Home Building & Planning

Understanding Area of House

Buyers of real estate should be very aware of what the builder or seller implies when he talks about area. What area is inclusive of and what it is not is the first clarification a buyer should seek.

For instance, a builder may tell a potential buyer that his quote is based on an area covering 3,000 sq ft. And, it may seem like a bargain. But what the builder may be referring to is super built-up area while the unfortunate buyer is under the assumption that it is the amount of area he will get in his apartment.


Carpet Area

Carpet area is the least inclusive. It will tell you exactly how much of space you will have in your home. It is literally defined as the exact area within the walls of your home. To illustrate, if you had to lay out a wall-to-wall carpet, how much area would it require? That's carpet area.

Built-up Area

Built-up area goes one step ahead and includes carpet area and the area being occupied by the walls of your home. Hence, the total area of your home including the area of the walls.

Super Built-up Area

Super built-up area is what builders often talk about. It is inclusive of carpet and built-up area. It also includes all the area under common spaces - the apartment's proportionate share of the lobby, staircase, elevator and corridor outside the apartment.

The confusion arises over the fact that what is exactly included under this definition is left to the discretion of the builders. Some may even include the terrace, security room, electrical room or pump room.

The total area of these "extras" is taken into account and divided by the number of apartments in proportion to their size.

What you must be aware of

Old buildings generally have a higher percentage of carpet area (around 80%) to total area as compared to new buildings, where it could be as low as 65% to 70%. So when you compare quotes, compare carpet area to carpet area, not carpet area to super built-up area.

Speak the same language as your builder. There is no fixed ratio of super built-up to built-up or carpet area. The market practice is that the ratios are on the super built-up area and are marked down. That means, if the super built-up area is 100 and the carpet area 80, the latter is 80% of the super built-up area. Generally, the ratios in the market are 70:30 (super built-up to carpet). But, builders have been known to go as low as 60%. So a quote on a 3,000 sq ft apartment could mean a carpet area of anywhere from 1,800 sq ft to 2,400 sq ft.

Always ask the seller exactly how much the super built-up area and the carpet area amount to. And then ensure that this break-up appears in the Agreement of Sale.

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