your neighbors provides ample space between you and your neighbors.

Zero Lot Line Design Differences

There are however some design features that are required in order for this “on the edge” configuration to meet the local building standards and guidelines.

For example, there cannot be any windows, water taps, terminals, or air vents installed on the side that’s “on the edge”. This is in part to reduce the amount noise between your house and your neighbour’s property.

To overcome this, plans are oriented to have all venting on one side and to optimize windows on the opposite side and the front and back of the home to bring in lots of light.

Features, such as a fireplace located on the zero side of the home, cannot be cantilevered and are instead built into the room, which can be seen as a popular design feature.

More for Less

A zero lot line property enables buyers to construct a bigger home on their lot generally for less money than a regular lot line setup would allow. So for home shoppers with specific budgets, this can be the most significant advantage of zero lot line properties.

From our experience, most home buyers who are at all budget conscious find that this trade-off is more than worth it.

Which is the right lot style for you?

With regular and zero lot line homes in general, one may not be better or worse than the other. When the time comes to choose, it’s all a matter of understanding exactly what your needs are and picking what’s best for you.

If you need a little more privacy and freedom in customizing your house, you might want to opt for a regular lot line home.

But if getting more bang out of your buck by buying a bigger house at a more affordable price is your primary motivator, a zero lot line property could be just what you’re looking for.

If you’re at all unsure about which lot style you should choose, speak with a show home representative in the neighbourhood that you wish to build in.

These great communities feature zero lot lines and our showhomes would be happy to answer any questions you may have:

About the Author: Bailee Schaetzle

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