How to Measure Your Home's Square Footage

From: Zillow Porchlight

By: Jonathan Deesing

One of the most confusing and misleading metrics in real estate is area — the "size" of a house.

Like most aspects of owning or purchasing a house, measuring the square footage of a home is complicated. There’s no established standard for measuring a residential property, and everyone seems to measure square footage differently. But if you get it wrong, it can affect your home’s value.

There’s no need to be nervous about calculating your home’s square footage, however. Let’s look at how easy it actually is to measure a home’s square footage accurately.

Gross living area

For most people, the gross floor area or gross living area (GLA) of a home is what they’re thinking when they hear “square footage.”

Here’s how to calculate your GLA:
1.Draw a floor plan of the interior of the home, drawing each floor separately — a simple sketch will do.
2.Break the home into measurable rectangles (such as bedrooms and hallways).
3.Don’t include unfinished areas, including patios, porches, and exterior staircases.
4.Calculate the area of each rectangle by multiplying its length by its width.
5.The sum of all these rectangles is the square footage of the home.


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