Do Finished Basements Count Towards Square Footage of a Home?

The answer is YES and NO. If you have a finished basement, it should be considered part of the square footage of your home. The key word is “finished”.  An unfinished basement is not ever going to be considered when calculating square footage. This can get tricky and many homeowners can get confused when trying to calculate.

Gross Living Area of a Home

The gross living area of a home is usually calculated by measuring the outside perimeter of the structure. The area that is included must be finished and considered a “livable” space. Depending on the state, this will only include above-grade residential space. This can exclude basements in many instances. 

When is a Basement Included in Square Footage?

The trickiest part of trying to figure out if you can factor in your basements square footage is if your state allows below ground level spaces to be considered. In many instances, the entire level must be above grade for the square footage to be factored in. Walkout basements that have a door leading directly to the outside may also be considered part of your total homes’ square footage. Another factor is that it must be a finished and livable space. The space should be similar to your homes standards and have finished walls and flooring. Having appropriate plumbing and electrical is also important when considering it a livable space. 

When is a Basement Excluded from Square Footage?

There are a couple of times when your basement will not count towards the square footage of your home. As I mentioned before, some states do not count anything that is below grade. Even if you have a fully finished basement, it still wouldn’t be included. Another reason is having an unfinished basement. Unfinished basements are never included because they do not add to the livable space of the home. 

Adding More Square Footage with a Finished Basement 

One thing is certain, whether your finished basement is calculated as part of your square footage or not, it will always add value to your home. Read  Calculating the Value of a Remodeled Basement – Basements Plus ( and Value of Finishing a Basement | Basements Plus . Having an extra space in your home that can serve as extra space, can always wow a potential buyer, and add value to the price of the home. Contact us for a free 90 minute in home estimate Contact – Basements Plus ( 

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