Choice between Displaying Interior floor area and Exterior floor area

Hi all,

It appears that in a recent update floor plans have been changed to display both interior AND exterior floor area. This is causing a lot of confusion for my clients and their buyers and sellers. Both numbers are helpful, however, to someone looking at the plans from an online portal, I totally understand how someone might not understand what they are looking at.

If we can have the ability to display either the interior OR the exterior floor area, that would be hugely helpful.

Both interior and exterior areas have their distinct uses. Interior area should be used for condo’s for example, over exterior area because agent is not celling the demising walls. Displaying both areas highlights that both exists and there is a difference between them. Interior area also shows the homework how the exterior was calculated and that helps reduce agent’s exposure to liability for misrepresentation of space. All parts of iGuide serve the purpose of clearly communicating how the space was measured and how the totals were obtained.

If there is any confusion, rather than hiding one or the other, it is a chance for you to educate your clients and for them to educate their customers. It is an excellent opportunity for you to do an office presentation about measurements. This ultimately leads to more transparency and improved communication between all the parties involved. The Alberta RMS course book available here can be very useful in preparing for such a presentation.

Believe me, I totally understand the importance of both numbers, and their availability on the iGuide report is hugely helpful.

However, as a service provider, flexibility to work with the client’s pre-existing business needs is key to my success. Should there be a greater level of honesty in the way floor area is portrayed in the real estate industry? Absolutely. By giving agents both numbers in the report, they have the option to use the more accurate one. That said, agents who have a set system, and sell hundreds of millions of dollars of property each year are unlikely to change that system, and are more likely to choose a service provider who is able to adapt to their needs.

Simplifying the information presented to the buyer seems like an important feature. I am very much hoping that this change can be made.

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Sorry Alex but I don’t agree. Here in the US the standard for square footage is to measure the outside of the property. Providing the interior amount is totally confusing to everyone here. NOBODY uses that measurement to my knowledge here in the US.

While it may have its uses, it creates confusion for everyone involved. I’d prefer to NOT have that measurement. I’ve been fortunate that nobody has asked me about it thus far.

Floor areas display in pdf floor plans has not changed since the iGuide beginnings. Summary page has always displayed only Exterior Areas (if available) and individual floor pages have always displayed both Interior and Exterior areas. Summary page is what agents mostly use. iGuide Report and Details tab in iGuide emphasize Exterior Area as well by showing it in bold. Both of these approaches are aimed at providing one number that agents need (Total Exterior Area).

I guess recent changes make it slightly more apparent. That said, having the ability to toggle one or the other floor areas off would be hugely helpful.

This is from Home Depot Real Estate Services

We are measuring interior (living space) square footage which does not include wall thickness or dead wall space. Because of this, the interior size listed on your plan will always be different than the GLA square footage of your property. If you do not want the interior square footage listed at the bottom of your floor plan, email us and we will remove it.

It is good to know that Home Depot does not provide exterior floor area. Floor area display can be turned off in settings for both pdfs and iGuide itself. Interior area is only displayed on individual floor pages and in the iGuide Details/Report. It is always available, whereas exterior area cannot be reported if photographer does not provide wall thickness. Detailed floor area reporting is one of the core defining features of iGuide and is crucial for its long term success.

I don’t know how it is in Canada but, here in the US, if you’re going to quote square footage of a property, it is what you’re calling the exterior square footage. It’s the only true square footage.

Interior square footage can be useful for figuring out things like flooring, etc, but it’s not something which is listed on real estate listings that I’ve ever seen.

Providing the interior square footage is just confusing and should be an option we can turn on or off.

Even for condos where you aren’t buying or own the exterior walls?? That would seem odd to me that they would include exterior walls on that type of property.


That is the standard for measuring square footage in the US.

I will have to correct Rick here. There is no universally accepted standard in the US and what is customary differs from place to place and many have no rules.

The ANSI Z765 standard is not used by all states by far and it only applies to single-family residential buildings and not condos. We are trying to work with NAR and RESO (Real Estate Standards Organization) on introducing more measurement standardization, but it is a long process.

iGuide is a product centered around measurements. iGuide providers naturally should be well versed in the complexities of this whole measurement field and that knowledge will ultimately help them to succeed faster and build solid businesses in the environment where measurements are becoming more and more important every year.

We will be working on some educational course materials to create a more formal program, but a good starting point that can be used already now is the RMS course book mentioned by me few posts above.

So, just to bring us back to the topic: Is it possible to add this feature? I know I would use it on EVERY iGuide I produce. Even simply providing the option so that we can be flexible to meet our clients demands seems like a great addition with little to no downside.

I agree with you on this point Noah. The feedback from clients we have is most listings have only the gross sqft and agents are put off advertising a property with a ‘smaller’ number included. They worry that it will create confusion in the potential homebuyer and they do not want to take that chance.

The ANSI standard is the only accepted standard in any place I’ve measured. There may be other ways but it doesn’t really matter as we’re still talking about square footage of the property not the interior square footage.

I think it’s great we can get the interior measurements, however, we should have the option to hide them (everywhere) as it does cause confusion. I understand what you’re saying about an educational opportunity. Problem is, in the field, this just costs us time and business. Many people just won’t use it because they’re confusing their customers. Education or no education.

ANSI Z765 does not apply to condos. You can refer to ANSI/BOMA Z65.4-2010 which has concepts of net/gross area that are the same as interior/exterior area. ANSI/BOMA Z65.4 is quite new and is not used in the real estate industry to any appreciable extent.

The are 3 places in iGuide right now where interior square footage appears alongside the exterior: per floor pages in PDF floor plans; per floor sections of the iGuide Details and iGuide Report; Total Area for a building section of the Details/Report.

The per floor sections of the Details/Report are where the actual calculation of exterior area from interior using wall perimeter and thickness is shown and are critical for making iGuide areas defensible, so interior area will always be present there.

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Per floor pages of PDFs do not have wall perimeter and thickness listed, so interior area could be omitted there, but only if exterior area can be calculated and shown. Also, the Total Area for a building in the Details/Report could have the interior area omitted, if exterior area can be calculated.

Thus, it looks like a selectable option “Hide Interior Area when Exterior Area is available” can be introduced for the two places mentioned above. To have also an option to hide exterior area is too much, to cause that scenario no wall thickness should be provided by photographer and exterior area will not be computed.

We would prefer an ability to make the choice for the many options including

Total Interior Above Grade
Total Interior All levels

We will be adding an option to include below grade levels in the total area, for places like British Columbia where it is customary to do that and no established standards apply. In that case “Above Grade” will be omitted everywhere in iGuide. We also want to keep the number of checkboxes in iGuide settings within some sane limits.

Hi Alex,

I thought it may be best to add my clients comment here about interior sq ft removal.
In regards to using the option to ’ Hide Total Interior Area when Exterior Area is Available’ the interior area is still visible floor by floor and if the property is only over one floor than it becomes a somewhat redundant feature.
Would it be possible to have a ‘Remove All Total Interior Areas’ option?

Many thanks,

No, it will not be done. We want to provide calculation details for the exterior area.