Square Footage Considerations

Posted On: Jul 24, 2016

One of the first things a buyer will consider in a potential home is the total square footage. But keep in mind that when calculating your home’s valuable spaces, there are certain areas that will not be considered toward your total.

Although these spaces in your home may be major selling points, they may not add to your home’s value in the same way additional square footage does.

Square Footage For Appraisal Orange County NY1. Enclosed Porches. It is often tricky to determine if an enclosed porch can be included in a home’s square footage. The quality of construction greatly varies with enclosed porches, and the type of heating and cooling does as well. If the porch has equal finish, and a comparable heating and cooling system to the main living areas, it can be included. Any screened in area or area that is not livable year-round will be excluded.

Square Footage For Appraisal Orange County NY2. Basements/Attics. Finished basements are huge selling points in many homes, but technically should not be considered in the square footage calculations. Any part of a home that is built below ground, even if partially so, should not be included. Attics and loft spaces can only be included if the ceiling is at least 7’ (or 6’4” with beams that may hang down). Attic spaces must also be reached by exposed stairs.

Square Footage For Appraisal Orange County NY3.Garages/Detached Buildings. Outside garages should never be included in your home’s square footage. If the garage is attached to the house, the shared wall will serve as the outside wall of the house when determining square footage. Whether they are finished or not, the same holds true for any other space that requires you to leave the main home to gain access. Guest houses, workshops, and pool houses should be considered “bonus rooms”.

While all three of these dwellings are considered useful and may be of great value to the right homeowner, the inclusion of each into the square footage of the home may not be possible. As always, check with a local, licensed real estate appraiser to be sure of how each affects the value of your home.