One of the best things about building a new home is that you get absolute control over the details. This leaves everything open to customizability: decor, floorplan, location and square footage.

If you’ve bought a home before, you might have experienced the feeling of finding a listing that looked amazing, but wished that it had even a couple hundred extra square feet.

Working with Walgrove to build your home from the ground up, you’ll never run into that problem again. But how do you get started in estimating what kind of size you want your home to be? How do you put context to square foot numbers? Here’s our home square footage primer!


Understanding Square Footage

Just in case it’s been a while since math class, square footage is a room’s width multiplied by its length. So if your dining room is 16 feet long and 20 feet wide, its area would be 320 square feet.

Adding up the total square footage of a home can be a little harder. If you have abnormally shaped rooms, suggests that the best way to understand their square footage is breaking each nook into smaller squares. You can also use vCalc’s calculator to understand and calculate the square footage of rooms that are triangular or other irregular shapes.

Another factor in fully understanding the square footage of a home is knowing exactly what counts. Although there is some variance in what is standard, in general, only the fully furnished, livable parts of a home are counted.

This means that any garage or patio space is likely to be in addition to the base square footage of a house.


The Big Picture

Now that you understand how square footage works, the next question will be how to land on a square footage that is ideal for you and those who will be living with you.

Ultimately, “how much room is enough?” will be a question largely answered by your lifestyle. If you have a growing family, you’ll want to account for that with extra bedrooms and bathrooms. If it’s just you, you might be able to opt for something more minimalist.

It’s worth bearing in mind also that the larger a home is, the more expensive it is to heat and cool. This means that bigger isn’t always better. When you’re choosing how much square footage you want and how to allocate it, remember to bear in mind a monthly energy budget. Especially if you want to be energy efficient, ensure that every room you’re adding to your house has a purpose.


Breaking it Down

The final major factor in deciding on square footage is how to break the overall square footage down. If you often work from home, you might devote extra square footage to an office. If you often host, make sure you have a fully equipped guest suite, and allocate some extra square feet to the living and dining rooms.

Even within a 1,500 square foot home, there are many different ways to allocate space.

If you’re not sure how to best use the square footage in your home, Walgrove’s architects can help! They’ll take your vision through all the steps needed to make it a reality.