Trying to learn how to figure out the square footage of your vacation rental can be a tricky task. This information is essential when pricing your rental and setting up your listing. In this blog post, we will show you how to easily figure out the square footage of your property.

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Why is Knowing Your Square Footage Important?

Help Your Better Furnish Your Rental

If you're furnishing a rental property, you'll need to know the square footage to determine how much furniture you can fit in the space. You don't want your guests to feel cramped, so be sure to measure the rooms before you start shopping for furniture.

Be Prepared to Apply for Any Building Permits

Depending on the municipality, you may need a permit to make any changes to your property. When you apply for a permit, you'll be asked to provide the square footage of your home.

You May Need to Know Your Square Footage for Insurance Purposes

Some short-term rental insurance policies require that you insure your home for a certain amount based on the square footage. If your home is underinsured, you could be at risk of having to pay out of pocket if there's ever any damage.

Be sure to ask your insurance agent about square footage requirements before buying a policy.

Required for Obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy

If you're renting out a property, you'll need to obtain a certificate of occupancy from your local municipality. In order to do that, you'll need to provide the square footage of your home.

Provide an Accurate Listing

When you're renting out your property, it is always a good idea to provide accurate square footage in your listing. This will help potential guests know what to expect when they book your rental. 

If your home is larger or smaller than you advertised, guests may be disappointed and leave negative reviews.

Hiring Cleaners

If you're hiring someone to clean your rental property, they'll need to know the square footage of your home so they can give you an accurate quote.

The cost of cleaning services is usually based on the size of the home, so be sure to provide the cleaners with an accurate measurement.

How to Figure Out Square Footage for Your Vacation Rental

1. Get a measuring tape and measure the length and width of each room in the unit.

2. Multiply the length and width of each room to get the square footage for that room. For example, if a room is 10 feet wide and 12 feet long, the square footage would be 120 (10 x 12).

3. Add up all of the square footage for each room to get the total square footage of the unit. In our example, if the other units in the home, like the kitchen, are 500 and the living room is 450. The total square footage would be around 1070 (120 + 500 + 450).

4. That's it! You now know the square footage of your vacation rental property and can list it accordingly on all of your channels.

Note: It is crucial to divide the space into as many squares or rectangles as possible when measuring square footage. This will help to avoid overcomplicated math equations. Additionally, if a room has an alcove, it should be estimated as a separate space and then added to the room's square footage after the fact. This will make measuring square footage more straightforward.

What Spaces are Included in Square Footage

There is some debate as to whether unfinished spaces, such as attics or basements, should be included in square footage calculations. In some cases, these spaces may be included if they meet the requirements for being considered “liveable.” However, it is more common for unfinished spaces to be excluded from square footage calculations.

Generally speaking, any space that meets the above criteria can be included in square footage calculations. This would consist of rooms like bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, etc. Unfinished spaces like attics or basements would typically be excluded.

The bottom line is that there is no definitive answer as to what should and should not be included in square footage calculations. Therefore, it is up to the individual property owner to decide what they want to include.

As you can see, it is important to know the square footage of your vacation rental property for insurance purposes and to provide an accurate listing. Measuring square footage can be straightforward if you follow the steps outlined in this article. Keep in mind that unfinished spaces may or may not be included in square footage calculations depending on the individual property owner's preference.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today! 

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