Does Square Footage Include the Basement in Ontario?

Does Square Footage Include the Basement in Ontario?
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Published By Jennifer Jewell

Question: Does Square Footage Include the Basement in Ontario?
Answer: In Ontario, square footage may or may not include the basement, depending on how it’s finished and whether it meets specific criteria set by real estate standards and regulations.

Is Basement Included in Square Footage in Ontario? Unlocking the Mystery

We often hear the term square footage in the real estate world. However, do we understand what it means? Square footage refers to the total area of a property covered by the building and is measured in square feet. It’s a fundamental way to compare the size of different properties. But the question that arises is, what exactly is included in this measurement?

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Making Sense of Square Footage: What’s Included?

In theory, calculating square footage might seem straightforward. But it becomes complicated when you dive into specifics. Square footage traditionally includes all the habitable, heated, and finished areas of a house that are above ground. This typically encompasses living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and other common living areas.

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Basement Blues: Does Square Footage Include the Basement?

Here’s where it gets tricky. Is the basement included in the square footage? Normally, basements are not counted in the total square footage of a home, mainly because they are below ground. The key factor here is whether the area is above grade or below grade. Above grade means that all parts of the room are above the soil line, while below grade means that any part of it is below the soil line. Basements, being below grade, typically fall out of the square footage calculation.

Exceptions to the Rule: When Basements Count

While the general rule excludes basements, there are exceptions. If the basement is a fully finished, habitable space with ample light and exit points, it can be included in the home’s square footage. For instance, a walkout basement with large windows and doors leading outside might be counted.

Varied Practices: Square Footage Calculations are Not Universal

It’s also essential to note that practices can vary between different regions and regulatory bodies. While one region might include finished basements in the square footage, another might not. For example, in some areas, if the basement is finished to the same standard as the above-ground portions of the home, it may be included in the total square footage. Therefore, it’s vital to check with local real estate professionals to understand the common practice in your area.

The Bottom Line: Square Footage and Home Value

Ultimately, the square footage of a home, whether it includes the basement or not, has a significant impact on the property’s value. Larger homes (with more square footage) usually command higher prices, all other things being equal. However, remember that square footage is just one aspect that determines property value. The quality of construction, location, market conditions, and a host of other factors also play a role.

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Square Footage – More than Just a Number

In conclusion, square footage is more than just a numerical measurement. It’s a key element in assessing a property’s size and value, often influencing buying and selling decisions. Whether or not it includes a basement can depend on several factors, such as the basement’s condition and local real estate practices. By understanding these nuances, you can better navigate the real estate landscape, making more informed decisions when buying or selling a property.

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