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Do Garages Count As Square Footage?

Here we answer the question, do garages count as square footage? Find out what counts, if a finished garage can be considered, qualifications, and the amount of square feet for standard garages.
House exterior with detached garage, concrete driveway, pitched roof, and lawnAppraising a home takes a very precise approach in order to do it effectively and appropriately. Many appraisers and even homeowners get distracted in measuring the interior spaces of the home, from the bedrooms to the common areas like the kitchen, bathrooms, and living rooms.

Enclosed patios and finished attics are also considered in the measurements. With enclosed patios counted as square footage, is the garage also counted in the measurement? The straight answer is no. 

Garages do not count as square footage because it is treated as unfinished space, similar to how airspaces are considered. Airspaces, like open/screened patios and unfinished areas, are not measured into as square footage of the home. 

Whether it’s attached to or detached from the home, a garage is not considered in the square footage of the home. Only livable areas are considered in the measurement and there are specific rules that must be followed when considering areas.

What Is Counted As Square Footage Of A House? 

House exterior with front porch, windows, pitched roof, and front lawnIf garage and open/screened porches are not counted as part of the square footage of a house, what can be considered then?

Some of these areas that are normally counted as part of the square footage of a home include the following:

Bedrooms

Bathrooms

Kitchen

Dining room

Living room

Family room

Porch with heading and cooling system

Finished basement

When measuring the square footage of a home, all livable/living areas are counted, including all the types of room in a house. And in order to be as livable areas, here are some of the requirements:

Finished walls and flooring

Climate control (Comes with air conditioning)

Height requirement: Typically has to be at least 7 feet high starting from the floor to the ceiling (Except for irregularly-shaped areas and cathedral/vaulted ceilings)

Another rule is that if an addition to the house somehow did not have a building permit when it was made, it will not be allowed to be part of the square footage. 

This is the reason why it is important to get building permits for conversions and renovations. And if you want to add more square footage to your home, renovating unfinished spaces is the key. 

To further help you understand what is counted and what’s not counted as a home’s square footage, here are the typical areas not included in the measurement.`  

Attic

Guesthouse

Pool house

Garage

Rooms with sloping ceilings

Separate storage area

Unfinished basement and any other areas

Is A Finished Garage Counted As Square Footage 

Detached garage with brick wall, window, and metal fenceGarages don’t necessarily count as part of the home’s square footage but if it’s finished, would that factor affect its inclusion in the measurement? 

The answer is still no. While being “finished” may be a factor that can qualify other areas like the attic and the basement, it is not enough because there. 

Most types of garages are not included in the home’s square footage because they are not, by definition, fit as living spaces. And this is an important factor when measuring the square footage of one’s home. 

One thing you can do though if you want to have your garage countered as square footage is to conduct a home improvement project, acquire the necessary permits, and renovate the garage to be a livable area, adopting all the elements that can qualify it as one. 

What Qualifies As Finished Square Footage? 

Empty garage with driveway, door opener, and finished flooringSince a finished garage does not qualify to be part of the home’s square footage, what finished aspect of the home can be counted in the measurement? 

An area is considered part of finished square footage if the walls and flooring are finished. More than that though, it should be qualified as a livable space, which quantifies to better accessibility, a required height from flooring to the different ceiling design types, and climate control. 

How To Calculate Square Footage 

Living room with high ceiling, windows, couch, wood flooring, and staircaseMeasuring can be a challenge but with the right tool and learning about the right method to do so can make it seem like a breeze. For square and rectangular rooms, the best way is to measure the individual room’s length and width and multiply them with each other. 

To get the square footage of the home then, multiply all the products of the room to have a measurement of the entire home. And while this can be easy to do, it’s not possible to rooms with a different shape. 

Getting your measuring tape and doing it the traditional way may be the most basic tip in getting the square footage of your home. But if you are looking for others tools you may use, there are helpful sites online that can help you with the measurements. 

Net livable square footage is an accurate measurement that is also used to calculate space that’s comfortable to live in the home. It does not include small areas like the different types of windows and their respective frames that are not necessarily part of the livable space in the first place. 

How Many Square Feet Is A 2 Car Garage 

Empty garage with sealed epoxy floor, door opener, and ceiling lightsWhile the garage does not usually count as part of the home’s square footage, you can still renovate it to include it ins the square footage. This is a great idea if your garage is large and would be a waste if it’s not counted in. 

If you have a two-vehicle garage, how much space are you actually wasting? Measuring the square feet in a 2-car garage can only be an estimate if you don’t have the numbers to back it up. Read more about the different garage sizes here.

Whether it is attached or detached, a 2-car garage comes in the following sizes: 

20×20

20×22

24×24

24×30

The size of a 2-car garage would also depend on the size of the vehicles usually parked in it. The bigger the vehicles you have, the bigger your garage will need to be. And that’s not even considering the workbench or extra storage space you have in your garage.  The good thing is that you can use the wall for storage by mounting items like ladders and bicycles.

In summary, the smallest 2-car garage you can have is around 400 square feet and the biggest can be around 720 square feet and more.

See more related content in our article about attached vs detached garage on this page.

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