What Is Square Footage?

The square footage of a property is a measurement of its living space calculated in square feet. One square foot is measured by marking out a square of space with each side measuring one foot. The total square footage of a property is the total number of one-foot squares of livable floor space. A property’s square footage can impact its appraisal value (which is a measure of a house’s market value) or how much you pay in property tax on your home.

There are no national standards in the US for measuring the square footage of a home, and the standards typically vary by state. However, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) outlines certain standards to help professionals and homebuyers accurately measure the square footage of a home. For example, an appraiser following ANSI standards will only factor measurements of a house’s “finished” spaces accessible by heating or cooling systems and under a home’s ceiling into the home’s square footage calculation.


Convert among square inch, square foot, square yard and square meter

You could, for example, perform all of your measurements in inches or centimeters, calculate area in square inches or square centimeters then convert your final answer to the unit you need such as square feet or square meters.

To convert among square feet, yards and meters use the following conversion factors.  For other units use our calculator for area conversions.

  • Square Feet to Square Inches
    • multiply ft2 by 144 to get in2
  • Square Feet to Square Yards
    • multiply ft2 by 0.11111 to get yd2
  • Square Feet to Square Meters
    • multiply ft2 by 0.092903 to get m2
  • Square Yards to Square Feet
    • multiply yd2 by 9 to get ft2
  • Square Yards to Square Meters
    • multiply yd2 by 0.836127 to get m2
  • Square Meters to Square Inches
    • multiply m2 by 1,550 to get in2
  • Square Meters to Square Feet
    • multiply m2 by 10.7639 to get ft2
  • Square Meters to Square Yards
    • multiply m2 by 1.19599 to get yd2

How much to allow for waste?

To allow for waste, you must consider the installation.  For most standard installations, 10% extra for waste is sufficient.  Percentage of waste for more elaborate patterns like running tile on a 45 degree angle, herringbone or cross hatch, consult with your installer. Add 15% for tile being installed in a room with lots of jogs and corners. These installations will require more cuts and thus more waste.

Length x Width + Waste = Amount Needed

Tips For Determining Square Footage

There are some tips you could follow to make measu

There are some tips you could follow to make measuring the square footage of your home easier.

  • Push furniture to the middle of the room to make it easier to measure at the walls
  • Measure at the floor
  • Use a reel measuring tape. They are longer and easier to use.
  • Think in terms of squares and rectangles. For example, measure the square of a bedroom. Then, measure the closet.

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 to find the square footage of a circle

  1. Measure the diameter of your circle in feet.
  2. Divide your diameter by 2 and then square it (multiply it by itself).
  3. Multiply your total by π (3.14159265)
 The formula for calculating the area of a circle

The formula for calculating the area of a circle is: π r2 (with r being the radius of the circle, which is half the diameter). π is the symbol for pi (3.14159265).


3. What is Net Assignable Square Feet?

Net Assignable Square Feet (“NASF”) is the sum of

Net Assignable Square Feet (“NASF”) is the sum of all areas that are assigned to (or available for assignment to) an occupant for specific use. Examples of assignable space include classrooms, laboratories, offices, study areas, residential areas, general use rooms and special use rooms. These rooms are areas where people gather to accomplish a task.

A rule of thumb is if an area allows occupants to accomplish part of their institution’s mission, then it is most likely included in net assignable square feet. Examples of areas that would not be included in net assignable square feet are stairwells, hallways, elevator shafts and closets. These areas are not included in NASF because they are not assigned for occupant use.

Having an accurate measurement of NASF can help to determine the best spaces to allocate to a department. NASF can also help facility managers assess revenue for leased spaces and determine staffing needed to keep the area functioning correctly.

How to Calculate Net Assignable Square Feet

Determine your building’s net square feet. Then, subtract areas that do not have a specific, assigned use for occupants (i.e. stairs, hallways, closets etc.). This number is your net assignable square feet, because it measures all areas in your facility that people can actually use for activities on a day-to-day basis.

How to calculate how many pieces of bullnose you will need?

If you have ten feet exposed edge that needs bullnose this is equal to 120″.  If you selected a 6″ bullnose or trim piece, you will need to divide 120″ by 6″, which will give you 20 pieces of bullnose needed.  Using 8″ decorative liner for the same 120″, you divide 120″ by 8″ which would be 15 pieces of liner needed.

What Rooms Are Included in Square Footage?

Rooms that will typically be included in a home's square footage are any finished rooms that have a ceiling, walls, and a floor, such as living room, bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and finished basements. Areas that are not typically included in the square footage of a home are garages, pool houses, unfinished basements, and attics.

How to Calculate the Square Feet of a Home or Residence

When measuring the square footage of a home or residence, some special considerations apply to determine the inhabitable square footage. The livable size of a home helps determine the market value and price and helps buyers understand the overall size.

Only livable rooms, with finished walls, floor, and ceiling, count toward the finished area of the home. For a room to be considered livable, the space should be finished and should have heating or air conditioning as applicable.

Indoor spaces count toward the square footage of a home, while outdoor spaces typically do not. In fact, the American National Standards Institute has defined rules[1] for what counts as finished area and which rooms contribute to the gross living area of a home.[2]

To calculate the total area, measure each room in feet using a tape measure. Then, multiply the length and width of each room to get the square footage, then add them all together.

The calculator above can help determine the square feet of each room, then simply add all the room’s areas together. We also have great resources on how to measure rooms and complex spaces.

How to Calculate Price per Sq Ft

To calculate the price per square foot of your home, divide the total price by the number of square feet.

price per ft2 = total price ÷ total ft2

For example, to find the price per ft2 of a home that costs $200,000 and is 2,000 ft2 use this formula.

price per ft2 = $200,000 ÷ 2,000 ft2 price per ft2 = $100

If you’d prefer not to do the math, you can also use our unit price calculator to calculate the price per square foot.

Square feet to cubic feet

If you would like to convert your square footage into cubic feet, take a look at the square feet to cubic feet calculator.


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