# On understanding housing measures

When we measure a room and say it's 4x4 this is to say it's 4' in length and 4' in width, right? What if the room isn't conventional and is say a polygon how is it then measured? The x between dimension sizes of rooms is saying multiplication right? like if you wanted to find the area or total measurement of all sides it would be 4x4=16' or would that be called the square footage? is this correct? would it be the same for other measurements like a piece of wood that is 1.6"x3" if it was a rectangle would that just be multiplying the two together to get the area? because it's giving the length and width?

• This question is confusing as written. What problem are you trying to solve? Jan 11, 2015 at 21:38

I hope you don't have many rooms which are 4'x4'!: That's worse than any college dorm room I ever saw. :-)

The dimensions given for a room depend on the purpose of the measurement. For example, for real estate advertising purposes each room is usually simplified into rectangles to the nearest foot. Few would care that an "oval room" of 16' x 25' is exactly 314.15927 square feet, vs. a rectangular approximation of 15 x 20 which is 300 square feet. However, measuring a room to install a carpet requires much greater precision, usually to the half inch (if not better).

For measuring a non-rectangular area, generally the best method is to break it into rectangles and add those together.

For example,

The area of this L-shaped room can be calculated in any of several ways:

• Take the whole area and subtract the "hole": 22 x 24 - 12 x 14
• Add the long top space and the little piece below it: 24 x 10 + 10 x 12
• Add the tall space at left plus the piece at right: 10 x 22 + 10 x 14

These all evaluate to 360 square units.

• Great response! I really appreciate you taking time out to explain this to me! Thank you! Jan 13, 2015 at 6:15
• @Foofighter99: If I answered your question, please accept it by clicking on the checkmark beside it. Jan 13, 2015 at 7:09