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How Square Footage is Determined

Sunday, March 26, 2023   /   by Steve Ticknor

How Square Footage is Determined

When asked about their least favorite subject in high school on a Thomas B Fordham Institute survey, students overwhelmingly chose math. But we actually do use math for all kinds of things as an adult. Balancing our checkbook. Making sure that we get the correct change back on a purchase. And when buying a home, to calculate its total square footage.

Ever wonder how appraisers and inspectors determine the square footage of a home? Don't be intimidated. It's actually easier to calculate than you think.

How Square Footage is Determined

What is Square Footage?

First of all, we've all heard this term before. But do you actually know what it means? In real estate terms, this is the total actual dedicated living space inside of a home. According to Bankrate, "livable space" must include walls, a ceiling, a floor, and heat. That means garages, unfinished basements, and patios/porches do not count as livable space. However, hallways and stairwells (for multiple-story homes) do count.

How to Calculate It

Determining the square footage for a whole house? Before you freak out, think about your house in terms of several smaller boxes. Measure out each one of those boxes and then add them all up together. Square or rectangular rooms? No problem. Take the total length of one side of the room and multiply it by the length of one of the adjoining walls. For example, a 10-foot by 15-foot rectangular room equals 150 square feet (10 x 15).

But what happens with weirdly shaped rooms? If all rooms have straight walls, you just need to break up each section into its own "box". Let's say your bedroom includes a smaller sitting area, a reading nook, and a walk-in closet. Measure each "square" or "rectangular" section of the room and add those together. Better yet, make your life easier and simply use vCalc's square footage calculator to help you with any shape, including a circular room.

Sunstone Real Estate Group at Coldwell Banker Realty, Lake Havasu City, AZ

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Coldwell Banker Realty
Steve Ticknor And Bob Ulery
2148 McCulloch Blvd N #105
Lake Havasu City, 86403

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IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal and non-commercial use. It may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. The data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS.
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