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Accurate Home Square Footage Measurement Guide

At Joe Leffew Properties, we understand that one of the most confusing and misleading metrics in real estate is area — the “size” of a house. Measuring the square footage of a home can be complicated due to the lack of established standards for residential property measurement. But worry not! Our experts at Joe Leffew Properties will guide you through the process of accurately measuring your home’s square footage, while also addressing common mistakes and providing practical tips for both buyers and sellers.

Gross Living Space

Steps to Measure Your Home’s Square Footage

When people talk about a home’s “square footage,” they usually refer to the gross living area (GLA), which consists of the interior spaces meant for habitation. To accurately measure square feet, follow these steps:

  1. Create a floor plan of your home’s interior, drawing each floor separately. Exclude unfinished areas, patios, porches, and exterior staircases.
  2. Divide the house into measurable rectangles, which helps eliminate guesswork when dealing with irregularly shaped rooms or hallways.
  3. Measure the length and width of each rectangle, rounding off to the nearest 0.5 linear foot.
  4. Calculate the area of each section by multiplying the rectangle’s length by its width. Note down the square footage on your floor plan.
  5. Add up the total area by summing the square footage of each rectangle, rounding off to the nearest square foot.

What’s Included in Square Footage

Garages and Unfinished Basements

It’s important to know what to include and exclude when measuring your home’s square footage. Garages and unfinished basements are typically not counted in the overall square footage. However, it’s still good practice to measure these areas and include them in future property listings.

Finished Attics and Additional Stories

Finished attic spaces with at least seven feet of clearance should be included in your GLA, as should any additional stories in the house. Be sure to accurately represent the size of your property to avoid misleading potential buyers and affecting your home’s value.

Why Different Square Footage Numbers Occur

Discrepancies and Their Impact

Discrepancies in square footage measurements can arise from different methods used by sellers, architects, and appraisers. It’s crucial to be transparent when selling and diligent when buying a property. As a seller, base your claims on accurate measurements to prevent potential sale or price issues. As a buyer, conduct your research and obtain an independent square footage measurement to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Measuring Square Footage

Tips for Buyers and Sellers

To help you better understand the process, here are some common mistakes to avoid when measuring square footage:

  • Not measuring all rooms: Make sure to measure every room in the house, including closets, bathrooms, and utility rooms.
  • Ignoring staircases and hallways: Don’t forget to include these spaces in your overall square footage calculation.
  • Rounding measurements incorrectly: Always round measurements to the nearest 0.5 linear foot to maintain accuracy.

In addition to avoiding these mistakes, here are some practical tips for both buyers and sellers:

  • Buyers: Obtain an independent square footage measurement to verify the seller’s claims and ensure you’re paying a fair price for the property.
  • Sellers: Clearly disclose what areas are included and excluded in the sq footage to prevent any misunderstandings with potential buyers.

Work with Real Estate Professionals

Benefits of Partnering with Joe Leffew Properties

Lastly, working with experienced real estate professionals like Joe Leffew Properties can ensure accurate measurements and valuations. Our experts are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of the real estate market, whether you’re selling or buying a property. Trust our experience and knowledge to guide you through the process, providing a smooth and successful transaction.

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