Having an accurate idea as to the total square footage of a particular area helps you to be able to plan a project, as well as calculate the total costs of required materials. You need to know, for example, what the square footage of a room that you plan to re-carpet is before you can accurately determine how much that amount of carpet will cost you.
Square footage is basically just a way of calculating the total amount of space that covers a particular area. Don’t be put off by the word calculate. The math behind the calculations is very simple. You simply need to know the length and width of a specific room to then be able to figure out what the total surface area is. Once you know the surface area of a space, you can figure out, for example, how large of a bed will fit, what size rug to look for, or how to arrange furniture within a space. All you need to get started is a tape measure and a calculator (if you don’t want to do the math the old-fashioned way!)
Calculating square footage is straightforward and just requires some simple math. To begin, you simply need to determine the length and width of a room and then multiply those two numbers together.
So, the equation for square feet will look something like this:
Length (in feet) x width (in feet) = area (sq. ft)
Let’s try plugging in some numbers. If you have a room that measures 8 feet long by 10 feet wide, the square foot formula would be as follows:
8 x 10 = 80 sq. ft.
Now you know that the total area of your room is 80 square feet! It really is that easy to figure out. It’s important when making the calculations, however, to always ensure that you measure as accurately as possible. Mistakes in the measurements will lead to mistakes in your calculations and an incorrect answer!
In the United States, you will almost always use feet to make this calculation, but there might be times when you need to translate square footage into a different measurement. For example, if you’re ordering furniture from another country and need to know the size, you may want to turn your square-foot measurements into square inches or yards. Doing this is pretty simple if you just follow these steps:
- To figure out square yards, all you need to do is follow the same formula, but before doing the multiplication, divide your measurements by 3 because there are 3 feet in one yard.
- For inches, the process is similar. Here, however, you need to multiply your measurements by 12 as there are 12 inches in one foot.
- There are 0.3 meters in one foot, so to figure out square meters, you would just divide your length and width by 0.3.
To calculate the area of a room that’s irregularly shaped, such as one that includes bump-outs, you will need to take a few extra steps. The easiest way to do this is with a piece of paper and a pencil. First, start by taking all the length and width measurements for each section of the room. You can then draw the room onto a piece of graph paper, making sure to do so to scale. From there, divide the room into shapes. So, for example, if you are dealing with a room that has a bump-out, split it into a square and a rectangle. Then, you can calculate the square footage of those areas separately. So, for example:
The main area of the room itself might be 10 feet long by 12 feet wide. Thus, using the formula above, the square footage would be:
10 x 10 = 100 sq.ft.
Then, let’s say the length of the bump-out is 2 feet, and the width is 5 feet. Thus, using the formula, the square footage would be:
2 x 5 = 10 sq.ft.
Now, you’re home free. Simply add the two square footages together. So, the total square footage of your irregularly shaped room would be 110 sq. ft.
As you can see, it’s incredibly straightforward to calculate square footage. This skill will come in handy at many times, whether you’re a renter or a homeowner. Now, you’re properly equipped to start planning for renovations, figure out furniture placement, or even understand the price per square foot of a space and what that means.