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How big is a 2,000-square-foot house? Square footage is a standard part of almost any description of a house. It appears in construction and remodeling estimates, sales literature, and professional appraisals. But how are the measurements taken? The square footage of a house is usually not a measure of floor area or interior living space. If a family is shopping for a house, or choosing among house plans, the published square footage can be a poor — even deceptive — indicator of size. Therefore, it's important to precisely define your terms when describing the measurements of a house (or any other building). Square footage of what? Appraisal Systems The standards for measuring square footage are set by the professional appraisers who estimate replacement and market values of structures for banks,