How Much Square Footage Do You Need?

About This Calculator:

Our Square Footage Calculator / SQFT calculator helps you calculate the area required for roofing shingles, landscaping for a garden, tiling, flooring space, carpeting and wallpaper. There is even a Siding Square Footage Calculator so you can estimate House Siding costs without any hassle.

We have covered most common use cases. Our calculator allows you to input length and width in many units, such as yards (yds), meters (m), millimeters (mm), centimeters (cm) and inches (in).

It automatically converts your input into feet and also provides output multiple units:

  • – Square Footage (ft2)
  • – Square Yards (yd2)
  • – Square Meters (m2)
  • – Acres (acre)

We also have price or cost input which completely optional but allows you to calculate the cost of materials such as plywood, aluminium, paint and labor cost (Most contractors use price per square foot when calculating their labor cost).

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How to find the square footage of a rectangle

  1. Measure the width and length of the area in feet.
  2. Multiply your length and width together to get your area.

Note: If your measurements aren't in feet, convert them to feet first using our length converter.

Once you've carried out your calculation, you will have your square feet (ft2) figure. To calculate your cost of materials, simply multiply this figure by your price per square foot.

How many square feet is a 12×12 room?

The square footage of a room measuring 12 feet wide by 12 feet long is 144 square feet. To calculate this you simply multiply the width by the height. 12ft × 12ft = 144 sq ft.

How to calculate the square footage of a house

When preparing to measure the square footage of a home, be it a house, condo, or townhouse, start with a few simple supplies:

  • Paper and pencil
  • Calculator
  • Measuring tape and/or laser measuring tool

If the property is a perfect rectangle, simply measure the length and width and multiply those two numbers together. For example, if your one-story house is 60 feet wide by 40 feet long, then your property is 2,400 square feet (60 x 40 = 2,400).

However, most properties have more complex floor plans. When this is the case, it’s helpful to follow these simple steps to measure square footage.

  1. Draw a rough sketch of your entire space, labeling all of the rooms you need to measure. Include hallways and vestibules as their own “room.”
  2. Measure the length and width, in feet, of each room. Then, multiply the length by the width to calculate that room’s square footage. For example: If a bedroom is 12 feet by 20 feet, it is 240 square feet (12 x 20 = 240). For each room, write the total square footage in the corresponding space on your sketch.
  3. Once each room is measured, add up all the measurements to determine your home’s total square footage.

Note If you live in a tract home, condo or townhome community, you may be able to get architectural drawings or master builder plans of your floor plan. These may already have your square footage calculated.

The Bottom Line

To find out how much square footage you need, make a list of all the rooms you want in your home. Then you can estimate the square footage for each room and add it up to get the estimated square footage you’ll need.

For each person, the square footage they need will depend on their personal lifestyle, living priorities, and budget.

How much square footage do you need?

Now for the reason many families set out to learn about square footage in the first place: To find out how much of it they need.

Census Bureau statistics say that overall, newly constructed homes are getting bigger and bigger. But at the same time, minimalist living remains popular, and tiny homes are a trend that isn’t slowing down.

At the end of the day, it’s subjective. There’s no simple rule that will tell you exactly the right size home for your family. But here are some guidelines to help you begin to figure out how much space your family needs in a home.

  • Start with your existing square footage. First, calculate an accurate square footage for your existing home so you have a starting point. Then, sit down (with your family, if you’d like), and think about whether your current home is too small, too big, or just right for you. Depending on what you decide, you should have a better idea of the kind of square footage you should look for in your next home.
  • Consider your family’s needs. How big is your family? Do you need a home office? Do you often have friends or family visiting who need a guest room where they can spend the night? These questions will also help you figure out what kind of square footage you need — the bigger your family and the more spaces you need, the more square footage you’re likely to want for your home.
  • Think about your furniture. In some cases, your possessions will be a factor in how much square footage you need. For example, if you have a king sized bed set, you’ll need a home with at least one large bedroom to accommodate it. Same thing if you have a large sectional couch, an eight-person dining set, or a pool table.
  • Maintain the right ratio. According to some experts, for every bedroom in your home, you should have the space to seat two people in the dining room and living room. Keep that ratio in mind as you look at homes — you don’t want to end up with a bedroom for everyone, but no room for the family in common spaces.
  • Remember how much difference a good layout can make. For example, a 2,500 square foot home with each room closed off will seem smaller than a 2,200 square foot home with an open concept floor plan. Keep this in mind, and don’t be too set on one specific number — there’s no such thing as the “perfect” square footage for any family; just a home that allows you to happily function.

How to Convert Square Footage to Yards/Meters

To convert between units for a given area, you can use these conversion factors:

  • Square Feet → Square Yards: Divide ft2 by 9
  • Square Feet → Square Meters: Multiply ft2 by .092903
  • Square Yards → Square Feet: Multiply yd2 by 9
  • Square Yards → Square Meters: Multiple yd2 by .836217
  • Square Meters → Square Feet: Multiply m2 by 10.763915
  • Square Meters → Square Yards: Multiply m2 by 1.19599

Converting between units2 is similar to converting between regular units. The only difference is the conversion between units2 is the conversion between units done twice. For example, to convert from feet to yards, you would divide ft by 3, but to convert from square feet to square yards, you would divide by 3 and then divide by 3 again. This is the same as dividing by 32 or 9.

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How to Calculate the Square Feet of a Home or Residence

When measuring the square footage of a home or residence, some special considerations apply to determine the inhabitable square footage. The livable size of a home helps determine the market value and price and helps buyers understand the overall size.

Only livable rooms, with finished walls, floor, and ceiling, count toward the finished area of the home. For a room to be considered livable, the space should be finished and should have heating or air conditioning as applicable.

Indoor spaces count toward the square footage of a home, while outdoor spaces typically do not. In fact, the American National Standards Institute has defined rules[1] for what counts as finished area and which rooms contribute to the gross living area of a home.[2]

To calculate the total area, measure each room in feet using a tape measure. Then, multiply the length and width of each room to get the square footage, then add them all together.

The calculator above can help determine the square feet of each room, then simply add all the room’s areas together. We also have great resources on how to measure rooms and complex spaces.

How to Calculate Price per Sq Ft

To calculate the price per square foot of your home, divide the total price by the number of square feet.

price per ft2 = total price ÷ total ft2

For example, to find the price per ft2 of a home that costs $200,000 and is 2,000 ft2 use this formula.

price per ft2 = $200,000 ÷ 2,000 ft2 price per ft2 = $100

If you’d prefer not to do the math, you can also use our unit price calculator to calculate the price per square foot.

How to use the cost per square foot calculator?

To use the cost per square foot calculator, follow these instructions below:

  1. Enter the price. This figure can be the purchase price of a property or its monthly rental.
  2. Enter the square footage area of the property. The real estate agent should provide you with this information. If you are looking to calculate the price per square foot of your own house, then you will find our square footage calculator useful.
  3. Watch as the calculator instantly calculates and displays the price per square foot.
  4. Try our Omni calculator in the reverse direction. If want to put your house on the market, you may know the average price per square foot in your area, so enter this value into the calculator first. Next, enter the square footage of your house. The calculator will then show you the amount you should ask for your property.
  5. You can also use this calculator to compare up to three different properties. All you do is answer “Yes” where the calculator asks if you want to compare a second or third property.

Why Is the Actual Square Footage Different From What Is Advertised?

Sometimes, the listed square footage is close to the true livable space. However, when listing agents, developers, and sellers list the square footage, it may be different from the actual habitable square footage. Often, architectural specs are used which include the square footage occupied by walls, columns, separators, fixtures, and sometimes even shared common spaces.

So, while the gross square footage is possibly close to what’s advertised, the net square footage can sometimes be off by a lot.

Other times, it’s an attempt to make the space of the listing seem a lot bigger than it actually is. And, it’s easy to get away with because buyers don’t often show up with a measuring tape and take the time to measure every single space, as it is very time-consuming.

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How to Calculate Square Footage

Square footage is area expressed in square feet. Likewise, square yardage is area expressed in square yards.  Square meters is also a common measure of area.

Assume you have a rectangular area such as a room and, for example, you want to calculate the square footage area for flooring or carpet.

The way to calculate a rectangular area is by measuring the length and width of your area then multiplying those two numbers together to get the area in feet squared (ft2). If you have on oddly shaped area, such as an L-shape, split it into square or rectanglualar sections and treat them as two separate areas. Calculate the area of each section then add them together for your total. If your measurements are in different units, say feet and inches, you can first convert those values to feet, then multiply them together to get the square footage of the area.

Convert all of your measurements to feet

  • If you measured in feet skip to “Calculate the Area as Square Footage”
  • If you measured in feet & inches, divide inches by 12 and add that to your feet measure to get total feet
  • If you measured in another unit of measure, do the following to convert to feet – inches: divide by 12 and that is your measurement in feet – yards: multiply by 3 and that is your measurement in feet – centimeters: multiply by 0.03281 to convert to feet – meters: multiply by 3.281 to convert to feet

Calculate the Area as Square Footage

  • If you are measuring a square or rectangle area, multiply length times width; Length x Width = Area.
  • For other area shapes, see formulas below to calculate Area (ft2) = Square Footage.

How Much Flooring do I Need?

Knowing the square footage of the space is needed when you want to buy and install new flooring in your home. As a general rule of thumb, you will want to buy 10% to 15% more flooring than the square feet needed in order to account for wasted cuts or for any mistakes when installing. For example, if you are purchasing flooring for an entire 1,500 square foot home, you’ll want to purchase 1,650 square feet of flooring. This acts as a buffer and will help your project go smoothly.

Flooring CalculatorSquare Feet of Rooms: square feet Buffer Percentage: % Total Square Feet of Flooring Needed:1,210 sq. ft.

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