There seems to be some confusion, even among REALTORS®, as to how a home is measured. With the many different styles of homes on the market, questions can arise as to whether a basement can be counted as part of the official square footage of a house. We’ll take a look at the different styles of homes and the rules as they apply to each. Here are a couple of general points:
You measure your home at the outside: in other words, all exterior walls are part of the total square footage. To put it another way, we are looking for the ‘footprint’ of the house (or condo).
Garages, (even heated ones) do not count as part of the living space.
Sunrooms count only if they are heated and used year-round. So solariums with single pane glass and no heaters are not included.
Basement levels ONLY COUNT if there is another space, such as a crawl space, below them.
Here are the different styles of homes:
Bungalow with full basement: In this style of home, the basic ‘footprint’ counts as the size. So when you measure your home, use the outside dimensions. Basement does not count in the square footage.
Bi-Level: This is basically a ‘raised bungalow. You typically enter into a small landing, and then go up 6 steps to the main living area. Going down 6 steps brings you into the basement level. This type of home is very attractive, as the basement is very high out of the ground, and features very large windows. However, since the basement level is the lowest level in the house (no crawl-space under it) it DOES NOT count.
Two-story, 1-1/2 or 1-3/4 story : These typically feature a living room, kitchen, dining room on the main floor, with bedrooms and bath(s) on the 2nd floor. In these homes, BOTH of these areas count. The basement again, does NOT.
3-level splits: These homes typically feature living room-diningroom-kitchen on one level. From there you go up about 6 to 7 steps to the bedroom level. From the living room, you can also go down to the basement level, which is located directly beneath the bedrooms. This 3-rd level does NOT count, only the upper two count as part of the square footage.
4-level splits: Ok, working from top to bottom: The top level would have the bedrooms, then go down 6 steps to the living room-diningroom-kitchen. Down another 6 steps to a rec-room level, and down another 6 steps to the basement. Here the top 3 levels count, since that 3rd level (the recroom) will have a crawl space under it, but the lowest level (the basement) is on a concrete floor with nothing beneath.
How do you measure your home if its a Condo? Well, for townhouse and stand-alone units, the same rules apply as previously stated for houses. With apartment style condos, you measure the interior measurements PLUS part of the seperating walls between the units.
You actually get to use the entire wall thickness for the wall seperating your condo from the hallway and the outside airspace. The seperating walls between you and your neighbours are used at half-thickness.
How to Move Into a New Home | Tips For Moving Into a New Home
When I bought my first house, my timing couldnt have been better: The house closing was two weeks before the lease was up on my apartment. That meant I could take my time packing and moving, and I could get to know the new place before moving in. I recruited family and friends to help me move (in exchange for a beer-and-pizza picnic on the floor) and, as a bonus, I got to pick their brains about what first-time homeowners should know.