Square Footage Definitions and How to Use Them

Whether you are a real estate agent, business owner, landlord, mortgage lender, or homeowner, knowing how to determine square footage is important. Below we will go through the basics of calculating square footage, as well as explore some useful related terms.

Calculating Square Footage

In a nutshell, square footage is the measurement of any two-dimensional spaces contained within a set of lines, usually walls, property lines, fences, sidewalks, etc. If this space is a square or rectangle, you can simply multiply the width of the floor by the length of the floor.

Multiple Floors

Each floor of a structure should be measured separately at the level of the floor. If the top story of the house is part of an angled roof, the measurements should be taken inside to get an accurate result.

Key Terms:

These terms are often used by renters, owners, and real estate workers as they relate to square footage.

Net Square Footage

The usable area of a specified space. For example: a suite, floor, or entire building.

Flex Space

This term describes a space which can be put to a variety of uses. This type of space allows the flexibility to move furniture and various in-house infrastructure.

Parking Ratio

This figure is the number of parking spaces that is available or required per square foot of building space.

Space Plan

This shows a representation of space requirements (wall and door locations, room sizes, and sometimes furniture positions).

Usable Square Footage

Usable Square Footage is the area contained within the living or working space, i.e. not including storage closets, etc.

Floor Area Ratio

The ratio of the gross square footage of a building to the land upon which it is situated. Calculated by dividing the total square footage in the building by the square footage of land area.