Calculating Cost Per Square Foot

When painting a house, installing flooring, or building a home, the square footage of the property is often used to determine the cost or materials to be used.

Painting a house:

Professional house painters often base price quotations on the square footage of a property. Alternatively, even if a person plans to paint their house themselves, measuring square footage can yield accurate estimates of the amount of paint required.

Total cost encompasses more factors than the just amount of paint required, including the cost of materials such as brushes, turpentine, and any materials necessary for preparing, mixing, applying, and cleaning up paint. These considerations are typically included in a quote from a professional painter, in addition to labor costs. Accordingly, the larger the size of a property or area, the higher the cost required to paint it.

Depending on the surface being painted, whether wood, metal, plastic, or something else, paint primer, which helps the paint adhere more effectively to a given surface, can be used. While the amount of coverage provided by primer or paint depends heavily on the method of application, type, and brand of paint, primer generally covers less area than paint, and estimated coverage amounts can range from anywhere between 200-400 square feet per gallon.

Flooring installation:

There are a number of materials commonly used for flooring, including wood, laminate, and tile. Flooring costs can vary significantly depending on the quality and choice of materials.

Wood Flooring

Wood flooring includes woods such as hardwood, engineered wood (also known as composite or man-made wood), and bamboo, though bamboo is actually classified as grass.

Hardwood flooring is highly durable, easy to clean, and can be found in a variety of different appearances. As such, it is fairly versatile in terms of interior design, but does require some maintenance such as sanding and refinishing over time.

Engineered wood flooring is made from several layers of wood, with a thin outermost layer of the desired hardwood, and inner layers such as plywood and high-density fiberboard. Engineered hardwood has a higher heat and moisture resistance than solid hardwoods, is easy to maintain, and is generally cheaper to purchase and install than hardwood flooring.

Bamboo flooring is easy to maintain, moisture resistant, easy to install, and is available in many different styles. It is often cheaper than traditional hardwood options, but does have the disadvantage of scratching easily as a result of furniture, high heels, claws, or even debris.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is typically made with plywood or fiberboard with a plastic laminate top layer, and can have a similar look like hardwood. It is less costly than traditional wood flooring, is highly durable, difficult to scratch, stain, or dent, and requires little maintenance. Laminate flooring can even be installed over existing flooring, which can save time as well as the cost of removing old flooring. However, laminate flooring often feels too hard on the feet, cannot be finished or stained – meaning that the owner is stuck with what they choose and will have to entirely replace the floor if they change their mind – and also results in a lower resale value for a home than traditional hardwoods.

Tile flooring

Tile flooring includes concrete or cement, ceramic tiles, glass tiles, and natural stone products among many others. Due to the numerous varieties of tile, there is an incredibly large price range, from 60 cents per square foot, to hundreds of dollars, or even $100,000 per square foot. The many options of tile allow a person to choose a cost and style that best fits their needs. Tile is also easy to maintain, clean, and is suitable for all locations. However, without heating, tile can be cold in the winter. It also does not dampen sound, can be slippery when wet, can break if heavy objects are dropped on them, and cannot easily be repaired. Tile installation is also difficult, and installation costs can be more expensive than the cost of the materials.

Building a home:

When building a home, using building plans and visiting different homes as a reference can help a person to gain a better understanding of what square footages work for their preferences.

The cost of building a home varies largely based on a number of factors, including materials, the type of foundation, the pitch of the roof, and many other characteristics that are not necessarily directly related to the size of the house. Unlike the cost per square foot of installing flooring, which can be estimated based on material, quality, and installation costs, the multitude of factors involved in building a house makes it more difficult to estimate cost per square foot. As such, cost per square foot is often estimated based on averages, and depending on a person’s specific project, it may not be an accurate estimate of the cost. Instead, it may be more helpful to get an estimate from a builder based on some given specifications, and divide that estimate by the number of square feet the house will occupy.

Obtaining an estimate of the cost per square foot for a person’s specific project can allow comparison to a different house of similar size as a reference. As previously mentioned, houses of the same size do vary significantly in building cost. Thus, having a reference can help a prospective owner decide whether or not to include an elegant master bath, marble tiles, curved staircases, or any other more extravagant features. There are also a number of costs outside of building the house that should be considered, such as fees to local authorities, labor, special requirements from building codes, and insurance.

How to calculate square footage pricing

Once again, we tackle a widespread issue that, despite the complications which might arise in real life, has some rather simple maths beneath it. The calculations of square footage pricing are, mathematically, the simple division of the price of a specific property by its total square footage. In everyday life, this value changes significantly depending on such factors as a location of the property, intended or potential use, and so on. It is nonetheless a useful quantity to evaluate the value of a particular house or property.

  Before we talk a bit more about the usefulness of this measurement, let’s take a look at how we can use this calculator when square footage pricing comes into play. First, make sure that the “One room/area” option is selected at the top of the calculator. The area can be calculated in the previous steps or can also be inputted by the user. Then either the price per sq ft or the total cost should be provided to obtain the other value. Let’s look at a complete example:
  1. Input the size of the property’s (or property chunk’s) width and length in your desired units,
  2. Input the number of properties/chunks of the property with the size input above,
  3. [only if you didn’t follow the first two steps] Input the total area in your desired units,
  4. Input the total pricing of the property,
  5. Obtain the square footage pricing as dollars (or your local currency) per sq ft.

This is an example of one of the most straightforward scenarios, but it is very representative of the typical uses of this square footage calculator. We think that it is essential not only to know how to calculate square footage or how to measure square footage but also to know what you can do with those values once you get them.

When it comes to square footage pricing, its usefulness relies on the fact that it allows comparing properties (mostly houses) of different sizes and prices. It’s the equivalent of performance per dollar charts of computer parts, for example. In this manner, one could compare a 1500 sq ft with a 500 sq ft and know which one represents a better real state option, looking beyond just the price or the size of them. In fact, this can be used with any other area unit with or without converting from square meters to square feet or acres to square feet – every time we want to make a fair comparison.

Video

How many square feet is a 20×20 room?

The square footage of a room measuring 20 feet wide by 20 feet long is 400 square feet. To calculate this you simply multiply the width by the height. 20ft × 20ft = 400 sq ft.

Different Units of Measurement

Using square feet is the most common unit of measurement in American real estate. But it’s not your only option. For small projects, you might want to work in square inches. For big projects, like landscaping, square yards might make more sense. And in international real estate markets, square meters are the standard for home measurements. 

Whatever your unit of measurement, the formula is the same. Multiply the length times the width to calculate the area of square and rectangular surfaces. Just make sure you’re using the same unit of measurement for your length and width. If you’re looking for square feet, measure both distances in feet; if you’re looking for square meters, measure both distances in meters.

How to use the square footage calculator

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how the calculator works and what is the square footage formula, it’s useful to know how to use the calculator, and what each of the components mean. With the “One room/area” option selected, the square footage calculator is composed of the following fields:

  1. Shape – Select the room/area shape from rectangle, square, circle, triangle, hexagon or octagon
  2. Measurements – Various measurements of the room, which change depending on the shape selected
  3. Quantity – Enter the number of rooms/areas that have the same shape and measurements
  4. Area – Combined square footage of all the spaces as input above
  5. Unit price – Price (in the local currency) per square foot
  6. Total cost – Combined monetary value of the spaces described above

To use the calculator is as simple as setting the known values and letting the system calculate the rest. This means that you can use this calculator to compute the price per square foot of a property if you know the total price and total square footage.

If you select the option “Multiple rooms/areas” at the top of the calculate, you can enter the measurements for up to ten rooms or areas and get a grand total at the bottom of the calculator of the square footage. For complex room layouts, divide up the room into simple shapes, such as rectangles, squares, etc., and enter each one as a separate room/area. If you’ve entered a unit price, you’ll also get the total cost.

Area = √s(s-a) (s-b) (s-c)

s = Perimeter/2

Perimeter = 11 + 15 + 14 =40

S = 40/2 = 20

Area = √20(20-11) (20-15) (20-14)

Area= √20(9)(5)(6)

Area= 73.4847 sq. ft. 

How to Calculate Square Feet for a Circle

Calculate the square footage of a circle by using the formula: A=πr2Where A = Area of the circle

Π = 3.14159

r = radius (Tip: To find the radius of the room, simply divide the diameter by two). 

Example:

Calculate the square footage of a round room with a 12ft diameter. 

To solve the problem: 

  1. First calculate the radius, which is half the diameter. 12/2 = 6ft.

  2. Next solve for the area using A=πr2  where π= 3.1415

3.1415 x (6)2 =   3.1415 x 36 

Area = 113.094 sq. ft.

How to Calculate Square Feet of an Irregular Shape

To calculate the square footage of an irregular shape, divide the irregular shape into smaller shapes, find the area of each, and then add up all the results. 

Example:

Find the area of the irregular figure below.  

To find the square footage of the area, divide the irregular shape into multiple squares or rectangles, labeled A, B, C, and D. 

Find the Area of A, B, C and D. 

Total Square Foot = Area of A + Area of B + Area of C + Area of D

How is Calculating Square Feet Used in Real Life?

Square footage is used in many professions, including some of the most popular six figure jobs. For instance, software engineers or lawyers looking to expand will rely on square footage when shopping for a new office. Similarly, construction managers who oversee the implementation of new projects use square footage numbers to ensure they have enough materials to finish the project they are working on.

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