How to Calculate the Square Feet of a Living Area


Square footage, abbreviated as sq ft, is used throughout the United States, Canada and other parts of the world to measure living space. One square foot is an area with a length of 12 inches and a width of twelve inches. Square footage is important in home sales, ordering paint or wallpaper, and carpeting a living space. Calculating the square footage of square or rectangular shaped rooms is relatively easy, but becomes more complicated when calculating triangular or circular shaped rooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator

Calculating the Square Footage of a Living Area

  • Measure the length and the width of the room. The square footage of a square or rectangular living area is calculated by multiplying these two measurements. For example, a room nine feet in length and six feet in width is 36 square feet.

  • Measure the base and the height or a triangular shaped living space to calculate the square footage. Multiply half the length of the base by the height. For example, an eight feet long by six feet high triangle is 24 square feet.

  • Measure the square footage of a circular shaped area by measuring the radius, the length from the center of the room to the outer perimeter. Square this number, that is, multiply it by itself. Then multiply this number by pi, or 3.14. For example, a room with a radius of four feet is (4 x 4 x 3.14 =) 50.24 square feet.

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