Square Footage: Frequently Asked Questions, Pt. 2

After we complete a floor plan for our agents, we often find our inbox gets filled with questions about square footage… how we calculate it, how we measure, and what it all means.  Below is part 2 of a list of some of the most frequently asked questions which will hopefully help you navigate the square footage terrain of your business. See part 1.

If you have any further questions about square footage, or would like to learn more about what you’ve read here, please feel free to email bfp@bestfloorplans.com and ask away

Does the deck or patio count as square footage?  What about the garage?

  • Neither attached nor unattached garages are counted in the calculation of either the EGA or CGA. However, BOMA’s square footage reports require the garage area be noted. The EGA is the BOMA equivalent to what has been commonly referred to by real estate agents as the livable square footage. The EGA is the number we recommend using when reporting your listing’s square footage in the MLS. Traditionally in the Chicago market, the attached outdoor spaces included in the CGA are not reported as part of the square footage in the MLS.

Do unfinished basements count as square footage?

  • According to BOMA, any area below grade is still considered part of the EGA. BOMA makes no attempt at qualifying unfinished vs. finished space. Those are not relevant to the gross area of the building as they require certain subjective properties of what is considered to be “finished” or “livable.”

When the MLS asks about “square feet source,” what do I choose for Best Floorplans?

  • Since our service is not quantified by the MLS, we recommend: Option G – Plans
  • We create the most accurate as-is floor plans in residential, commercial and industrial Chicago real estate, measured with the top of the line laser technology accurate up to 1/16th of an inch. Since we provide you with the plans as a reference, as well as our calculations of square footage, we feel this is the best way to represent your method of acquiring the square footage in the MLS.

Why is there a difference between the previous reported square footage and the Best Floorplans square footage results?

  • We get this one all the time. It’s natural that different numbers will come from different sources. Many appraisers, general contractors, architects and other services that provide agents with square footage calculations use a number of different techniques for both measuring and calculating the square footage of their listings. It’s well known that most appraisers give VERY general square footage estimations and generally only use a tape measure or wheel when estimating. General contractors and architects usually operate from drawings created BEFORE the building was built, which may differ from the final build out. Other services might use a laser distance meter to take measurements, but few focus on the details needed for accurate square footage calculations. BOMA / ANSI have created the only accredited set of standards in any industry for calculating the square footage for your listings, and not every service complies with their standards. Best Floorplans takes the best measurements, employs quality assurance processes to ensure it’s done right the first time, and complies with the national and international standards set for square footage calculation to ensure all of our agents can put their best foot forward in representing their listings.
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