## Wednesday, March 23, 2011

### Square Footed, Part I

Welcome to the Excel Math blog, where we remind adults how to use math they learned in elementary school (and show kids that it's not a waste of time).

Three days ago we reviewed how to determine surface area or square units. Then we talked about the units of measure used while searching for a house - bedrooms, size in square feet, neighborhood, etc. Today I want to look at square footage.

My first house was very simple. Located on the back of a 2-house lot, it was a converted garage built in the 1930's. It fell down shortly after we moved out. (Pardon all the space around the house, but this lets me keep all the drawings on this page at the same scale.)

We had mostly rectangular rooms, with one closet, one bathroom, a kitchen/dining area, a small living room and two small bedrooms. Altogether, it was about 450 square feet. Since the walls were thin and there were no hallways and only one closet, virtually all the space was usable living space.

Here's a modern 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house, on one floor. I picked this plan randomly off the Internet; the source claimed it was about 2400 sq. ft. Using all the dimensions shown on the plan (except garage), I get 1937 square feet, to which we have to add the hallways.

Because this is a complex layout with odd shapes, angled corners, and lots of "public" space, we will have a tough time verifying all the measurements. Let's assume they are accurate.

Here's another look at the parts of the house, grouped together by function. Would this presentation help you when you go out looking for a home to rent or buy? Would you like to see the square footage for each function to see what was most important to the designer?

We'll have more on this tomorrow.