How Big is it?
We have done our best to make sure dimensions and areas listed for each plan are accurate. If exact data is critical, please call to verify.
There are many different standards for calculating areas and even for the exterior dimensions. We use the standards most common in our area, and most commonly used by builders for pricing.
Different regulatory agencies may use different rules for the dimensions, even within the same area. For instance, your zoning setbacks (how close your house can be to the property line) might be measured to the foundation, to the siding, to the edge of the roof, or even to the outside edge of gutters. Zoning may require you to count that double height foyer twice, where the Real Estate listing will not. The help of a qualified site engineer, real estate agent and/or builder is advised.
We calculate Living Area to the outside face of framing/face of foundation, at the living area. If the home you are purchasing is Condominium type ownership they may list a smaller “Living Area”, as condos most often calculate your ownership to the inside face, not the outside.
Areas in the plan that are considered “future” are shaded in grey. You should clarify with your builder what they include – framing only? Subfloor? Stub electric and/or plumbing? Living Area includes spaces that are enclosed and heated or air conditioned and that you can stand on. We count stairs, but not other spaces that are open to below, regardless of height. We count the entirety of spaces under sloped ceilings as Living Area, regardless of height. In most cases the “knee wall” at a sloped ceiling condition is 5 ft high, which is the ANSI standard, but in some smaller plans and/or closets it’s lower. If knee wall height is not listed on the plan, call for information.
Living Area listed as “Main” or “Primary” is shown in white on plans and is the part we assume you would finish right away. Spaces shown as grey will be listed as “future”. Apartments are usually shown in pale blue, and are also counted separately. Garages, attics, porches and decks are not counted in Living Area.
For duplexes and other two-family homes, we may not show the second one as pale blue, but we will list it as “apartment” in the data chart.
Bedrooms & Bathrooms
We only count it as a primary bedroom if we’ve labeled it a “bedroom” on our plans. Spaces that we’ve labeled “office” or “den” may be counted as a bedroom by your local jurisdiction for calculating your taxes, for septic requirements or for zoning or conservation limits.
We also list some dens, studies, offices etc as “future” bedrooms if they could reasonably be converted to a bedroom. We count a bathroom with a tub or shower as a full bath, a bathroom with just a sink and toilet as 1/2 of a bath. We don’t make a distinction between 3/4 baths and full baths. You can either bath yourself in it or not.
Plan layout takes precedence over any count we’ve listed.
Garages, Decks & Porches
We count only the car bays shown on the plans. Many plans can easily have a garage in the basement, on the right lot. If we didn’t show it, we didn’t count it.
Garage and deck size can be a source of confusion. Builders price and sell by the exterior size. Our interior dimensions are the clear interior space. A “24×24 detached garage” is often 23′-0″ x 23′-0″ finished interior.
A deck or porch that’s “8 feet by 10 feet” will also have slightly smaller listed dimensions on our plans because our software measures to the inside of the rail. It’s still an 8 x 10 deck!
We’re gradually changing to have them say “nominal 24 x 24”, but we have a lot of plans, so many will still list the older way, the interior dimensions.
Width, Depth, Height
Our exterior dimensions are to the outside face of framing. So, if your jurisdiction counts to the edge of the roof, allow some extra. The width and depth dimensions don’t include any optional decks shown. On the occasional plan where the deck could not be removed without changing the design, we’ll include the deck. Notice where the dimension tick marks are on the plan.
The heights listed are to the peak of the roof measured from either 1′-9″ below the finished first floor, or the grade distance shown on the elevation in the listing. In order to keep the height data for searching consistent, we have not adjusted this for walk-out or drive-under basements. The difference in town or city regulations for height are almost endless. Depending on your town’s rules, you may need to add as much as the full foundation height at a walk-out.
The help of a qualified site engineer and/or a builder experienced in your location is strongly advised.