How do you figure your sq. footage

LybanNovember 20, 2012

Hi all,

I have been a lurker on this forum but have contributed a bit on the deco. Forum.

My question is., how do you figure out sq. footage in your home.

Do you count hallways? Do you count garage? What about closets?

Any tips for me to find my footage.


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halls and closets count. a garage doesn't.

mine is simple i just multiply the length by the width. It's a straight line rectangle.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:17PM
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It depends. Sometimes it is mostly customary to your region. I was recently cyber house-hunting in Virginia, and they used basement square footage in their home square footage in their listings. We don't here in Michigan.

What Steph said is generally right. Measure your outside dimensions, subtracting out spaces that are outdoors porches and garage space. Add in any space that is second storey. If the basement is finished (walls, ceiling, floors, not just paint on foundation walls and vinyl flooring on concrete) and has access from the outside, it may also be counted, depending on local custom. Add the width x length of all these living areas together. Some locales figure "heated and cooled space."

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:49PM
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In most places, it's defined as heated square feet. They take the measurement from the outside of the house. In multi-story homes, the stairway is only counted once, so you subtract the stairway area from one of the floors. Garages, porches, and basements usually aren't counted unless they are finished and heated. The above is for tax purposes. When you get a permit to build a house, they include everything, so a 1200 sq ft house might have a permit for 3500 sq ft when you include everything.

It will be interesting to see how my new house measures up. My walls are ICF, which is a foot thick. The argument is that only the inside is heated, so my 'heated square footage' should be measured on the inside. My contractor claims he was able to successfully argue this point on his home, so we'll see if I'm able to. Since taxes are based on this number, I'd rather not pay taxes on my 140 sq ft of wall!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:41AM
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"My walls are ICF, which is a foot thick.,,Since taxes are based on this number, I'd rather not pay taxes on my 140 sq ft of wall!"
please tell me this is a is there even a possibility that you can be taxed for (IMHO)proper insulation.

over by me I'm sure the bathrooms are included in sq footage--especially for rentals

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:14AM
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Thank you all for the answers,
This is something I have always wondered about and now I am going to measure my house.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 4:13PM
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