How to Measure My Property Lines

How to Measure My Property Lines

Edit your measurement

  • When you finish adding points, to edit your line segments or shape, click and drag the points.
  • To measure again, on the right, click Start New To delete your measurement and go back to the map,.
  • To delete your measurement and go back to the map, on the right, click Close .

Change distance units

  1. In the Measure Tool window, to show additional units of measurement, click Expand Choose a unit of measurement..
  2. Choose a unit of measurement.

Second option

The second option requires documentation or a deed which will traditionally include information regarding the size of your lot. Either with detail or with figures you can use.

Using some online calculators, sometimes you can input the dimension information including width and length, and calculate the total surface area of your lot.

This can help you come up with a single number which can help your metal building company find the best fit for you.

Of course, this is the preferable option if you have access to the information. Just be sure that the information is up to date, and there haven’t been changes or additions to the size of the lot since then. However, it is the case that sometimes this information is simply not available.


Gross External Area (GEA)

Gross External Area is the area of a building measured externally at each floor level. Party walls are measured to their centre lines.

What does GEA include?

Check the Code for full information. As a guide, GEA includes:

  • The thickness and projections of external walls
  • Areas occupied within internal walls and partitions
  • Outbuildings that share at least one wall with the main building
  • Garages
  • Conservatories

How to Find the Property Lot Size

If you aren’t sure about the lot size, annual tax updates and other state-generated information may provide the lot size along with the other relevant information. The public records office in your city or county also will have your original lot size on hand.

These are official departments, so you can be sure that you have the correct lot size to use in any legal capacity you may need.

Gross Building Area

Gross Building Area (GBA) is a method of real property measurement that takes the exterior measurement and includes the entire finished area and common areas, such as stairways and hallways. However, exterior common areas, such as stairways are not subtracted from the exterior measurement if applicable. The GBA is the most common measurement method used for comparison for two-unit to four-unit family properties.

How do I work out how many acres I have?

You can work out your lot size regarding acres by merely multiplying the length of your lot by the width.

This will give you the square ft of your lot.

Then, you divide this number by 43,560 to work out the full acreage of your property.

For instance, if your lot were 130,680 sqft, you would divide it by 43,560, and in the result, you would be left with a lot dimension of three acres.

How to Measure Square Footage of a House

Here is an overview of how to calculate the square footage of a house.

  1. Assemble your supplies. Bring a calculator, a tape or laser measure, a pen, and a notebook when you plan to measure the square footage of a space. You can draw out the floor plan with the notebook, measure the space with your tape measure, and add up your measurements with the calculator.
  2. Measure the separate areas of the house. Go through your house and measure the dimensions of each room one at a time. Measure a room’s length and width along the walls of each room in feet and note the metrics in your notebook.
  3. Calculate the square footage of each room. If you’re working with square or rectangular rooms, you can simply multiply the length of each room by its width to calculate the square footage. For irregular rooms, divide the space into geometric shapes, use the applicable formula, and add up the square footage. To measure the square footage of a triangular space, multiply its base by its height and divide that number by two. To calculate the square footage of a circular space, measure the circle's radius (the distance from the center point to the circle's edge), multiply that number by itself and then multiply the new number by pi (3.14).
  4. Add up the square footages of each room. Once you have the measurements of each room, add them all together to get your overall square footage. You can make the calculations yourself or use an online square footage calculator.


Because of the inexact way property is legally described in the United States, a professional surveyor’s report is considered an expert opinion rather than fact. It is a “best guess” of your property’s boundaries. While it can be challenged in court, it is the only opinion that mortgage lenders will accept and insurance companies will insure.

How to Calculate the Lot Size

Once you have tracked down all the important papers, it’s time to get down to the details and measure the lot size.

Plot out the boundaries of the property on a piece of paper.

Divide the sketch that you’ve drawn into the simplest shapes that the natural land lines allow. If you have a square lot, divide the sketch into a square. For an odd-shaped lot, such as those found in rural or undeveloped commercial areas, you can divide the physical sketch of the land into an irregular polygon into two triangles.

Use a roll-out measuring tool to measure any unknown boundaries and write these numbers down in the appropriate area of the sketch. A roll-out measuring tool is standard for measuring a land line. They are available online and can cost around $5 to upward of $100. A roll-out measuring tool is a simple piece of equipment that most homeowners who have measured a deck or other area on their land may be familiar with. It looks like a measuring tape on the end of a stick with a wheel. Some roll-out measuring tools are handheld and digital. To use these, follow the directions because each manufacturer’s may be different.

Creating a floor plan to RICS guidelines

You can use your newfound knowledge of GEA and GIA to make your floor plan super accurate.

If you’re not sure where to start when drawing up a floor plan, follow our guide to drawing a floor plan. The step-by-step instructions make a seemingly daunting task very manageable.

Once you’ve sketched out the property’s basic layout and added all those detailed measurements, you’ll need to convert it into a neat, clear floor plan. We’ve got a guide on how to do that, too.

What to leave out

A good rule of thumb to ensure you’re taking proper measurements is to exclude space you can’t walk on or live in. These types of spaces do not count as “gross living area.”

“Someone might think, ‘If I get the measurement of my first floor and I have a two-story house, I just multiply that by two,’” Day says. However, if that first floor includes a two-story foyer, you can’t count the non-usable space.

Basements and garages, even if they are finished, don’t generally count toward total square footage. Basements are typically excluded because they are built below grade, meaning below ground level. If your state does allow basements to be included in the total square footage of a home, though, you’ll likely need an ingress and egress, or a safe way to enter and exit the basement to the outside.

Finished attic spaces — with some regulations, including ceiling heights — can count toward the total square footage of your home. If you are planning to sell your home, work with a real estate agent to craft a listing that accurately reflects your property.

Robert Reffkin

Robert Reffkin, the founder and CEO of Compass, helps you get closer to finding your dream home by simplifying and demystifying real estate.

Explore the Class


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.