How Are Stairs Measured for an Appraisal?
I’ve noticed a bunch of keyword queries leading folks to our site wondering about how the square footage of stairs is calculated for an appraisal.
Stairs Are Measured Twice, But Included Once
When a house is measured for an appraisal, it is measured from the outside (if at all possible, and it almost always is possible for at least the first story). For detailed information, please read our series on measuring houses, starting with Determining the Square Footage of a House, Part 1 of 3.
This means that the square footage of the stairs is already included in the measurements for the first story of the home. When the second story is measured, frequently from the inside, the air space above the stairs is not included in the square footage of the second story.
You can imagine it this way: if the first floor was pancaked down to two dimensions, the stairs would (generally, usually) take up a rectangle, just like you see on builder diagrams for a new home. If the second story were pancaked down on top of the first, the staircase would occupy the same space, so it doesn’t get counted again.
Clear as mud?