# How to Calculate the Square Footage of Your Home

A house that sounds spacious and spacious online may actually be 800 of its square feet in a four-foot-high basement. What about it? In Washington, D.C, Customers are often confused about the discrepancy between the square meters listed and what they see on tour, and colleagues in other markets hear similar things.

Why the contradicting information? Well, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) guidelines for calculating the square footage of a house are standard, but there are no official laws that regulate this process. In addition, some Multiple Listing Services (MLS) report all finished and unfinished square footage of a house as a single number, which adds to the confusion. Because the rules aren't standard, some listing agents simply give their best estimate of a home's square footage. As a result, buyers and their agents often have to investigate.

If you love a home, does it matter if the 2,000 square foot charmer is officially 1,600 square feet long? Since the square footage is used to a. to determine Market value of the house, it can go a long way. If you're looking to sell, 400 yards less can affect the price you get, especially in the buyer's market. That is why we created this guide on how to calculate the square footage of a home.

### What to do as a buyer

First, start by referring to your city's building department records. Much city and county records are now available online, making this information much easier to obtain than it used to be. Some updates – such as unauthorized remodeling – may not be reflected in the records, but still provide a good starting point.

Then, familiarize yourself with the basic ANSI guidelines for calculating square footage for single-family homes. Practices can vary slightly from market to market, but these rules apply to most areas of the country:

• Underground spaces (basements, caves, etc.) do not normally count towards a house's square footage. Even a finished basement cannot be counted towards the gross living area (GLA) of a house, but can be noted separately in the total area of ​​the listing.
• The ANSI method specifies measuring from the outside of the house, but wall width is usually not subtracted to account for actual living space.
• Stairs and closet space are included in the square meter length.
• Finished top floor square feet are included when an area is at least seven feet headroom.
• Covered enclosed porches can only be included if they are heated with the same system as the rest of the house.
• It does not count garages, pool houses, guest houses or any rooms where you have to leave the finished area of ​​the main house to gain access.

### Check it out for yourself.

As a buyer, it can be helpful to know how to calculate the square footage of a home by yourself; just multiply the length and width of all applicable rooms in the house. All you need to get started is a 100-square-meter tape measure, some graph paper, and a pencil.

How to calculate the square footage of your home

1. Assign a unit of measure

Assign a unit of measure (say, a foot) to each square on the paper and measure to the nearest tenth of a foot.

2. Choose a wall

Pick a wall and start moving in one direction around the inside perimeter of the house, and draw appropriate lines on the graph paper (although ANSI guidelines dictate measuring the outside walls, it will give you a better idea of ​​the real quality of living) if you measure from the inside area).

3. Take a look at your floor plan

Then go over your floor plan again, multiply the rectangular areas and add them all up to get your final number. If your calculation contains an impermissible area, don't forget to subtract it.

Note: Be aware that condos have less set rules and no ANSI guidelines. To get started, you can visit your city's building department and ask them to come up with the house's plans and permits for the property. the builders must indicate the number of square meters for each unit. If this information is difficult for you to obtain, consider using an appraiser. If you're a seller, your best bet is to hire a surveyor to do a square meter assessment so that your listing is as accurate as possible. Finally, contact an agent. Agents typically see dozens of houses a week and have a pretty good sense of space; they can often give you an estimate for each house in question.

Finally, remember that while square footage is important to the value of your home, it doesn't focus on it at the expense of style or your emotional response. Do you like the design and the floor plan? What about the location? Are there any rooms that you absolutely love? Numbers are important, but they don't replace the intangibles that make a house look like a home.