BTR Home Appraisals

Measurement ANSI - Z765

The new standard for Home Measurement

ANSI-Z765 requirements for ceiling height:

To be included in finished square footage calculations, finished areas must have a ceiling height of at least 7 ft. (2.13 m) except under beams, ducts, and other obstructions where the height may be 6 ft. 4 in. (1.93 m); under stairs where there is no specified height requirement; or where the ceiling is sloped. If a room’s ceiling is sloped, at least one-half of the finished square footage in that room must have a vertical ceiling height of at least 7 ft. (2.13 m); no portion of the finished area that has a height of less than 5 ft. (1.52 m) may be included in finished square footage.”

Multi-Level Floor Plan

Figures 1 through 4 depict a two-story single-family house with basement. The entry and upper levels are entirely above grade, and the basement is entirely below grade. The dashed line encircles the finished floor area that is counted as above-grade finished square footage and below-grade finished square footage. As shown, the upper-level plan has an open foyer and a protruding window that does not extend to the floor; neither area contributes to the square footage of the upper level. The calculated finished square footage of the entry level does not include the protruding fireplace, covered patio, garage, or unfinished laundry. The finished area of the basement is counted toward the below-grade finished square footage in its entirety, including the area under the stairs that descend from the entry level. The area of the unfinished utility room is calculated by using the method prescribed in the standard but is not included in the below-grade finished square footage.

Finished Attic

Figure 5 presents the building section of a one-and-one-half-story house with a partially below-grade entry level. The area in the finished loft/attic counting toward the finished square footage of that level has a ceiling height of at least 5 ft. (1.52 m), and at least one-half of the finished square footage has a ceiling height of at least 7 ft. (2.13 m). The entire area of the entry level is considered below-grade finished square footage.


Figure 6 demonstrates two typical stair configurations. Viewed from above, the stair treads and the landing in the drawing on the left fill the entire opening through which they descend. By definition, the area of the stairs and landing (or, by interpretation, the area of the opening) is included in the square footage of the level above. In the drawing on the right, the stair treads and landing merely skirt the opening. Here, the area of the treads and landing must be calculated to be included in the upper-level square footage; the remaining area of the opening is not included.


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