How to figure out the square footage of a room » Rhodium Floors

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.

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Calculate the square footage of an oddly-shaped room

Rooms with complex shapes can be difficult to figure out. Some people try to figure out the square footage with a single calculation. This is where problems begin! The easiest way to calculate the square footage of an odd-shaped room is to divide it into even shapes, like squares or rectangles. You should then measure each of these shapes and multiply their lengths by their widths. Each of these multiplications can then be added together to give you the overall square footage of your room.

Consider waste

When installing a new floor, you should always consider the waste factor. When ordering flooring materials, you should add around 10% to your total square footage. This is because some materials will become damaged due to errors, accidents and additional cuts. There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of materials during installation. Avoid this by adding an additional 10% for waste onto your flooring order.

Consider asking a professional

If you are not confident with your calculation skills, you may want to hire an expert. A construction expert skilled in floor installations should be able to help work out square footage easily. It can also be worthwhile hiring a flooring installation worker if you have an odd-shaped room. If you are uncertain of how to correctly calculate, you may want to contact us. We can help you understand how to work out square footage of a house.

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.

Different Units of Measurement

Using square feet is the most common unit of measurement in American real estate. But it’s not your only option. For small projects, you might want to work in square inches. For big projects, like landscaping, square yards might make more sense. And in international real estate markets, square meters are the standard for home measurements. 

Whatever your unit of measurement, the formula is the same. Multiply the length times the width to calculate the area of square and rectangular surfaces. Just make sure you’re using the same unit of measurement for your length and width. If you’re looking for square feet, measure both distances in feet; if you’re looking for square meters, measure both distances in meters.

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.

How do I calculate the square footage of a room?

Many people think the square feet equation involves multiplying the width of a room by its length. While this is true, things can get complicated if your room isn’t a perfect rectangle. There are several methods for working out square footage. The best one to use will depend on the layout of your space. Let’s take a look at some easy steps to work out square footage:

How to Find Square Footage: Measuring the Room

After countless hours of going back and forth between the Ambient® samples you ordered (and maybe sending out too many “which one do you like better?” texts to friends and family), you’ve FINALLY made your decision. You’ve found the perfect floor and – before you decide to change your mind for the tenth time – there’s only one thing left to do: determine how much square footage you need to order. To figure that out, it may or may not involve your least favorite school subject. Want to take any guesses? That’s right, it’s math! I can tell you can hardly contain your excitement, so let’s jump right into figuring out how much flooring you’ll need to purchase.

Why Tenants, Homeowners, and Landlords Need to Know Square Footage

There are several reasons why tenants, homeowners, and landlords should all know how to calculate square feet:

  • Knowing the square footage of a room can help you confirm if your furniture will fit.
  • Knowing the square footage of a specific surface can help you estimate renovation costs. If you’re replacing a kitchen countertop, for example, you need to calculate the square footage of the countertop so you can get accurate quotes for the cost of the job.
  • When you know how to calculate square feet, you can make sure you order the right amount of supplies and materials. If, for example, you plan to paint a wall that’s 12 feet long by 10 feet tall, you need to find the total square footage so you know how much paint to buy.
  • Perhaps most importantly, knowing the square footage of homes and apartments helps you compare prices to find the best value. Let’s say you’re deciding between two similar apartments: Apartment A is $1,500 per month and Apartment B is $1,800 per month. Which is the better deal? Well, it depends on the square footage. If Apartment A is 500 square feet and Apartment B is 1,000 square feet, you’re getting more space for your money with Apartment B. 

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.

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 Do Appraisers Measure Square Footage?

Appraisers measure the square footage based on the interior parts that get hot and cold. That includes closets, bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways, kitchens, living areas, finished attics, and enclosed patios. All unfinished areas, airspaces, open patios, or vaulted rooms are not included when calculating the square feet of a house. Storage spaces, a guest house, or a pool house will also be left out of measuring the square footage of a home.

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