How to Calculate Your Lawn’s Square Footage

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  • Monica Williams

Nov 6, 2016

    Monica Williams Nov 6, 2016

    “This article and video showed me how to calculate the square footage of my space. I’m planing to tile my living room (rectangle) and saw at Costco a beautiful tile. The box said it covers almost 10 square feet. Now I will measure my living room and see how many boxes I need. Thank you.” …” more

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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.

Video

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.

How to calculate how many pieces of bullnose you will need?

If you have ten feet exposed edge that needs bullnose this is equal to 120″.  If you selected a 6″ bullnose or trim piece, you will need to divide 120″ by 6″, which will give you 20 pieces of bullnose needed.  Using 8″ decorative liner for the same 120″, you divide 120″ by 8″ which would be 15 pieces of liner needed.

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 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 much to allow for waste?

To allow for waste, you must consider the installation.  For most standard installations, 10% extra for waste is sufficient.  Percentage of waste for more elaborate patterns like running tile on a 45 degree angle, herringbone or cross hatch, consult with your installer. Add 15% for tile being installed in a room with lots of jogs and corners. These installations will require more cuts and thus more waste.

Length x Width + Waste = Amount Needed

Determining the Size of Area

Step 1: Inspect the Area

The first piece of information you need to know is the shape and dimensions of your lawn, particularly the width and length. You will want to measure and multiply the area length times the width in feet until the square footage is 1,000 sq. ft. and mark off this area with the help of a marking tool like washable paint or objects to distinguish the treatment areas border line. 

Step 2: Convert Measurements

If your yard is rectangular or square, measure the length and width then multiply together (length X width = square footage). For example, if your yard has a length of 10 feet and width of 8 feet, you would multiply 10 by 8 to get 80 square feet.

Be aware for triangle shaped lawns, you will measure the length and width, multiply together, then divide by two ( length X width / 2 = square footage).

If your lawn is a not a perfect rectangle, break the lawn into different sections to measure more easily, then add measurements together to get the area’s total square footage.

For treatment areas with flowerbeds and other obstructions in the yard you will measure the square footage of the object and subtract from your yards total square footage.

Example, you have a property that is 12,000 sq. ft. and in the middle you have a landscape bed with a length of 3 feet and width of 2 feet. You will multiply 3 by 2 to get 6 feet, then subtract from your yard total.

  • 3 ft. X 2 ft. = 6 sq. ft. 
  • 12,000 sq. ft. – 6 sq. ft. = 11,994 sq. ft. 

Therefore, you will treat an area with 11,994 sq. ft. 

How to calculate the square feet of a house

When preparing to measure the square footage of a home, be it a house, condo, or townhouse, start with a few simple supplies:

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

If the property is a perfect rectangle, simply measure the length and width and multiply those two numbers together. For example, if your one-story house is 60 feet wide by 40 feet long, then your property is 2,400 square feet (60 x 40 = 2,400).

However, most properties have more complex floor plans. When this is the case, it’s helpful to follow these simple steps to measure square footage.

  1. Draw a rough sketch of your entire space, labeling all of the rooms you need to measure. Include hallways and vestibules as their own “room.”
  2. Measure the length and width, in feet, of each room. Then, multiply the length by the width to calculate that room’s square footage. For example: If a bedroom is 12 feet by 20 feet, it is 240 square feet (12 x 20 = 240). For each room, write the total square footage in the corresponding space on your sketch.
  3. Once each room is measured, add up all the measurements to determine your home’s total square footage.

Note: If you live in a tract home, condo or townhome community, you may be able to get architectural drawings or master builder plans of your floor plan. These may already have your square footage calculated.

What is square footage used for?

You can use square footage in real-world contexts such as:

  • Architecture: Architects use square footage to measure the space that a building or other construction projects may fill.

  • Cartography: Cartographers use square footage to determine the area that countries and other landmarks might occupy on a map or globe.

  • Landscaping: Landscapers use square footage to find how much space a yard or other plot of land takes and what can fit within that space.

  • Real estate: Realtors and contractors use square footage to describe how much floor space a house or other marketable building has when it's for sale.

You can also use square footage as the first step toward calculating cubic footage, or the volume of an area. For example, you can use the outcome of the calculation and multiply the number by the width of a shape. If the measurements are in feet, then you get a cubic measurement. This means there are three sides you measure to get the volume of the shape.

Related: Top Skills Required for Landscaping

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.

When in doubt, ask the pros

If calculating the square feet of your particular property feels overwhelming, consider hiring a professional appraiser to do it. The average appraisal cost for a single-family home typically runs about $350. A condo appraisal fee is generally between $300 and $500, and multi-family home appraisals can run anywhere from $600 to $1,500.

While two different professional appraisers could evaluate the same home and come up with slightly different square footage figures, they do all aim for scientific accuracy. “We’re always shooting for somewhere between 1 to 3 percent variance,” Day says.

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