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How to Measure and Calculate Residential Square Footage

Step-By-Step

Calculating Circular Shapes and Octagons

Measuring Square Footage
Circles and octagons are easy to calculate.
© Janet Wickell
Some houses have bay windows or circular areas that jut out from the house.

  • The area of a circle is determined by squaring its radius and multiplying that figure by 3.14.

  • Calculate the area of an octagon by splitting it into a rectangle and triangles.

Double-Check Your Figures

Take a close look at your sketch before you leave the house. Should your diagram show shorter portions of walls in order to calculate the areas of subdivided shapes? Is there anything else you should document?

Buyer Agent Duties

You aren't expected to measure the home, but state real estate commissions do expect you to ask for confirmation if the stated size appears to be wrong. If you have doubts, get clarification of square footage before your client makes an offer.

All Agents & For Sale by Owner Sellers

Once you are accustomed to doing it, measuring square footage isn't difficult at all. Don't rely on information from tax agencies, appraisers, other agents, or even blueprints. Measure the residence yourself and keep supporting documents to show how you determined its total square footage.

  1. Make a Sketch of the Home
  2. Measuring Guidelines for Special Circumstances
  3. Using Your Measurements to Calculate Square Footage
  4. Calculating Combination Shapes
  5. Calculating Circular Shapes and Octagons

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