How to Calculate a Home’s Square Footage

Why square footage is important

There are plenty of reasons you might want to know how to calculate the square feet of a house, whether you’re looking to sell a property, dispute a high tax assessment or renovate to add more space.

If you’re preparing to list your home for sale, determining the property’s exact size is a crucial factor when setting your asking price. “For a home appraisal, we’re going to compare it to comparables or ‘comps,’” says Day, who looks for homes of similar size in the immediate area. An inaccurate square footage measurement could potentially result in an inaccurate appraisal price.

Square footage (often abbreviated as SF or SQFT) also matters in real estate deals that involve a mortgage, for similar reasons. The lender will want that info to verify what the property is worth.

However, knowing your home’s square footage can come in handy in other ways as well. For instance, if you decide to finish a previously unused part of your house — say, a basement or attic space — you may need to provide the square footage to obtain a building permit.

Likewise, if your county or municipality assesses higher taxes than what you think you should owe, confirming the square footage can be a point in your favor toward getting the property taxes reduced.

How many square feet is a 12×12 room?

The square footage of a room measuring 12 feet wide by 12 feet long is 144 square feet. To calculate this you simply multiply the width by the height. 12ft × 12ft = 144 sq ft.

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How to measure for bullnose?

Measure the length of any outside edge where your tile edge would be exposed or you want framed out.  Bullnose (also called trim pieces and decorative tiles) are typically sold by the piece. To figure the quantity you have to establish the length of the trim piece (i.e. 6″ bullnose, 8″ decorative liner), then the rule is:  Your total linear length divided by the length of each piece equals your quantity needed.  

How to find the square footage of a rectangle

  1. Measure the width and length of the area in feet.
  2. Multiply your length and width together to get your area.

Note: If your measurements aren't in feet, convert them to feet first using our length converter.

Once you've carried out your calculation, you will have your square feet (ft2) figure. To calculate your cost of materials, simply multiply this figure by your price per square foot.

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.

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What Rooms Are Included in Square Footage?

Rooms that will typically be included in a home's square footage are any finished rooms that have a ceiling, walls, and a floor, such as living room, bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and finished basements. Areas that are not typically included in the square footage of a home are garages, pool houses, unfinished basements, and attics.

What is Usable Square Footage?

If you’re involved in commercial real estate in an

If you’re involved in commercial real estate in any way, you may have heard the term “usable square footage”. This term describes the total amount of square footage that a tenant is able to use, which excludes areas like hallways, stairwells, and lobbies. When it comes to residential real estate, the usable square footage in your home refers to the amount of space that would count as your personal space.

Common areas like kitchens, living rooms, hallways, and storage closets wouldn’t count as usable square footage. With this information in hand, you should be able to calculate the actual square footage of your home as well as the usable square footage of your home.

Being able to calculate the square footage of you home can be very helpful when you’re attempting to sell your property or would like to complete a renovation. If you’re getting ready to renovate your entire kitchen, knowing the square footage of the floor will allow you to purchase the right amount of materials. Keep in mind that most flooring materials are priced by square feet.

Let’s say that hardwood flooring has a price of $10 per square foot. If your kitchen has a floor space of 175 square feet, the flooring would likely cost around $1,750. In the event that you work as an architect or structural engineer, knowing how to calculate the square footage of a space can be invaluable for your work.

Jason Somers, President & Founder of Crest Real Estate With over 15 years of professional experience in the Los Angeles luxury real estate market, Jason Somers has the background, judgement and track record to provide an unparalleled level of real estate services. His widespread knowledge helps clients identify and acquire income producing properties and value-ad development opportunities. Learn more about Jason Somers or contact us.

How to calculate square footage? 

It’s easy.  Follow these steps.

Measure the length in feet, Measure the width in feet. Multiply the length figure by the width figure.  This will be your total square footage for that portion of your project.  Continue to repeat this for all parts of the space that will get the same tile.   Add these together for your total square footage.

Measuring in inches works as well.  Do the math the same way, then divide by 144 to get your total in square feet. When calculating square footage account for the entire space (i.e. under vanity/cabinets).

Square Footage Formulas and Images for Different Areas

Using measurements in feet: Area (ft) = Side Length x Side Length

Using measurements in feet: Area (ft) = Length x Width

Using measurements in feet: Inner Area (ft) = Length x Width Total Area (ft) = (Length + (2 x Border Width)) x (Width + (2 x Border Width)) Area (ft) = Total Area – Inner Area

Using measurements in feet: Area (ft) = Pi x (Diameter/2)^2 Pi = 3.14

Calculate square footage for a circle border area Using measurements in feet: Outer Diameter = Inner Diameter + (2 x Border Width) Outer Area (ft2) = Pi x (Outer Diameter/2)^2 Inner Area (ft2) = Pi x (Inner Diameter/2)^2 Area (ft2) = Outer Area – Inner Area Pi = 3.14 Obviously, the Circle Border and Annulus are the same, just measured differently.

Calculate square footage for a annulus area Using measurements in feet: Outer Area (ft2) = Pi x (Outer Diameter/2)^2 Inner Area (ft2) = Pi x (Inner Diameter/2)^2 Area (ft2) = Outer Area – Inner Area Pi = 3.14 Obviously, the Circle Border and Annulus are the same, just measured differently.

Using measurements in feet: Area (ft) = (1/4) x square root[ (a+b+c) x (b+c-a) x (c+a-b) x (a+b-c) ]

Using measurements in feet: Area (ft) = ((a + b) / 2 )h

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