Tips for calculating square footage in a home

Aug , 2
Tips for calculating square footage in a home

It is important to know how to calculate house plan measurements if you want to list your property for sale. It is necessary to know the amount of space a property has (or doesn’t have) if you are going to acquire a real estate deal. 

Why do you need to calculate square footage?

There are several instances where you may need to calculate square footage. Think of what specifics a prospective home buyer would look for on a property listing. It is the square footage of the property. It is extremely important to know how to calculate the square footage of a property because knowing it will help you estimate the sale price of a home. Knowing the square footage of your home helps you to evaluate the property tax of your property. If you feel any disparity in the square footage, you can calculate it by yourself. If you want to do renovations or additions to your property, you would need to know the square foot of your property to get a permit from your city. It is always a good idea to understand how renovations will impact your property’s price, irrespective of whether you plan to sell it or keep it.

There are several things one needs to keep in mind if you want to become proficient in evaluating the square footage of your home. 

Is it possible for me to measure the square footage of my home?

You can definitely measure the square footage of your home but it is not an easy task to do. Measure the gross living area of your home (GLA) is not that difficult but there are a lot of parameters you need to consider while calculating the square footage of your home.

How to measure square feet of a house

Basically, you just require 3 things to measure your home’s square foot: a notepad, calculator, and measuring tape. A simple way to do it is to imagine your house as a perfect rectangle and multiply the length times the width. If your house is around 50 by 30 feet, the square footage of your home would be 1500. A home doesn’t need to be of perfect shape. There might be variations in dimensions and you would be required to spend more time measuring the rooms and areas individually before adding totalling the overall square footage. 

Suffice it to say, that there is no universal home square footage calculated per se. While calculating the square footage, you need to include all livable spaces, excluding basements, garages, or attics. One way to measure the home square footage is by looking at a floor plan of your property and measuring from there.

How Do Builders Calculate Square Footage

It is not really difficult to determine the square footage of a property. Let us look at how builders calculate square footage.

  1. Height Requirements:

Height is an important parameter while calculating a home’s square footage. The height of a room will give you a hint if you can add it to the home’s gross living area (GLA). The ceiling must be of a certain height to count the square feet of that particular room in the usable living space equation. 

  1. Garages:

Irrespective of whether or not the garage is finished, it is not considered while calculating the total square footage of a home. The reason is that not most of the garages are on the same level as the rest of the property whereas their height is typically lower. 

  1. Protrusions: 

While calculating the square footage of a home, protrusions like chimneys and windowsills. These protrusions are slightly elevated and are not on the same level as the rest of the home.

  1. Finished Vs. Unfinished:

Unfinished areas of a home are not considered while calculating the total square footage. While calculating the finished square footage area, you may not consider unfinished areas such as basements, unfinished bonus spaces, etc.

  1. Home additions:

You may include home additions while calculating the square footage of a home only if they are finished and connected to the home by a finished staircase or hallway. Nevertheless, it may only be added if the staircase or hallway is not finished.

  1. Basements:

Generally, basements are not considered while calculating the gross living area of a home. It cannot be included while calculating the total square footage of a home because basements are below the rest of the home. 

  1. Attics:

Attics can only be considered while calculating the total square footage of the home: if they are finished and meet the height requirements.

There are several parameters to be considered while calculating the square footage of a property. Though it is not difficult to calculate it, one should be aware of how to calculate the square footage. Calculating the total square footage of a home is extremely important for determining the price of a property.


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