Finished Below Grade Square Feet: The total finished square footage measured below ground level from the building's front perspective includes all floors and levels below this line. The area must have flooring, wall covering (trimmed), and a ceiling to be considered "finished." Ceilings less than 8 feet high are considered finished if they are covered with material such as drywall, paneling, or wood. Floors must be completely flat and free of defects such as cracks or holes. Walls should be smooth and without molding or other decorations. Floor-to-ceiling windows are not included in the finished square footage calculation.
Above Grade Square Feet: This is the total square footage including roof space but not including any interior rooms or spaces. Rooms that are enclosed but not heated or air-conditioned can also be excluded from this number. If you plan to rent out part of your home, you will need to make sure the portion you are renting is reported as finished square footage on the government form. For example, if you are renting out one room in your two-bedroom house, that would be considered half of your total square footage since it does not meet the requirement for being "completely furnished."
Roofs are included in the above grade square footage calculation because they provide an additional area where people can live while improving the appearance of the home.
Unfinished rooms in the house, such as basements or attics, should not be included in the overall square footage. In fact, any section of the home that is below ground level, even if just partially, should be avoided at all costs. This is because these areas are likely to cause problems for future buyers or occupants.
The best way to avoid having an unfinished room affect the sale price of your home is to finish it. Add insulation, drywall, flooring, and other improvements to make the space usable. You can calculate the increase in value by looking up the sales volume of similar homes in your area and then multiply that number by the estimated finished product value. For example, if several similar houses have been sold in the region recently and the average price per square foot is $100, then you know that a room with 100 square feet of living space would be worth $10,000 to $20,000.
Finishing an attic takes advantage of this space that would otherwise be wasted and helps it become useful instead. Attics are great places to store items out of sight and out of mind until they can be moved into another part of the house or removed entirely. Finishing an attic provides a safe and secure place for people to hide treasures while still being able to access them when needed.
Attics are also great places to live life to the fullest.
Do unfinished rooms such as basements and attics contribute to total square footage? Basements and attics should not be included in the overall square footage of a home. An attic or loft area, on the other hand, can be counted if it is completed and accessible by stairs. If so, include a proportionate amount for each floor board you plan to sell.
An attic can be used as a legal bedroom or office, so long as you don't represent that it has any other purpose. Attics are also good places to store extra furniture or equipment. If you have an unfinished basement, you can use it for the same purposes as an attic (except there's no way to legally claim it as an office). Unfinished spaces lose value over time because they aren't used efficiently, so including them in the price of your house can actually decrease its overall value.
The best advice is to complete all existing space, whether it's an attic, basement, or some other area. Only then will you be able to take advantage of its true potential and increase the value of your home.
Finished square footage includes any area with walls, floors, a ceiling, and heat. This includes your bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, storage areas, and even outdoor living spaces. The more of this type of space you have, the more options you have for customization and versatility.
At its most basic, the amount of living space in a house is the total floor area of all rooms used for living purposes. But that doesn't take into account elements like a kitchen or a dining room that are necessary for living but not always used as such. In these cases, the living space is reduced by the size of these facilities.
The number can be calculated using measurements taken when building a house or estimating existing space. To estimate the living space in a home, first measure the width of each wall opening 4 feet off the ground. Add these numbers together to get the total living area. Then divide this figure by 7 to determine how many square feet of living space there is in a bedroom.
For example, if the measurement is 50 inches wide and 60 inches tall, then the total living area is 180 square feet. Divide this number by 7 and you will see that it measures about 24 square feet per person.
These guidelines say that the square footage should only reflect the living portions of the property, therefore garages, unfinished rooms such as attics or workshops, screen porches, balconies, and basements are often excluded from the total. However, it is not unusual for realtors to list an home with more square footage than its actual size to make it seem larger than it is. Also, buildings with more than one floor will usually have a higher ratio of bedrooms to bathrooms, which can cause them to appear larger than they are.
In conclusion, yes, builders do lie about square footage. It is common practice for them to add on to their homes, either by building up or out, so you will likely be able to find something closer to what you want within your budget. If you do find a house that seems like a good deal but it has less square footage than others in the neighborhood, ask yourself why this house was sold for less money if it was actually smaller. There could be any number of reasons, but most commonly it is because it didn't meet the needs of the buyer or they were waiting for the market to go down before they sold it.
Overall, using these three tips will help you avoid being taken advantage of when buying a house.
Unheated or unfinished portions should not be included in the square footage fields, but should be stated in the comments section. Square footage should only comprise areas with a minimum ceiling height of 5 feet (1.5 story or A-frame houses, for instance). Areas such as attics, storage rooms, and other non-living spaces should not be included in the calculation.
The reasoning is that these are not useful living spaces so they shouldn't be counted as part of your home's square footage. However, you should note these areas in the comments section so that when the building inspector arrives to measure your house he knows not to include them in his calculations.
For example, if your home has 8500 square feet of living space and no one lives there now, then you're over your city's limit. Even though nothing usable exists in some of those rooms they still need to be included in your calculation because you want to be aware of this before you build anything more than skin deep in any of those areas.
In most cities the requirement is set at 2% of total living space per unit. So if your town requires that you include 10% of the value of your home in its assessment, then you would multiply 8000 by 0.2 which equals 16000.