3 Ways to Visualize Square Feet

What Is a Square Foot?

A square foot is a measurement of area. It’s defined as the area inside a square that measures one foot per side. Area is equal to length multiplied by width. So, one square foot is equal to an area that’s one foot long by one foot wide.

How to Calculate Square Footage

Square footage is area expressed in square feet. Likewise, square yardage is area expressed in square yards.  Square meters is also a common measure of area.

Assume you have a rectangular area such as a room and, for example, you want to calculate the square footage area for flooring or carpet.

The way to calculate a rectangular area is by measuring the length and width of your area then multiplying those two numbers together to get the area in feet squared (ft2). If you have on oddly shaped area, such as an L-shape, split it into square or rectanglualar sections and treat them as two separate areas. Calculate the area of each section then add them together for your total. If your measurements are in different units, say feet and inches, you can first convert those values to feet, then multiply them together to get the square footage of the area.

Convert all of your measurements to feet

  • If you measured in feet skip to “Calculate the Area as Square Footage”
  • If you measured in feet & inches, divide inches by 12 and add that to your feet measure to get total feet
  • If you measured in another unit of measure, do the following to convert to feet – inches: divide by 12 and that is your measurement in feet – yards: multiply by 3 and that is your measurement in feet – centimeters: multiply by 0.03281 to convert to feet – meters: multiply by 3.281 to convert to feet

Calculate the Area as Square Footage

  • If you are measuring a square or rectangle area, multiply length times width; Length x Width = Area.
  • For other area shapes, see formulas below to calculate Area (ft2) = Square Footage.


How to Calculate Square Footage of Spaces With Odd Dimensions

Unfortunately, some spaces aren’t a neat geometric shape. You can divide the space into smaller shapes to get an accurate measure of square footage. Then, add all the calculations to get the total area.

For example, if you have a rectangular kitchen with a breakfast nook, you can measure the main part of the room and the nook separately, then add the results to get the total square footage.

First, find the length and width of each section:

  • Main room: 12 feet x 10 feet = 120 square feet
  • Nook: 4 feet x 6 feet = 24 square feet

Then, add them together:

120 square feet + 24 square feet = 144 square feet

How to find the square footage of a triangle

  1. Measure the length of the base and the height of the triangle in feet.
  2. Multiply your base and height measurements together.
  3. Divide your total by two to get the square footage of the triangle
 The formula for calculating the square footage ar

The formula for calculating the square footage area of a triangle is: base × height / 2. To work out your cost of materials, simply multiply this figure by your 'price per square foot'.

How to measure the square footage of a house or property

We have touched previously on how to calculate and measure square footage in a simple situation like a rectangular room/house or a circular and triangular… But there are situations in which the shape of the property we want to measure square footage from, is a bit more complicated than that. In those cases there are two options: (1) using the area of a polygon calculator and other similar calculators by Omni (we can recommend the hexagon / octagon area calculators or (2) get creative, as we’re gonna do now.

For very complicated and irregular shapes, there is no simple recipe for how to measure the square footage of a house using just one tool. However, we can use a simple trick to achieve the appropriate result. We can try to decompose the area into several small pieces that have a regular shape, for which we can calculate square footage. To each of those pieces, we apply the square footage formula corresponding to its polygonal shape (different Omni Calculators will prove useful here). If we then add up the result from every piece, we will obtain the total square footage of the house, no matter its shape.

There is a chance that the house will have rounded corners of curvy shapes (they are very popular nowadays), and this might seem impossible to do. But in reality, one can get a very good approximation using a straight line that goes to the middle of the curved ones or, if we want to be more precise, many small polygons. It could be time-consuming, but it simultaneously can be as accurate as one needs.

How to convert acres to sq ft?

The procedure of converting square inches to square feet or from acres to sq ft is the same as converting from square meters to square feet. In the following examples, you will find the most common of these conversions: how many square feet are in an acre.

  • 1 acre * 43 560 sq ft/acre = 43 560 sq ft
  • 30 sq in * 0.00694 sq ft/sqin = 0.208333 sq ft

Intuitively, this process can also be done in reverse. Therefore, we can not only find square footage when we know its value expressed in the other units but also find an area in any units from a given square footage.

What to leave out

A good rule of thumb to ensure you’re taking proper measurements is to exclude space you can’t walk on or live in. These types of spaces do not count as “gross living area.”

“Someone might think, ‘If I get the measurement of my first floor and I have a two-story house, I just multiply that by two,’” Day says. However, if that first floor includes a two-story foyer, you can’t count the non-usable space.

Basements and garages, even if they are finished, don’t generally count toward total square footage. Basements are typically excluded because they are built below grade, meaning below ground level. If your state does allow basements to be included in the total square footage of a home, though, you’ll likely need an ingress and egress, or a safe way to enter and exit the basement to the outside.

Finished attic spaces — with some regulations, including ceiling heights — can count toward the total square footage of your home. If you are planning to sell your home, work with a real estate agent to craft a listing that accurately reflects your property.

How to Calculate the Square Feet of a Home or Residence

When measuring the square footage of a home or residence, some special considerations apply to determine the inhabitable square footage. The livable size of a home helps determine the market value and price and helps buyers understand the overall size.

Only livable rooms, with finished walls, floor, and ceiling, count toward the finished area of the home. For a room to be considered livable, the space should be finished and should have heating or air conditioning as applicable.

Indoor spaces count toward the square footage of a home, while outdoor spaces typically do not. In fact, the American National Standards Institute has defined rules[1] for what counts as finished area and which rooms contribute to the gross living area of a home.[2]

To calculate the total area, measure each room in feet using a tape measure. Then, multiply the length and width of each room to get the square footage, then add them all together.

The calculator above can help determine the square feet of each room, then simply add all the room’s areas together. We also have great resources on how to measure rooms and complex spaces.

How to Calculate Price per Sq Ft

To calculate the price per square foot of your home, divide the total price by the number of square feet.

price per ft2 = total price ÷ total ft2

For example, to find the price per ft2 of a home that costs $200,000 and is 2,000 ft2 use this formula.

price per ft2 = $200,000 ÷ 2,000 ft2 price per ft2 = $100

If you’d prefer not to do the math, you can also use our unit price calculator to calculate the price per square foot.

Square feet to cubic feet

If you would like to convert your square footage into cubic feet, take a look at the square feet to cubic feet calculator.


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