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.