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PROPERTY CLINIC: How do we work out the size of our house in square feet - and can we include the attic and garage?

  • Invest in a laser measure to help give buyers the most accurate information
  • It is usual to include the garage, but as a separate measurement
  • Loft measurements can be included so long as they are habitable spaces 

We are marketing our property ourselves online and we need to get a measurement of its square footage. 

I was going to just measure each room, hallway and landing, and add it all together. But then my wife pointed out that that doesn't include lots of used space like built-in storage, stairwells, etc. 

 She thinks we just measure the length and width of the house (which is rectangular) and multiply to get the square footage of one storey, then double it to add on the second – but I am worried that is cheating.

 Also we have an attic that is usable as a room, and an attached garage with direct access from the kitchen – can these be included? 

Invest in a laser measure to help give buyers the most accurate information about measurements if you're listing your home for sale online

Invest in a laser measure to help give buyers the most accurate information about measurements if you're listing your home for sale online

MailOnline's property expert Myra Butterworth replies: Usually getting the exact dimensions of your property for a floorplan is something that would be done by an estate agent for a sale. But if you want to do it yoursself, it is worth investing in a laser measure to ensure potential buyers are given the most accurate measurements possible.

This will allow you to make easier work of unusual shaped rooms and hallways. 

It is usual to include the garage, but as a separate measurement – while loft measurements can be included so long as they are habitable spaces with a minimum ceiling height of 7ft. 

Tom Waltham, a local estate agent from Yopa's Portsmouth team, replies: 'A detailed floor plan including the total square footage measurement is essential when launching your property online. 

'The easiest and most efficient way to get measurements is by using a laser measure. This way you can be sure that the measurements are accurate while having the option of both metric and imperial units.

To obtain the square footage of each room simply multiply the length by the width

To obtain the square footage of each room simply multiply the length by the width

'By measuring wall to wall you will be able to work out the length and width of each room. Remember to include hallways and landings, and any other alcoves such as bay windows within your dimensions. 

To realise the square footage of each room simply multiply the length by the width. Combine the square footage of each room to achieve the approximate square footage of the total house. 

'You can include loft space within your overall square footage if it has been converted into habitable space and offers ample ceiling height (usually a minimum of 7ft). 

'When it comes to the garage it is common to include the square footage as a separate measurement from the house. Most buyers prefer to see a stand alone figure for the house, a separate figure for any garaging and then a combined total of the two. This way you will be covering all bases. 

'It is also advisable that any measurement that you publish is approximate, to allow for any rounding up or down of the room dimensions. 

'To ensure that any buyer is accurately informed, also include the term 'maximum dimensions' or 'into bay' when measuring into bay windows or alcoves. This clarifies the fact that the published length or width of the room may include areas which add to the square footage, but is not necessarily practical living space.'

 

Tags Property

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Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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