How to Calculate the Square Footage of a House

Single-Story Houses

  1. 1

    Draw an image of the house’s define on a sheet of paper. Single-family properties are simpler to measure outside. Simply the size and width of the house must be measured.

  2. 2

    Place the tab of the tape measure on one nook of the house and pull it till you attain the alternative facet. This job is less complicated with two folks, one to carry the tab in place and the opposite to measure the size of the wall. In case your tape measure is not lengthy sufficient to succeed in the opposite facet, make a small mark with the pencil on the wall and write down the measurement as much as that time on the paper drawing of the house’s format.

  3. 3

    Repeat these steps till the size and width of the house have been famous. Add up the toes of the 2 wall spans individually, and spherical any fractions as much as the following inch. Convert the measurement to toes for each partitions. Multiply the size by the width, and the product will point out what number of sq. toes are within the residence.


Why Is Sq. Footage Vital?

Sq. footage is vital in actual property as a result of it’s the clearest illustration of the overall space of livable house in a home-owner's property. Right here is an summary of the sensible causes that sq. footage is vital.

  • 1. Residence worth: Sq. footage is without doubt one of the variables factored into setting the itemizing value or figuring out the honest market worth of a home. Should you order an appraisal on your new home to find out its honest market worth, the appraiser will issue the sq. footage of this home to similarly-sized properties within the space.
  • 2. Securing a mortgage: Most mortgage lenders would require homebuyers to get a home appraisal earlier than granting them a mortgage to guard the lender from promising more cash than the home is value. In case your appraiser finds {that a} house is value lower than it’s listed for—probably due to a sq. footage discrepancy—the client might not get a mortgage for the home until the itemizing value is adjusted to have an effect on the appraisal worth.
  • 3. Property taxes: Assessing your private home and measuring the sq. footage might help gauge whether or not a home-owner is paying too little or an excessive amount of in property taxes. Your property’s sq. footage immediately impacts the assessed worth of the home, which influences property taxes you’re required to pay.

Who ought to measure the sq. footage of my home?

As of April 2022, Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that buys mortgages from lenders, requires that appraisers observe the Square Footage Method for Calculating: ANSI® Z765-2021. Whereas this commonplace can’t be adopted when measuring apartment-style condos, Fannie Mae requires it for any non-apartment-style residence. This consists of townhouses, rowhouses, and single-family properties.

As a result of Fannie Mae purchases about half of all mortgages that lenders make, the standards that lenders have for his or her loans usually conform to Fannie Mae requirements, which now embody having an appraiser measure a house’s sq. footage, compliance with the ANSI commonplace, and a computer-generated fairly than a hand-drawn sketch.

Keck additionally recommends hiring an appraiser to measure the sq. footage. It’ll price you about $300 to $400, and “they’ll put their stamp on it so it’s official. That is the most effective and most dependable option to estimate sq. footage.”

Find out how to calculate the sq. toes of a home

When making ready to measure the sq. footage of a house, be it a home, condominium, or townhouse, begin with a number of easy provides:

  • Paper and pencil
  • Calculator
  • Measuring tape and/or laser measuring instrument

If the property is an ideal rectangle, merely measure the size and width and multiply these two numbers collectively. For instance, in case your one-story home is 60 toes vast by 40 toes lengthy, then your property is 2,400 sq. toes (60 x 40 = 2,400).

Nevertheless, most properties have extra complicated ground plans. When that is the case, it’s useful to observe these easy steps to measure sq. footage.

  1. Draw a tough sketch of your total house, labeling the entire rooms you could measure. Embrace hallways and vestibules as their very own “room.”
  2. Measure the size and width, in toes, of every room. Then, multiply the size by the width to calculate that room’s sq. footage. For instance: If a bed room is 12 toes by 20 toes, it’s 240 sq. toes (12 x 20 = 240). For every room, write the overall sq. footage within the corresponding house in your sketch.
  3. As soon as every room is measured, add up all of the measurements to find out your private home’s whole sq. footage.

Be aware: Should you stay in a tract residence, condominium or townhome neighborhood, you could possibly get architectural drawings or grasp builder plans of your ground plan. These might have already got your sq. footage calculated.

How To Measure Sq. Footage Of A Home: FAQ

There’s a variety of confusion surrounding the sq. footage of a house, probably due to misinformation and a scarcity of well-known tips. That being stated, if one thing appears unclear, most of the time, somebody has in all probability puzzled the identical factor. Beneath are some generally requested questions on the way to measure the sq. footage of a home.

Completed Vs. Unfinished

Typically talking, unfinished areas of the house are to not be added to its whole sq. footage. To be included, the realm have to be completed. For instance, you’ll be able to record unfinished areas — like basements — as unfinished bonus areas, so long as you permit them out of the general completed sq. footage calculation.

Are Basements Included In Home Sq. Footage?

Basements have change into the topic of many heated debates surrounding a house’s sq. footage. On the very least, the reply is, nicely, sure and no. You see, basements — whether or not they’re completed or not — shouldn’t be thought-about in a house’s whole sq. footage, in line with ANSI. That stated, it’s fully acceptable for householders to record the dimensions of their completed basement in a separate a part of the itemizing (separate from the house’s precise gross residing space). So whereas at present’s requirements advise in opposition to including the sq. footage of a completed basement to the house’s GLA, there’s no purpose you’ll be able to’t embody the precise dimension of it some other place within the itemizing.

[ Want to maximize your property value? Download this step-by-step guide to making “high-ROI” home improvements. ]

Does Home Sq. Footage Embrace Storage?

Whether or not it’s completed or not, a house’s gross residing space doesn’t embody the storage. In line with ANSI, “garages and unfinished areas can’t be included within the calculation of completed sq. footage.” Most garages can’t depend in direction of the sq. footage of a house as a result of they aren’t usually on the identical degree as the house; they’re often decrease.

How Many Sq. Ft Are In The Common Home?

The typical home has about 2,400 sq. toes. In line with the U.S. Division of Housing and City Growth, the typical sq. footage in 2017 was 2,426 sq. toes. In distinction, the typical sq. footage was 1,660 in 1973. The quantity has steadily elevated over the many years, reflecting People’ want for extra rooms and bigger properties.

What Is The Sq. Footage Of A 12 X 12 Room?

A 12 X 12 room has 144 sq. toes. Merely put, sq. toes are calculated by multiplying the width by the size of a given room. Every room is then added as much as get the overall sq. toes of a home. Issues can get difficult with add ons and different options that take away house from rooms. A great way to beat any structural points is to interrupt every room into squares. Search for the place partitions line up and divide issues in a approach that makes sq. footage simpler to calculate. You possibly can then add up your smaller numbers to get a extra correct whole.

Do Closets Depend In Sq. Footage?

Closets do depend in sq. footage, as long as they meet necessities utilized to different areas of the home. What I imply by that is so long as closets are completed and meet the ceiling top necessities I discussed above, they are going to depend in direction of whole sq. toes. The identical logic could be utilized to stairways, that are one other grey space for calculating home sq. footage.

Whole Space Vs Residing Space

The whole space refers back to the full quantity of house in a property, whereas the residing space solely consists of rooms that depend on the primary heating and air system. Residing space is basically one other option to say sq. toes. Then again, whole space will embody garages, basements, balconies, and every other areas that fall underneath the identical roof. It’s not unusual to see each measurements given in a property itemizing or throughout an open home.

What Is Thought-about Livable Sq. Footage?

Livable sq. footage consists of any room or house that makes use of the primary heating and air system in a property. This consists of bedrooms, bogs, closets, and extra. The precise definition of livable sq. toes could also be totally different from state to state. Nevertheless, as a basic rule, livable sq. footage refers to usable, heated areas in a property. Preserve this in thoughts as you calculate your own home’s sq. toes, and ask a realtor or appraiser if you’re not sure of your estimates.

Skilled tips on your private home’s sq. footage

What’s the largest false impression sellers have a few residence’s sq. footage?

Henley emphasizes that sq. footage is simply one of many many components that go into pricing a house. “The 4 massive components of pricing a house are location, situation, advertising, and value. So I actually attempt to get my sellers to acknowledge that sq. footage is vital, however it’s no extra vital than how clear your own home is or how good the landscaping is,” he says. It’s simply one of many many, many components that go into pricing the house.”

Finally, he says, “It’s not so simple as calculating the sq. footage, multiplying by $150 and, growth, you’ve obtained the worth.”

One other false impression, in line with Henley, is that extra is all the time higher. He has seen situations the place purchasers have transformed their storage right into a residing house. They acquire sq. footage within the type of extra heated and cooled house, however they lose the storage. So whereas a storage doesn’t depend towards the overall sq. footage it’s going to probably positively have an effect on the worth of a house.

Can I rent knowledgeable to measure my residence’s sq. footage

You possibly can rent knowledgeable to measure your private home’s sq. footage and, the truth is, you ought to. The customer’s lender will probably order an appraisal by an appraisal management company (AMC) after their provide is accepted, and if the appraiser finds a discrepancy in your measurements and theirs, it will probably trigger issues throughout the closing course of. Having knowledgeable measure the house prior to listing it can cut back the chance that issues will come up later.

Can I simply use the sq. footage listed on my tax paperwork?

Henley cautions in opposition to utilizing your tax paperwork to find out the sq. footage of your private home, saying “The issue with tax data is that they measure from the skin, however they don’t go inside to test for lifeless areas, they don’t go into the storage to test to see if there’s an enormous storage storage room. So tax data are by no means actually correct.”

Are there different sources that may have already got correct residence measurements for my residence?

If your own home has bought earlier than, then it was in all probability measured by an appraiser the final time that it bought. This isn’t all the time the case as some money patrons don’t order an appraisal. If it was measured, you’ll be able to find that report and use it as a jumping-off level, however you should still wish to have an appraiser measure to make sure that the measurement is correct and complies with ANSI requirements.

Should you stay in a townhome, condominium, or tract residence, the unique architectural drawings or plans can also present your private home’s sq. footage.

How Vital is Sq. Footage of a Home?

Sq. footage could be essential in terms of shopping for or promoting a house. Many patrons begin wanting with a specific quantity in thoughts, so having an correct measurement might help get your private home in entrance of the suitable viewers.

Nevertheless, Chief Actual Property Analyst and Managing Editor of The Close , Emile L’Eplattenier says that in some circumstances, different options could be extra vital than sq. footage. A very good instance in some markets is when builders lower dimension in favor of facilities.

“Whereas value per sq. foot continues to be a helpful metric,” says L’Eplattenier, “builders of luxurious buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been reducing common unit sizes for greater than a decade now.”

Finally, homebuyers want to make use of the sq. footage of a home they’re enthusiastic about as one piece of data. It might inform them one thing about whether or not the home matches their wants, however they should weigh different components, like location and high quality.

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How To Determine Sq. Ft For Your Residence

Calculating the square footage of a home is relati

Calculating the sq. footage of a house is comparatively straightforward. To measure sq. toes, you simply must take it one room or house at a time. Measure the size, measure the width, multiply these two and you’ve got the sq. footage of an area. For instance, let’s say a bed room in your house is 12 toes vast by 14 toes lengthy. 12 X 14 = 168, in order that bed room has 168 sq. toes.

With one additional step you’ll be able to simply measure sq. footage for odd sized rooms that don’t finish on a selected foot measurement. Let me present you the way by barely adjusting the instance I used above.

Let’s say that bed room is 12 toes 9 inches vast (or 153 inches) and 14 toes 9 inches lengthy (or 177 inches). Discover what I did right here. Ignore the foot measurement in your measuring tape all collectively. As an alternative, solely have a look at the overall inches for size and width. Right here is the maths with the additional step:

  1.  Divide every inch whole by 12 (153 divided by 12 is 12.75 and 177 divided by 12 is 14.75)
  2. Multiply the 2 numbers (12.75 x 14.75)
  3. Reply: 188, the room is 188 sq. toes

What’s included in sq. footage of a home?

The simplest option to calculate sq. footage is to measure all areas and rooms with a ground. Should you can stroll on it it counts. Sq. footage consists of the entire areas in your that’s precise house. Your sq. footage whole ought to embody:

  • Bedrooms and the closets
  • Bogs
  • Hallways
  • Kitchens
  • Residing or recreation rooms
  • Enclosed 3-season or all-season rooms
  • Unfinished areas like a basement

Garages, outside areas, and unfinished attics don’t depend as sq. footage.

Discovering the sq. footage of your private home

To find out the sq. footage of you want some primary instruments and to observe a number of steps. The instruments wanted embody:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Measuring tape

Observe these steps to precisely measure the sq. footage in your house:

  1.  Measure each house besides the storage, the crawl house, and the attic if it isn’t completed.
  2. Measure on the ground.
  3. Squaring off areas is commonly essentially the most sensible option to seize the entire sq. toes.
  4. Multiply the size and the width of every house you measured.
  5. As you measure every house label every house as completed or unfinished and whether or not it’s above grade or under grade

In case you are searching for a house to buy, the sq. footage quantity you see within the itemizing or on-line is probably the overall completed sq. footage. Nevertheless, you will need to understand how a lot unfinished sq. toes is current and the way a lot sq. footage is above grade or under grade. Every of those have an effect on a house’s worth.

Completed Vs. Unfinished Sq. Footage

Many people are confused about are basements inclu

Many individuals are confused about are basements included in sq. footage. The reply is sure, basements are included in sq. footage. Nevertheless, that sq. footage needs to be additional categorised as completed or unfinished.

Completed sq. footage is most frequently outlined as an area the place the partitions, ceiling, and ground are all coated. What does that imply? For partitions, it’s coated once you can not see the wall framing. The skeletal construction, electrical and pipes are coated with another materials resembling drywall, panelling, or plaster. For a ceiling, this is similar as with partitions, you can’t see the skeletal construction as a result of it’s coated with another materials.

As for the ground, if you’re above the bottom, the bottom materials is often subfloor also referred to as oriented strand board (OSB). It seems to be like plywood. In case you are within the basement or the house is a ranch on a slab, the bottom materials is probably going concrete. To be completed sq. footage, you shouldn’t be standing immediately on that materials. As an alternative, there needs to be some kind of ground protecting over the concrete or OSB like carpet, hardwood flooring, or tile, or flooring laminate.

When measuring your private home to find out its sq. footage be sure to put every quantity of sq. footage for every room or house into the completed or unfinished column.

Above Grade Sq. Footage vs. Beneath Grade Sq. Footage

Above grade sq. footage is sq. footage above the gradient line. The gradient line is the place the earth meets the house. Sq. footage on the primary ground and all flooring above will nearly all the time be above grade. This solely will get a little bit difficult when the house is a bi-level, tri-level, quad-level, or hillside ranch.

These residence fashions might have a basement, however the lowest degree could also be known as the decrease degree. This occurs as a result of a degree of the house is partly underneath the gradient line but in addition partly above it. Most areas contemplate a degree like this to be the decrease degree and mark it as above grade sq. footage. Test along with your native municipality, contractor, or an actual property agent for a sure reply to this query.

Discrepancies in measurement

As a result of sq. footage is so important in appraising a house, it’s vital to pay shut consideration to what’s being measured.

Some sellers might embody an unfinished basement of their sq. footage, providing you with an inaccurate image of the livable portion of the house.

And designers and appraisers usually calculate sq. footage through the use of exterior partitions, which can battle with a property’s GLA determine.

No matter the way you measure your sq. footage, be clear when promoting, and diligent when shopping for.

Should you declare that your private home is 2,000 sq. toes primarily based in your builder’s ground plans, and a purchaser’s appraiser brings again a determine of 1,600, you can lose the sale or have to decrease your value.

Equally, as a purchaser, be sure that to do your analysis and get an impartial sq. footage to make sure you’re getting what you pay for.

Find and claim your home on Zillow to see its recorded sq. footage and to make edits as wanted.


Initially printed June 23, 2015.


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