How Is Square Foot Gross Figured?


The standard unit of measure for determining the total area of floor space in a house or building is a square foot. A square foot measures 1 foot wide by 1 foot long.

Measuring Total Square Feet

  • You calculate the total square footage of an apartment or a house by measuring all rooms, excluding stairways and hallways, and adding up the total. Suppose you measured the bedroom and recorded the dimensions as 10 feet by 13 feet. The floor area of the bedroom would be 130 square feet (10 feet x 13 feet).

Gross Square Feet

  • The gross square footage not only includes the usable area inside the home but also the space within the exterior walls, as well as the all the vertical penetration enclosures between floors used for ventilation.


  • Included in the gross square foot measurements are such things as stairways and hallways, an excavated basement, porches and balconies. In a commercial building, count the space for the elevator shaft for every floor the elevator reaches.


  • Excluded from the gross square footage are such things as any overhang that extend beyond the walls and areas with less than 3 feet of height clearance. In a commercial building, exclude parking lots and pools.

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