square footage?

If a home is stated to have 3164 sqft, does this include the foyer, un-livable space above foyer, and un-livable space above family room? Is it legal to include unlivable space in a floor plan?

Howdy Dnmjnz:

The footage should only include heated and air conditioned space that is finished out and livable. I once owned a house with a 24 ft tall ceiling in the living area. It had a loft that was open overlooking the living room. The new owner added a floor and finished out the area and added square footage without adding new roof area. If you finish out the attic or garage etc you will be adding footage as well.

Yea, I agree with tedjr, It must be “heated” and liveable. I have a 600 sq ft appartment behind my house, when my home was appraised, the app. was not included in the price because it is “unhabitable”. When I rehab the app. I will add that much more value to my home. The same goes for my attic. My home could be a story and a half if I finished the upstairs. It would add about 1000 square ft, 2-3 bedrooms or huge game room. I once asked a realtor what the requirement was for sq ft and a bedroom, and he said that it had to be “heated” to be added to the total sq ft and it had to have a closet to be considered a bedroom. Hope that helps.


I’m not sure what you mean by “unliveable” space.

It really depends on how the term square footage is used in the marketing to know exactly what it is referring.

Heated square feet is the total square feet of FLOOR space that is heated by the heating system.

Unheated square feet is every other floor space in the property such as attic space, unfinished basement area and attached unheated garages.

Total square feet is the total of both unheated and heated square feet.


For a room to be considered a bedroom, it must have 1) a built-in closet and 2) an entry door and another exit way. Usually an entry door and a window, but two doors work as well.


A lot of time you will notice living area and total sq footage. They are 2 different figures .Usually I have found the living square footage is the sqaure footage under air.Thats Floridas law anyhow. The total square footage would then include the garage and maybe sunporch if not under air.Im not sure what you mean by the area above the foyer and living room, but remember squarefootage is FLOOR space. NOT AIR SPACE ie;qubic footage.

In North Dakota houses are appraised and accessed by the square feet of heated space above ground. We just completed a rehab on a house and the sun porch did not qualify as living space when we purchased the house… After the remodel and we added heat to the sunporch and the appraisor added about 300 extra square feet to the house. In our area they will not count any basement or garage as sq ft as living space when calculating an appraised value.

We have one house that we just accepted an offer on that has 1000 sq ft above ground and a full basement with a 1000 sq ft below ground. The basement adds value to the house compared to the same size house w/o a basement. But a house with a basement is not worth as much as a 2000 square foot house above ground. A basement may be heated but it does not get appraised as floor space. You should be able to call your county assessor’s office and ask them how they valuate property in your area.

If a bedroom has two different doors to exit it is considered a den not a bedroom. (North Dakota) On the house we just accepted the offer on today one room had two doors and it was not considered a Bedroom but a den. Here a Bedroom is worth more than a den (according to several appraisors that I have worked with) so I sheetrocked the one door shut. The room still has a window to escape incase of a fire.


I did not think about windows. I viewed a home that was listed as a 3/2 and the 3rd “bedroom” was actually a dining room with a closet. I had asked my realtor if they could legally list it as a bedroom and he said as long as it had a closet it could be considered a bedroom. He said that you would be surprised at what they list as bedrooms. As far as needing a door, this room had a door opening going into the kitchen and a large opening going into the living room, but not a hung door to seperate this space. Raj, when you say it needs a door, do you mean an entry or does it need to have a hung door.

Thanks, Weldon

It may vary from market to market, but generally bedrooms are supposed to be separated, so yes, it needs an actual door.

Many Realtors list areas as bedrooms that would not qualify as such when the appraiser comes round, so I’d ask an area appraiser what it takes to be classified as a bedroom.

Here for example, we get alot of “4th bedrooms” that are finished rooms in a corner of the basement. However, they do not have but one way in and out (the entry door), so the appraiser will not call that a bedroom.


Thanks ;D

In Florida a bedroom must be 80sq feet PLUS a closet with a window and a door