How Much Square Footage Do You Need?

Calculating Cost Per Square Foot

When painting a house, installing flooring, or building a home, the square footage of the property is often used to determine the cost or materials to be used.

Painting a house:

Professional house painters often base price quotations on the square footage of a property. Alternatively, even if a person plans to paint their house themselves, measuring square footage can yield accurate estimates of the amount of paint required.

Total cost encompasses more factors than the just amount of paint required, including the cost of materials such as brushes, turpentine, and any materials necessary for preparing, mixing, applying, and cleaning up paint. These considerations are typically included in a quote from a professional painter, in addition to labor costs. Accordingly, the larger the size of a property or area, the higher the cost required to paint it.

Depending on the surface being painted, whether wood, metal, plastic, or something else, paint primer, which helps the paint adhere more effectively to a given surface, can be used. While the amount of coverage provided by primer or paint depends heavily on the method of application, type, and brand of paint, primer generally covers less area than paint, and estimated coverage amounts can range from anywhere between 200-400 square feet per gallon.

Flooring installation:

There are a number of materials commonly used for flooring, including wood, laminate, and tile. Flooring costs can vary significantly depending on the quality and choice of materials.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring includes woods such as hardwood, engineered wood (also known as composite or man-made wood), and bamboo, though bamboo is actually classified as grass.

Hardwood flooring is highly durable, easy to clean, and can be found in a variety of different appearances. As such, it is fairly versatile in terms of interior design, but does require some maintenance such as sanding and refinishing over time.

Engineered wood flooring is made from several layers of wood, with a thin outermost layer of the desired hardwood, and inner layers such as plywood and high-density fiberboard. Engineered hardwood has a higher heat and moisture resistance than solid hardwoods, is easy to maintain, and is generally cheaper to purchase and install than hardwood flooring.

Bamboo flooring is easy to maintain, moisture resistant, easy to install, and is available in many different styles. It is often cheaper than traditional hardwood options, but does have the disadvantage of scratching easily as a result of furniture, high heels, claws, or even debris.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is typically made with plywood or fiberboard with a plastic laminate top layer, and can have a similar look like hardwood. It is less costly than traditional wood flooring, is highly durable, difficult to scratch, stain, or dent, and requires little maintenance. Laminate flooring can even be installed over existing flooring, which can save time as well as the cost of removing old flooring. However, laminate flooring often feels too hard on the feet, cannot be finished or stained – meaning that the owner is stuck with what they choose and will have to entirely replace the floor if they change their mind – and also results in a lower resale value for a home than traditional hardwoods.

Tile flooring

Tile flooring includes concrete or cement, ceramic tiles, glass tiles, and natural stone products among many others. Due to the numerous varieties of tile, there is an incredibly large price range, from 60 cents per square foot, to hundreds of dollars, or even $100,000 per square foot. The many options of tile allow a person to choose a cost and style that best fits their needs. Tile is also easy to maintain, clean, and is suitable for all locations. However, without heating, tile can be cold in the winter. It also does not dampen sound, can be slippery when wet, can break if heavy objects are dropped on them, and cannot easily be repaired. Tile installation is also difficult, and installation costs can be more expensive than the cost of the materials.

Building a home:

When building a home, using building plans and visiting different homes as a reference can help a person to gain a better understanding of what square footages work for their preferences.

The cost of building a home varies largely based on a number of factors, including materials, the type of foundation, the pitch of the roof, and many other characteristics that are not necessarily directly related to the size of the house. Unlike the cost per square foot of installing flooring, which can be estimated based on material, quality, and installation costs, the multitude of factors involved in building a house makes it more difficult to estimate cost per square foot. As such, cost per square foot is often estimated based on averages, and depending on a person’s specific project, it may not be an accurate estimate of the cost. Instead, it may be more helpful to get an estimate from a builder based on some given specifications, and divide that estimate by the number of square feet the house will occupy.

Obtaining an estimate of the cost per square foot for a person’s specific project can allow comparison to a different house of similar size as a reference. As previously mentioned, houses of the same size do vary significantly in building cost. Thus, having a reference can help a prospective owner decide whether or not to include an elegant master bath, marble tiles, curved staircases, or any other more extravagant features. There are also a number of costs outside of building the house that should be considered, such as fees to local authorities, labor, special requirements from building codes, and insurance.


How much is a square foot?

You can visualize a square foot as a square with sides one foot in length, which is 12 inches. So, in square inches, a square foot is 12 inches * 12 inches = 144 inches². In everyday terms, a square foot is about the size of a large laptop computer.

In the metric system, a square meter is the standard unit for floor space and is roughly ten times the area of a square foot. More precisely, one square meter is 10.87 square feet, or, the other way around, one square foot is 0.092 square meters. To explore more about how much is a square foot, head over to our area conversion calculator.

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 Square Footage?

Square footage is the measurement of an area. The area is the measurement of a two-dimension space bordered by a set of lines. Square footage is mostly used in the calculation for the flooring of the house. To calculate square footage area, it is important to recognize the shape of the plane for example, if it’s a square, rectangle, or any other shape, then the formula for square footage area will be according to the shape. For example, to calculate the square footage of a room in a square (2) or rectangle shape. Simply multiply the length and width of the area. To calculate square footage of an oddly shaped area, for example, an L-shaped area. Start by splitting the area into two separate sections making a square or rectangle of both sections. Now, measure the area of both sections and add them together to get the total square footage. Following are a few examples of how square footage calculators calculate the area for different shapes: 1. Square => Area (ft2) = Side Length x Side Length 2. Rectangle => Area (ft2) = Length x Width 3. Triangle => Area (ft2) = ½ × Base × Height 4. Circle => Area (ft2) = π x (diameter/2)2

How to Calculate Square Footage of a Room?

Whenever you plan to buy new flooring, the first thing is to calculate the Square Footage of the room. It’s quite easy to calculate Square Footage, first, you need to measure the square footage of all areas of the room, this includes nooks and crannies and then you need to add all measurements together. This planning takes time and lots of measurements so make sure to double-check your measurements before ordering your flooring. For the safe side, add 5-10% of the waste factor, it is to prevent errors, damages, and extra cuts. To calculate this you need to add a waste factor in square footage like you have 100sqft and you are assuming 5% as a waste factor then 100 × 0.05 = 5 means total sqft will be 100 + 5 = 105sqft.

How to Calculate Square Footage of a House?

Whenever you plan to measure the square footage of the house, start with these supplies: 1- Notes, Pencil. 2- Calculator 3- Measuring tool Now it is important to recognize the shape of the house, perfect square, rectangle, or any other shape, then the formula for square footage area will be according to the shape. For example, to calculate the square footage of a room in a square (2) or rectangle shape. Simply multiply the length and width of the area. If you are measuring for a two-story house, simply multiple the square footage by 2.

How to Measure for Wallpapering? First, measure the width (feet) of the wall you plan to add wallpaper. Round the measurement up to the nearest foot. For example, if 14 feet, 9 inches wide, it will be around 15 feet. Then, measure the height (feet) of the wall you plan to add wallpaper. Round the measurement up to the nearest foot. Multiply the rounded width and the height of the wall. This will be your total square footage of the wall. Now measure the width and height of large areas that will not be going to be covered with wallpaper, such as double doors, and round these heights and width. Multiply the width and height of all these areas and sum them up together to get the total square footage of any large area. Subtract the square footage of any large areas from the total square footage of the wall. The result is the total square footage of wallpaper needed to cover the wall.


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