I think all the responses are in tune with your original question regarding the smaller section of a room off a hallway.
Thanks to your tenacity we now all have references to go to.
Another set of Kudo's and TU to Jennifer our resident architect!
It sounds like you may be asking a building code question. This can vary from state to state, but I'll tell you what are the minimums in the current California Building Code:
Minimum length or width of a room is 7'-0" (seven feet)
Minimum height if the ceiling is flat, 7'-6" (seven feet, six inches)
For a sloped ceiling the minimum height is 5'-0" (five feet) but more than 50% of the ceiling must be at least 7'-6" (seven feet, six inches).
Also, for an enclosed bonus room (that's not a closet) there must be a window that can open to the exterior (skylights can also count as long as it can open for ventilation. There are minimum sizes for these too based on the square footage of the room. If it's a sleeping room then there are other requirements.
Consult a local architect or builder for the requirements in your region and be sure that you have a permit for that bonus room so that it adds value and not liability.
I might be reading your question incorrectly, but I took it as "When is an angled ceiling considered too low to the ground to actually be considered usable space in a given room?" The previous answer, simply measuring L x W, is definately a safe answer. I would also caution against putting too much stock in "square footage". I believe you could send four Realtors, three appraisers, 2 homeowners and a partridge in a pear tree to measure a home and get 10 different opinions on square footage numbers.
Jason... Ooops my mistake, I thought you were both a Realtor and Contractor for hire. You are so knowledgeable and you explain things so well! About TD (thumbs down).....Since I gave you 'stampeding applause', I obviously did not give you a TD. Yes, I gave you a TU! Why you got a TD......who knows. I see a lot of TD that make no sense.
In geographic areas where the housing stock is newer and homes are built as development homes, one can compare the square footage of two homes in the same development with the same floor plan and see a discrepancy in square footage. Yikes!
I work in an area that has few development homes, and many homes are older. We have a lot new/newer as a result of tear down and re-build because our land values are very high. The measurements of square footage becomes debated, and many of our listings do not include square footage. Listings include room sizes, but often do not have a total square footage. Still, buyers often ask for that number.
When I see sq footage in a listing, I sometimes caution buyers that it is only an approximate. I see many buyers rely heavily upon that number and compare one property to another; even ruling out one property over another because of square footage alone.
As a listing broker, we provide floor plans on some of our listings (seller choice based upon marketing program chosen). We include all room measurements, but do not provide a total sq footage. If the town assessor office includes that data, we do, noting it is per the tax records.
JOJO........ There will be local standards for your community on how brokers, agents, buyers and sellers evaluate rooms such as small overhead rooms and bonus rooms. Any and all input from Trulia is additional information that can be helpful and useful, and special note on the valuable info from Architect Jennifer. Talk w/ your local agent to gain an understanding of how bonus rooms are commonly treated in the MLS, and how most agents and brokers will interpret data included on the listing. That listing sheet is your communication tool, and your agent needs to be compliant with the MLS rules while communicating with the community.
Someone needs to clear up something for me here as I am relatively new...
What the heck does a thumbs down mean? Not useful? I am curious how my original response to this question was considered not useful? Someone was inquiring (I am guessing) if they could include the full square footage of a bonus room, even given the fact that the ceiling height might have been rather low onthe side walls. My simple answer was to not put too much stock in square footages as it can more often than not be more of a problem than it is worth.
I might have put words in JoJo's mouth, but I figured this might have been something like a 40's bungalow that had the upstairs finished off, potentially where the pitch of the room left something like 1'-2' of height on the upstairs side walls.
\I liked the comment about CA codes and the minimum ceiling height. This proves that this can be a topic from new construction is a permit is pulled. It does not, however, rule out this problem for remodels/renovations that may have been done prior to building codes, ones completed without proper permits, or in areas that are more lax on the pulling of said permits...
Thanks again -
I am not actually a contractor per say. I am a Realtor, yet do develop and remodel as a hobby and for the love building and creating. I have always believed that true and accruate square footages are measured from outside corner to outside corner. It is an interesting topic (square footage), but one which I find to be almost irrelevant in today's market. Many MLS systems are no longer offering square footages on their data sheets, many Realtors are not entering them, and most MLS systems now throw in disclaimers to prevent lawsuits. I am nowhere near the "Master" on square footages. Too many variables...Some areas count square footage if a room is heated, some if it is heated and cooled, some it has to have a certain type of floor covering, some have other criteria...
On a side note, as a buyer's agent, I really find new construction square footages to be so misleading for my buyers. I strive to keep them from being caught up in square footage numbers, but rather to look at other things like location, floor plan, vista, etc. With a bit of a background in construction and remodel, builders can really confuse a situation by throwing price per sqaure footage numbers at buyers. As we all know, finishing basements and/or upstairs is no where near as costly as finishing main level or footprint square footages...
Thanks for your time -
Stampeding applause to Jason for your answer! But, here' the big Q for you, Jason. I noted in your Question that you were a contractor. So, in your opinion, how does one achieve accuracy in square footage? I am thinking this will sync with the question orignially posed by JoJo and not veer off-topic from JoJo's concerns.
Of course, any Trulians welcome to comment here on accuracy of square footage. Looking to Jason to come back with his insight here, too!