Calculating the Square Footage of a House
Date: 04/01/2004 at 07:06:06 From: Bonnie Subject: general math Is there an exact formula for finding the square footage of a house?
Date: 04/01/2004 at 12:40:02 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: general math Hi, Bonnie. I'm not sure there's a simple formula for that (in real life). For a rectangular house, the area is the product of the length and the width. But not all houses are simple rectangles, and there are also rules for deciding which parts of a house count as part of the square footage (e.g. the basement), or don't count (e.g. the garage). And multi-story houses can make it even more complicated. Here is one place I found some rules: Measuring Houses and Counting Rooms http://www.chetboddy.com/Pages/measuringhouses.html The total floor area of a house is one of the most important things a buyer needs to know. But, until recently, there has been no national consensus on how to measure a house. For years, architects, builders, real estate agents, lenders and appraisers have been using a hodge-podge of methods to estimate residential floor area. In commercial real estate, where floor area is bought, sold and rented by the square foot, no one would tolerate this kind of vagueness and uncertainty. In fact, standards for measuring office buildings have been in effect since 1915. ... In April, 1996 the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) adopted a standard for measuring single-family residential buildings. ... The ANSI standards base floor area calculations on the exterior dimensions of the building at each floor level, and include all interior walls and voids. For attached units, the outside dimension is the center line of the common walls. Internal room dimensions aren’t used in this system of measuring. The ANSI standards define “finished area” as “an enclosed area in a house suitable for year-round use, embodying walls, floors, and ceilings that are similar to the rest of the house.” Measurements must be taken to the nearest inch or tenth of a foot, and floor area must be reported to the nearest square foot. Garages are specifically excluded. The article gives a lot of detail on how to measure, what to include or exclude, and what to look out for. It's not as simple as you'd think! If you have any further questions, feel free to write back. - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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