## How to Calculate Square Footage of a Home

I’m John Jorgenson with Long and Foster and Stanley Martin Custom Homes.

I’m going to talk a little bit about square footage and how Stanley Martin calculates

square footage in their homes as well as the cost per square foot numbers.

So before I get started, I want to mention that Stanley Martin follows ANSI guidelines,

it’s A-N-S-I, so if you type A-N-S-I and square footage into your search engine, it’ll

bring up lots of great information.

So at Stanley Martin, following the ANSI guidelines, we only count condition space above-grade

that you can walk oh, so we don’t count basements, or garages, or any two-story space

you can’t walk on towards the square footage of the home.

In my first example, I start with a home that’s fifty feet wide by fifty feet deep with no

garage, no basement, no stairs, so just imagine it’s a rambler.

This particular home would be twenty-five hundred square feet.

So let’s say hypothetically that this home cost two hundred and fifty thousand dollars,

your cost per square foot would be one hundred dollars per square foot.

In the next example, I take the same fifty-by-fifty home and we add a twenty by twenty garage,

which is four hundred square feet.

When you subtract that four hundred square feet from that twenty five hundred square

feet you have a twenty one hundred square foot home.

According to ANSI, you do not count garage space as square footage of a home.

So let’s say hypothetically, this home also costs two hundred and fifty thousand dollars

now your cost per square foot is one hundred and nineteen dollars.

So now let’s take a look at what happens if we add a second floor to this same fifty

by fifty home.

So according to ANSI, you count the stairs as square footage to the floor from which

they descend.

So when you add a second floor to the home, and there’s stairs coming down from the

second floor to the first floor, that area counts as square footage to the second floor.

The space under the stairs would count towards square footage of the first floor.

So when you add a second floor to a home, and there’s no two-story space, you count

the whole fifty by fifty area, so you have twenty five hundred square feet on the second

floor.

So now you can add this twenty five hundred square feet to the twenty-one hundred square

feet we have on the main level which gives us a home size of forty six hundred square

feet.

So now let’s take a look at what happens when you add two-story space.

In this slide, we’ve added a two-story family room to the first floor of the home.

By doing so, we’ve had to remove a fifteen foot by fifteen foot area from the walking

space of the second floor.

This is two hundred and twenty five square feet.

So now we subtract that two hundred and twenty five square feet from the forty six hundred

square feet and that leaves us with a home that is now four thousand, three hundred and

seventy five square feet.

So let’s say hypothetically that this home costs five hundred thousand dollars, your

cost per square foot would be one hundred and fourteen dollars.

Alright now let’s take a look at the first floor master bedroom condition.

In this example, we’re going to start with a footprint of seventy feet wide and fifty

feet deep because we need to add room for the master bedroom suite.

So this home without a garage would be thirty-five hundred square feet.

Now we add a two-car garage, we’re going to back out four hundred square feet, and

that’ll bring us to thirty-one hundred square feet.

On a first floor master bedroom condition, you typically only have a couple of bedrooms

on the second floor, so instead of building out over the entire thirty one hundred square

foot area, we’re only going to build over eight hundred square feet.

So the total square footage of this home is going to be thirty nine hundred square feet.

However, the cost per square foot goes up because you’ve got this big seventy-foot-wide

by fifty-foot-deep foundation, you have a seventy foot wide roof by fifty feet deep,

and you’re only using eight hundred square feet of that second floor.

So let’s say hypothetically the price of this home is six hundred thousand dollars.

This would make the cost per square foot one hundred and fifty-four dollars.

So the cheapest way per square foot to build a home is to have a box on a box.

As soon as you start spreading out on that first-floor level, you’ve got more concrete

and you’ve got more roofing and that drives your price per square foot higher.

So the next question is what do you get for your money?

so the cost per square foot is also based on the features that are in the home.

What kind of flooring, what kind of siding, what kind of windows, what kind of roofing,

what’s the appliance package, do you have ceramic title in the bathrooms, et cetera,

et cetera.

So to do an actual comparison from one home to another home on a cost-per-square-foot

basis, you need to first understand what the square footage is of the home on the two levels

above grade, and then you need to understand what features are included in that price.

So on WeBuildOnYourLot.com, all the square footages posted for the homes are for the

two floors above grade, and it only includes the actual square footage where you can walk,

so all the two-story space has been deducted as well as garages, et cetera.

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