How do I calculate the Square Footage of my home? The Right way!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Jameson Sotheby's/Anywhere Appraisals


What is the correct way to measure your home?


For Detached Homes : First you will need to get some tools in order to measure.  You can either purchase a laser (Disto is the best brand) or a walking measuring stick.  The correct way to  measure is from the EXTERIOR of the home.  You will start by measuring the exterior of the home covering all edges and curves until you completely go around it.  After you finish, this will give you the exact dimensions of the FIRST floor.  If it is 40 x 35 then your total GLA (Gross living Area) = 1,400 sqft.  

Note: If there is an attached garage or a porch that is NOT heated, you will have to deduct that area from the square footage.


If the home is a one story home, you are done.  Calculate the measurements to give you the square footage.  


Note - Only above grade square footage is considered in determining the square feet of a home.  Any below grade (basement), is not calculated in it.  It is calculated separate.  


If the home is 2  levels, then you simply have to double the first floor measurement.  You then can subtract any area that is open to below to the first floor such as a loft, stairway, or unfinished space.


Example: If the home is a two story home and the first floor measures 40 x 35 (1,400 Sq Ft) and the second floor is the same size, but has no living space due to a loft that measures 15 x 10 (150 Sq Ft).  Then the total GLA would be:

1,400 Sq F (1st Floor) + 1,400 Sq Ft ( Second Floor) - 150 Sq Ft(Loft) = 2,650 Sq Ft.


For Attached Homes (Condos,Apartments, Townhouses): The living area is calculated from the interior walls, the best way to do this is usually with a laser or standard tape measure. Measure around the unit tracing all interior walls until you make it all the way to your starting point.




- Nick Conteduca


I have been a Broker/Appraiser in Chicago for 10+ Years. Please give me a call or email with all your real estate needs. Visit my website for my contact info.



Thank you!

Comments (8)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I use a lot of the tricks of the trade and memorization myself

Sep 23, 2014 02:29 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Nicholas Conteduca Welcome to ActiveRain - and yes, it's simple to calculate the living area of a home - somehow some agents just don't get it!

Sep 23, 2014 03:42 PM
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Thanks for the listen Nick. We look forward to hearing more from you at ActiveRain!

Sep 23, 2014 04:00 PM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Hi  Nick, Thanks for the info.  Welcome to ActiveRain.

Sep 24, 2014 01:14 PM
Nicholas Conteduca
Jameson Sotheby's/Anywhere Appraisals - Chicago, IL
Chicago's Top Real Estate Agent - Broker/Appraiser

Thank you!

Sep 24, 2014 02:16 PM
Frank Harper
Idaho Family Real Estate - Boise, ID
Broker/Owner, Realtor, GRI, SFR.

Good job on your first Activerain post! Keep going and good luck!

Sep 27, 2014 12:31 AM
Morris Massre
Pembroke Pines, FL
Real Estate Instructor Broward County Florida

I'm amazed at how many people, including realtors, do not know how to do this.

Oct 02, 2014 12:09 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

A good post. Here the county tax cards have the square footage as measured by the tax assessors. If  I really need a precise number I hire an appraiser to measure for me.j 

Oct 10, 2014 01:31 PM

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