How to Build a House in Calgary That You Love

Homebuying 101 March 27, 2024

When you’re looking at buying and building a new home, there are so many things to consider. From finding the right custom home builder and the perfect community to the style of the home and everything in between, the choices can get a bit overwhelming.

When you’re making such a significant investment, it’s crucial that you love the home you build and are making decisions that will benefit you, your family, and complement your lifestyle long-term.

We want to make the home-building process straightforward and stress-free. So we’ve put together this guide on how to build a house in Calgary that you love. 

From helping you choose the perfect community to reside in, to helping you determine your must-have home features, we hope this article will make your buying and building experience more seamless and enjoyable.

Choosing the Right Calgary Community

A bird's eye view of a Calgary community.

“Location, Location, Location”. 

We’ve all heard this saying many times, and we’re saying it again because we believe the location of your home is so important!

When you’re looking for the right community to build a house, there are a few things to ask yourself:

  • How close is the neighbourhood to work?
  • Is there a nearby shopping centre with grocery stores, coffee shops, or doctor’s offices? 
  • Are there any major roads nearby that will make commuting faster?
  • What are the designated schools for my kids?
  • Is there an off-leash dog park or trails nearby for my furry friend?
  • Are there planned walking paths, green spaces, or playgrounds?

When choosing a community, we recommend driving around the neighbourhood to get a feel for it so you can imagine you and your family living there. 

It’s important to ensure that the location of your home in Calgary aligns with your lifestyle. Luckily, Calgary is an amenity-rich city with a variety of major roads that can connect you virtually anywhere in the city. Additionally, with the new ring road, commuting throughout Calgary is easier than ever. 

 The following are the four Calgary quadrants and what they have to offer!

Northwest Calgary

Northwest Calgary is a vibrant quadrant known for its breathtaking views of the Rockies, family-friendly communities, such as Glacier Ridge and Ambleton, and proximity to outdoor spaces like Bowmont, Bowness, and Nose Hill Parks. Northwest Calgary is more famously known for being the home to:

  • The most Western point of the Bow River
  • The University of Calgary & The University District
  • McMahon Stadium
  • Market Mall
  • Foothills & Children’s Hospitals
  • 9 LRT stations

Northeast Calgary

Northeast Calgary is a dynamic quadrant known for its family-centric neighbourhoods, such as Cornerstone, proximity to great shopping centres and delicious restaurants, as well as being the home to the Calgary International Airport. Some of the most well-loved attractions in northeast Calgary include:

  • Genesis Community Centre
  • Sunridge Mall
  • Telus Spark Centre
  • Calgary Zoo
  • Peter Lougheed Hospital
  • The Calgary International Airport
  • 10 LRT stations
  • Proximity to Cross Iron Mills

Southwest Calgary

Southwest Calgary is home to many new communities, like Aspen Spring Estates, Belmont, Creekview, Pine Creek, Sirocco at Pine Creek, and Vermilion Hill, a plethora of shopping centres and professional services, and proximity to Bragg Creek, Canmore, and Banff National Park. Southwest Calgary is home to many attractions, including: 

  • Chinook Mall
  • Heritage Park
  • Glenmore Park
  • Fish Creek Park
  • Rockyview Hospital
  • 16 LRT stations

Southeast Calgary

Southeast Calgary is the newest quadrant, home to stunning brand-new communities such as Legacy and Wolf Willow. This quadrant is known for being a perfect blend of country and city living, with ample green spaces, walking trails, parklands, and new commercial development spaces. Southeast Calgary is known for being home to:

  • The Calgary Soccer Centre
  • The Saddledome
  • Stampede Park
  • The South Health Campus
  • Fish Creek Park
  • Southcentre Mall
  • 10 Golf Courses

Choosing the Most Experienced Builder

A little toy house on a table with two people holding hard hats in the background.

When you’re set on building your dream home, checking out showhomes is a great start. But beyond falling for a layout, it’s key to ensure the builder has a solid reputation for craftsmanship, attention to detail, adherence to deadlines, and top-notch customer experience.

If you’ve toured a showhome and can see yourself living in the home, we recommend talking to the Area Manager and learning more about the builder and their construction process. 

What is included in their standard specifications? What do their Google Reviews say? Do they provide home warranty coverage beyond the Alberta New Home Warranty Program? Do they use windows and furnaces that focus on energy efficiency? Do they have any builder perks?

Does the builder have time-earned experience building in Calgary? Do they have examples of previous communities or developments that have become well-established over the years? Do they invest in or support their communities beyond building homes? 

Do they have a dedicated interior design team? Move in concierge support? What about their own service and warranty team to ensure you have help in customizing and maintaining your investment?

These are just some of the questions you should ask your new construction builder before working with them to ensure you have a clear understanding of their process and how it suits your needs.

Deciding Your Must-Have Home Features

Interior kitchen and living room of a Shane Homes showhome in Calgary.

Once you’ve decided on the community you want to live in and the builder you want to work with, you need to decide what features are must-haves, nice-to-haves, or can-live-withouts. 

Maybe you know air conditioning is an absolute must but aren’t sure if you need that extra den space. Making a list of these considerations will help you better determine which type of home will best suit your needs and help your Area Manager assist you best.

Home Layout 

When you’re looking at floorplans, imagine yourself walking through your future home. Consider your typical day and how you function in your home. You’ll want to make sure that the layout of your home suits your needs.

Do you want your guests to sleep on the same floor as you, on the main floor? Or in your basement? Do you want your children’s rooms to be close together? Or maybe you need some extra space from them! 

When you’re imagining your day, make sure that you have extra space where you need it and that the flow works for you. You can even consider moving a whole room or staircase – there are so many options.

Paying attention to the ways you use your existing house will help you plan your new home. We encourage you to look at many showhomes, but make sure to keep in mind that some homes are customizable – you aren’t forced to live in any particular floor plan! 

From redesigning your kitchen to adding rooms or even widening your whole house, Shane’s Love It or Customize It program allows you to have everything you want in your home.

Number of Rooms 

To figure out how many rooms you need, you’ll have to think about your future. The number of rooms in a dream home for a retiree and the number in a dream home for a growing family are going to be different. 

How long do you want to stay in your new home? Envision what you want your life to look like in the future, and do your best to plan for that scenario. Also, consider whether you have a large family or do a lot of entertaining. Sometimes, home buyers will only consider the number of rooms they need on a daily basis and end up having to create makeshift bedrooms when guests come.

Size of Rooms 

Think about where you spend the most time in your current home. Is it relaxing in your bedroom? Cooking in your kitchen? Watching TV in the living room? 

With the ability to increase or decrease the size of various spaces in your house, you’ll want to make the rooms you spend the most time in feel very spacious. 

And make sure not to forget about the bathroom! Size and planning can make a big difference in the luxury and effectiveness of your bathroom. Fitting the family in during bath time can be chaotic in a space that’s too small. You’ll want to make sure you feel comfortable in every room of your new home. 

Living Space 

Typically, the most time spent in the house is in the kitchen, living room, and dining room. Whether you’re cooking for the family, entertaining friends, or just spending a relaxing night at home, your living space needs to be suitable for every occasion!

If you need to see what your kids are doing in the living room, you’ll need to make sure you have a clear line of vision from the kitchen through to the living room. Or if you have a large family that loves to cook together, you’ll want to have plenty of space to maneuver around those family members to get to your dishes, or why not add a spice kitchen?


People have a tendency to accumulate a lot of stuff as they go through life, and it all has to go somewhere. Make sure you have enough space in your home to store both the items you use daily and the items that may have less use, like holiday decor. 

A bigger mudroom can be helpful for families, or built-in bookshelves can be great for an avid reader. Don’t forget about cabinetry in your kitchen and bathrooms too! 

Finding the Best Home Type

Exterior of Shane Homes paired home showhome.

Now that you have a better idea of what you require in a home, it’s time to determine if a townhome, duplex, laned home, or front drive home is right for you and your lifestyle needs. 

Front-drive homes are a great property option for larger families or anyone who values a seamless transition between their home and their street with a garage. These homes are often larger, boasting 2,000+ sq. ft of luxury living space. However, the size can change depending on what your lot will allow.

Townhomes are perfect for families, aging couples, or single people who desire a cozy living space without compromising on the comfort and convenience of a well-designed home. Townhomes may be fee-simple or have condo fees. Ask yourself about how involved you want to be in maintaining the spaces around your home, then talk to your area manager.

Duplexes, or paired homes, are a great option for families, first-time buyers, or individuals looking for a practical yet high-quality home. Duplex floorplans with some builders start at 1,600 sq. ft. of living space and can go up to 1,800 sq. ft. of living space. 

Laned homes are a fantastic option for growing families or those who want to maximize backyard space, desire a bit more privacy from neighbouring properties, and seek a more customizable home design that aligns with their unique preferences.

If you’re unsure which exact home type is best for you, go tour some showhomes and imagine yourself living in the home. Ask yourself questions like: 

  • Does this space feel big enough? 
  • Do I need a larger kitchen island to accommodate all my family members?
  • Do I need more bathroom space?
  • Do I need an attached garage? Can I live with a detached garage? Do I even need a garage? 
  • Do I want a larger backyard space?
  • Will I need more bedrooms or larger bedrooms in the future?

Build Your Dream Home With Shane Homes

A couple smiling and grabbing keys from an Area Manager.

Now that you know how to build a house in Calgary that you love, it’s time to put your foot on the gas and start building your dream home!

For over 45 years, Shane Homes has stood as the trusted choice for home developments in Calgary. 

When you choose us to build your home, we will walk you through the entire home building process to ensure you’re purchasing and building a house that is perfect for you and your family. We’ll make every step of the process as easy and fun as possible.

Take a look at our current home models and the great Calgary communities we’re developing in, or use our Build and Price tool to start building your dream home today!

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