Measuring a House, What Counts?
Not all of the space under your roof counts as living space from an appraiser’s perspective. Some spaces don’t count towards the measured square footage of a home.
You should always have a local, qualified professional determine answer your appraisal-related questions for any specific property. Do not make decisions about real estate based on the information in this article or on this website.
We offer a home square footage measuring service for customers in the Austin Texas area, including Cedar Park, Round Rock, Georgetown, Leander, Liberty Hill, Pflugerville, Hutto, Taylor, Manor, Buda, Kyle, Bee Caves, Wimberley, Lakeway, Manchaca, Dripping Springs, Driftwood, Westlake, Del Valle and Lockhart.
What Do Appraisers INCLUDE in the Square Footage of a House?
- Interior spaces that are conditioned spaces (heated, and cooled, if necessary) such as bedrooms, bathroom and living rooms.
- Enclosed patios that are heated and (if the rest of the house is) air-conditioned and are similar in workmanship (quality) as the rest of the home. If it still looks like a patio with walls, an independent appraiser will need to make the call as to whether or not to include this space.
- Finished attic space as long as it also conforms to the original structure (can’t just add carpet and call it a bedroom) and the ceilings are high enough, and the space is conditioned space because at this point it isn’t actually an attic anymore.
- All of the interior closets, entries, utility rooms, unless they meet the exclusion descriptions, below.
What do Appraisers EXCLUDE in the Square Footage of a House?
Some common spaces are not considered to be living space and are therefore not included when calculating the square footage of a house:
- Screened patios (and open ones as well).
- Garages, unless they have been converted to living space. Read The Value of a Garage Conversion.
- Unfinished areas, regardless of the level in the home.
- 2nd floor airspace (for example: open space, above an entry, or a vaulted room).
- The open area above a stairway on the second floor.
- Basements. While this space may have value, any value will be determined separately from the rest of the home.
- Detached living space such as an office in a extra building on the property – these spaces are measured separately.
- Spaces that are accessed only by traversing non-living space, like an enclosed storage area of a garage.
These spaces may be determined to add value to the property upon analysis of the comparable properties in an area, but they are not included in the square footage of the “main” home.
Some spaces, such as a finished basement, may (or may not) add value, but at a lesser rate than other finished (above-grade) spaces. This is determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the quality of the space and how the market has recently responded to similar homes.
More Articles on Square Footage of a Home
Read our 3-part series on measuring a home, starting with Determining the Square Footage of a Home for more information.
Chan Patel says
You should also mention patio,balcony,porch,upper level of two storey living room etc that are excluded from square footage area calculations.In case of attached garage, measure to the face of the garage wall etc etc.
Alison Buchanan says
Is the roof overhang of a building ever included in the calculation of the footprint of a building?
Orlando Masis says
No. The exterior of the home is measured along the walls, so the roof overhang isn’t included in the square footage.
Ricky W. says
I have a 5 bed room 3 baths house had a appraisal done and they did not include my laundry/utiity room which is heated and cooled is this correct.
Orlando Masis says
Is it inside the house, or do you have to go outside to get to it?
“Below grade rooms only when typical for the market (for example: a home built on a sloping lot).”
FALSE, below grade cannot be included in the GLA, even if it’s partially below grade and 100% finished. Must be completely above grade to be included in the GLA.
Greg Bell says
I have a 4 sided brick on frame home in Circle C Ranch. It has approx 2131sqft. It is on a corner lot and has a two car garage connected to the main house by a 27 ft covered breezeway that hide electric and cable lines etc. There is a patio and a deck with open beam arbor.
The home is valued a $394,600 ($185 sqft) on some market roles. Does the garage and Deck area value get added on after full appraisal or is that value the total package?
In my previous life as an insurance agent, the garage had it own value, say $100 X 400 sqft or $40,000. So is it the $ 394K or must garage be added with appraised value?
Can an enclosed room be included in sqare footage if I install a mini split or wall air conditioner, we have a fireplace and the room is open to the rest of the house?
Our Appraisal for our house comes in at 265,000.address19539 canyon dam place cottonwood Ca 1785sq feet but we have a inlaw flat with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and a kitchen about 500sq feet and attach is rv storage 40 feet by 20 feet ceiling is 20 feet high with storage above also another attached vehicle garage 30feet by 10feet ceiling 8 feet high with storage above. Are master bath is fully tiled. Please give me a ball park figure that the above would add to the appraisal.Thank You Ed