When building a brand new home, one of the most important things for homeowners to consider is choosing the right lot. Location, type (walkout or level), direction, proximity to amenities and size of lot are all important aspects when selecting the lot that works best for you. Within recent years, another element, the homes location to the property line, has become another factor home buyers should consider.

Regular (or “traditional”) lots and zero lot line properties are the two primary types of home lot orientations. Each style has its own benefits and drawbacks. The style you choose will have a strong impact on the value, design, and spacing of your property.

Discussed below are some of the pros and cons of each lot style to help you determine which is best for your wants and needsThese kinds of homes offer a variety of benefits to homeowners. In simple terms, a regular lot line home is one that is plotted squarely in the middle of the lot, allowing for plenty of extra space on all sides. Regular lots are a popular choice for homeowners who enjoy more space in their yard.


The extra space this type of lot provides makes it simpler for owners to customize the home as well. They can add on to their home or garage if they so desire, or install more light-catching windows on each side of the frame to let in light on sunny days. Most regular lots provide at least four feet of free space on all sides of the house, which is enough room to add a wide number of finishing touches.  Having additional space between the homes also acommodates for additional street parking for guests or additional homeowner cars.

While standard lot properties are more versatile, there can be some  downsides to them. Among the first and most important being that they are generally more expensive. If you decide you want to expand the garage or house during the build, these extensions will also increase your home cost. And since standard lot line properties are wider and bigger than zero lot builds, you may have more new home landscaping or maintenance.

Zero Lot Line Homes 

In contrast to the design of standard lot line properties, zero lot line homes are growing in popularity. This plotting style locates one of the house’s sides on the edge of its neighbour’s property line. Because of this “on the edge” configuration, it uses less lot space to build the house. Needless to say, this means instant savings for the home buyer since smaller lots are generally more affordable.

Put another way, 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. You basically get more for less. So for home shoppers with specific budgets, this can be the most significant advantage of zero lot line properties. And in contrast to regular lots, since they use less yard area, zero lot line homes need less yard work to stay beautiful on the outside.

Before determining that a zero lot line house is the perfect match for you and your family, you should consider the possible restrictions of zero lot line homes. First of all, a major restriction is that you cannot have any windows, water taps, terminals, or air vents installed on the side that’s “on the edge.” This is in part to reduce 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 cantilvered and are instead built into the room, which can be seen as a popular design feature.

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Zero lot line homes 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. Most home buyers who are at all budget conscious find that this trade-off is more than worth it.

Have more questions about Zero Lot Line Lots? These great communities feature zero lot lines and our showomes would be happy to answer any questions you may have:

Legacy in SE Calgary

Pinecreek and Sirocco in SW Calgary

Cornerstone in NE Calgary

Cornerbrook in NE Calgary

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, your safest bet is to speak with a showhome representative for the neighbourhood you wish to build in. This can help you figure out which type best suits you.