If you are moving into a new home and need to sell your old property, or if you want to renovate, extend, or rebuild parts of your home, you will need to know the area size of your house.
Most countries in the world measure this in square meters. However, there are still a few that use feet. The US is the most famous example, and some estate agents and architects in the UK may still use feet over meters.
While you can employ professionals to take precise measurements of your home or land, it is perfectly possible to do it yourself accurately.
We are going to take a look at how to measure square footage and how to convert other measurements into feet if you don't have a foot measuring tape.
To measure the square footage of an area, you simply need to measure the length and width of the area and multiply the two together. If the room you want to measure is not a square or rectangular shape, divide it into chunks, calculate the area of each chunk, and then add them together.
If you need to calculate square feet and you have measured your room in meters and centimeters, know that there are 30.48 centimeters in one foot, which means there are 0.3048 meters in a foot. A foot is also equal to 12 inches.
We will explore conversions in greater detail later, but let's first find out why we might need to measure in square feet.
Square measurements are used to measure large areas, such as property sizes. You may need to ascertain the size of your property if you want to sell it, dispute a property tax assessment, renovate, or add more space.
Knowing the exact size of your property is vital for setting an accurate asking price when putting it on the market. Most countries now use metric measurements and measure property sizes in square meters. However, the US still uses square feet, and in the UK, estate agents can use either meters or feet.
The following fields regularly need to calculate area space:
- Real estate
To measure by square feet, you will need a measuring tape and a calculator. Don't worry if your measuring tape doesn't measure in feet because we will find out how to convert other measurements to feet later.
- If your property happens to be a perfect rectangle - which it could be if you live in a bedsit or a bungalow - measure the length and width of the floor and multiply the two together to get the squared area size.
- If your property is not a perfect rectangle, then measure the area of each room.
- If any of the rooms are not perfect squares or rectangles, calculate the area of the main part of the room and then calculate the area of the smaller bits that don't fit. Once you have all the measurements, add them together to get the total square footage of the entire space.
- To calculate the area of any steps in the house, measure the width and height of one step and multiply them together to get the area of one step. Then count the number of steps and multiply the area of one step by the step number. This only works if they are all the same size. If the steps are different sizes, you will need to measure each individually.
- Once you have all your measurements, use your calculator to add them together to calculate the overall square footage of your home.
If you were using a measuring tape that uses foot measurements, then your work is done! If your measuring tape does not have foot measurements, read on as we look at how to convert them into feet.
You may have rooms in your home or areas of rooms in your home that are triangle shaped rather than square or rectangular.
The formula for measuring the area of any triangle is:
- Area = (1/2 base) x height
The base is at the bottom of the triangle. It is not necessarily the longest side. The height is the length from the base to the top corner of the triangle.
There are 30.48 centimeters to one foot. This means that to convert centimeter measurements to feet, we need to do the following equation:
- centimeter = feet x 30.48
This means that:
- meter = feet x 0.3048
For example, let's say you have
If you want to convert the other way around, you need to know the following:
- 1 cm = 0.0328 feet
- 1 meter = 3.28 feet
- 1 Square meter = 10.7639 square feet
So the conversion formula from feet to centimeters or meters is:
- feet = 0.0328 x centimeter
- feet = 3.28 x meter
Centimeters to feet conversion table
|0.1 cm||0.003281 ft|
|1 cm||0.032808 ft|
|2 cm||0.065617 ft|
|3 cm||0.098425 ft|
|4 cm||0.131234 ft|
|5 cm||0.164042 ft|
|6 cm||0.196850 ft|
|7 cm||0.229659 ft|
|8 cm||0.262467 ft|
|9 cm||0.295276 ft|
|10 cm||0.328084 ft|
|20 cm||0.656168 ft|
|30 cm||0.984252 ft|
|40 cm||1.312336 ft|
|50 cm||1.640420 ft|
|60 cm||1.968504 ft|
|70 cm||2.296588 ft|
|80 cm||2.624672 ft|
|90 cm||2.952756 ft|
|100 cm||3.280840 ft|
Feet and inches are part of the same measurement system. This means that if someone says they are six foot one, it means they are six feet and one inch tall.
So how many inches are in one foot?
- One foot = 12 inches.
So, to convert feet to inches, we do the following:
- value in feet x 12 = value in inches.
Now we know how to convert feet into inches, but how do we convert inches into feet?
We need to know that:
- 1 inch = 0.0833 feet
So, to convert inches to feet, we do the following:
- value in inches x 0.0833 = value in feet
Inches to feet conversion table
The US still uses the US Imperial System of feet, inches, pounds, ounces, miles, etc. The UK uses a combination of the Imperial System and the metric system. In the UK, you will see road signs in miles, food measurements in grams, and you may hear people talk about their height in either feet or meters.
The US and the UK are outliers in this regard, as most countries in the world have adopted the metric system. So why do they still use older systems?
Well, the short and simple answer is simply time and money. It costs a lot to change the infrastructure of a country's measurement system, and there will undoubtedly be teething problems that will create issues for people along the way.
The UK was made to adopt some parts of the metric system when it joined the EU in 1973, but some of the old units remained. After the Brexit referendum resulting in the UK leaving the EU, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested the UK should return to using Imperial measurements. However, the policy was never pursued.
The average house size in the UK is 818 square feet (76 square meters). This is considerably smaller than in Australia, where the largest average house size is 2303 square feet (214 square meters).
Average property sizes are also big in New Zealand (2174 square feet), the USA (2164 square feet), and Canada (1948 square feet). There is then a significant drop to fifth-placed Denmark, which has an average house size of 1475 square feet.
At the other end of the spectrum is Hong Kong, which has the smallest average house size of 484 square feet. Just above Hong Kong is Russia (614 square feet), China (646 square feet), and then the UK (818 feet).
Part of the reason the UK has amongst the smallest houses in the world is due to the fact that houses in the UK tend to be quite old. Houses were built smaller in the past as there was less money to finance their construction. There was also a boom in house building during the industrial revolution, which saw vast numbers of houses being built for as little as possible to house the massive influx of workers moving to cities to find jobs.
Average house size across the world
|Country||House area (square feet)||House area (square meters)|
To calculate square footage, you need to measure the length and width of a square or rectangular room and multiply the two readings together. If you need to find the area of a triangular space, measure the base and the height and multiply 1/2 base by the height. Once you have calculated the square footage area of each room, you can add them all together to get the final square footage of the entire property or land space.
Calculating square footage is useful for many things related to property, land, and architecture. You can employ professionals to do it for you, but it is quick and simple to do it yourself once you know how. And now (hopefully), you do!