Let’s admit it – the terms and jargon thrown at us by agents and realtors have us staring at them cluelessly most of the time. While buying a house, terms such as carpet area, built-up area and super built-up area moslty evade our realm of understanding, or at least cause some confusion. In every residential complex, there are these three ways of calculating the area, or the square footage. They may not all sound very different, but there is in fact a big difference between carpet area and built-up area! Home buyers in India would invariably comes across terms like carpet area, built up area and super built up area as they try to gauge the size of homes. This article is meant to act as your guide to understanding these three terms and what exactly do they convey.
Under its mission to provide Housing for All by 2022, the central government in India introduced the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) programme, under which it has also clearly defined carpet area. Under the PMAY, carpet area means ‘the net usable floor area of an apartment, excluding the area covered by the external walls but including the area covered by internal partition walls of the apartment’. Under the government’s PMAY programme, carpet area is defined as the ‘area enclosed within the walls and the actual area to lay the carpet’. Simply put, carpet area means that area in the flat which you could cover using a carpet. Also known as the net usable area, the carpet area is actually that space in your home which can be used for laying a carpet. Carpet area in Hindi is known as कार्पेट क्षेत्र, फर्श क्षेत्र or तल क्षेत्रफल. Carpet area in Marathi is known as चटई क्षेत्र.
Carpet area = Area of bedroom + living room + balconies + toilets – the thickness of the inner walls
The built up area in a flat is its carpet area plus the space taken by the wall. The build up area in a flat also includes other unusable areas like balcony, terrace, flower beds, etc. This is why the space in a flat would seem larger when it is expressed in build-up area terms.
Built up area in your home includes some additional areas apart from the carpet area. You can arrive at the built up area in your home by using the following formula:
Built-up area = Carpet area + area of walls + area of balcony
A housing society consists of various common areas. While the buyer has to pay a monthly maintenance charge for the upkeep of these areas, he will also have to shell out money for a proportionate part of these spaces at the time of the purchase. Builders typically use the loading factor – constructed spaces not exclusively allocated to the buyer – on the carpet area, to arrive at the super built up area.
Developers arrive at the super-built up area of a unit by way of adding the total built-up area with the area occupied by common areas, including the corridor, the lift lobby, the elevator, etc. In some cases, builders even include amenities such as pools, gardens and clubhouses, in the common area.
Before the RERA made it mandatory for builders to sell flats based on carpet area, they widely used the super-built-up area as the space-measuring unit, to cash in on the lack of clarity on space calculation. The use of super built-up area as the measuring unit, helped them to lower the per sq ft cost of the property. It also gave the buyer a false impression that they were investing in a large home when they actually were not.
“Super built-up area is the big number, which developers prefer to market their projects with. It is the number they arrive at, by adding common areas with built-up areas. Super built-up area is also known as the saleable area, because it becomes a yardstick for developers to quote their buyers,” explains Vijay Verma, CEO, Sunworld Group. With more than one apartment on a floor, the calculation of super built-up area is done differently, he adds.
Suppose a house with a carpet area of 1,000 sq ft is priced at Rs 2,000 per sq ft. In such a scenario, the overall cost of the property will be Rs 20,00,000. To make the marketing pitch even more attractive, a developer will provide the super built-up area (let’s say, 1,300 sq ft) and price the property lower at, say, Rs 1,800 per sq ft. In this scenario, the overall cost of the property will be Rs 23.40 lakhs. To a naïve buyer, the latter would any day sound way more attractive than the former.
Super built-up area = Built-up area + proportionate common area
Or Super built-up area = Carpet area (1+loading factor)
Note: The loading would be in the range of 15% to 50%, depending on builder and the exact location.
See also: All about property registration laws in India
When there are more than one apartments on a floor, the super built-up area is calculated in a different manner.
Let us assume that on the fifth floor of a housing society, Sanjay Mehta owners an apartment with a built-up area of 1,000 sq ft. On the same floor, Amit Lal owns an apartment with a built-up area of 2,000 sq ft. The total common area on the floor is 1,500 sq ft.
Now, to calculate the super built-up area of the two apartments, the builder would divide in the ratio of the apartments’ built-up areas (in this case 1:2) add 500 sq ft extra space in Mehta’s total built-up area and 1,000 sq ft extra in Lal’s built-up area. Now, the super built-up area of Mehta’s apartment is 1,500 sq ft and Lal’s is 3,000 sq ft.
|Area||Carpet area||Built up area||Super built up area|
In most cases, the carpet area in your flat would typically be 70% of its built-up area. So, if the built-up area of a property is 1,500 sq ft, its carpet area would typically be 1,050 sq ft.