The terms built up area, super built up area, salable area and carpet area pop up again and again for an Indian real estate buyer. The apartment that is sold as a spacious 1500 sq ft apartment, is actually not 1500 sq ft if you count its actual covered area, or carpet area.
1. Carpet area – The actual area you use. The area on which ‘you can put a carpet’.
2. Built up area – Carpet area + area of walls and ducts. Around 10% more than the carpet area. A terrace is considered as half the actual area for calculating built up area. Some projects charge dry terrace same as internal rooms.
3. Super built up / Salable area – Built up area + markup for common spaces like lifts and stairs. Usually 25% more than the built up area.
Let us take an example.
This is a small apartment whose salable area, or super built up area is 892 sq ft. Let us calculate its carpet area by summing up all its rooms -
Room Dimensions (ft & inch) Carpet area in sq. ft.
Living Room 10′ x 15′-9″ 157.5
Dining Room 7′ x 7′-8″ 53.6
Bedroom 1 11′-9″ x 10′-9″ 126.3
Bedroom 2 11′-9″ x 10 117.5
Toilet 1 8′-6″ x 5 42.5
Toilet 2 8′-4″ x 4′-3″ 35.4
Terrace 10′ x 5′-9″ 57.5
Kitchen 11′ x 8′-6″ 93.5
Here is the details of one of the apartments at Kumar Periwinkle in Kharadi we are talking about.
Now terraces are generally considered by halving their actual area. So, area considered of the terrace is 57.5/2 sq ft = 28.75 sq ft.
So, the total carpet area for the rooms of the flat comes to be approximately 655 sq ft. Now there is a passage area at the center of the flat, which looks approximately 11 feet by 5 feet, which adds 55 sq ft more to the area.
So, approximate carpet area of the flat = 710 sq ft.
Now, the salable area as given on the website is 892 sq ft. This is the area which is billed to you by multiplying it with the square foot rate.
This difference is what super built up area is all about. As far as I have seen, a thumb rule is to take 1.25 as the multiplying factor to calculate super built up area (i.e. salable area).
So, if we multiply by this factor, 710 * 1.25 = 887.5 sq ft is approximately the answer we are supposed to arrive at.
But this rule of 25% is no written rule, and this multiplier can vary. Ideally, this multiplier should be more for the schemes where more space is given to amenities and common areas. This area is supposed to include the common amenities that are built but are not directly charged to the customer. But there are no concrete formulas for this. The agreement that you will sign with the builder, should have all the details like carpet area in it. But you will probably see the agreement in detail only after you decide to buy your home there.
So are you getting cheated when you actually get a 700 sq ft apartment when you thought you got 900 sq ft? Not really… The key is to ask for the carpet area of the apartment you are buying, and verify it by doing a calculation as given above, and also verify the dimensions actually on the ground if possible. As long as we have open market economy, you will always have choices. So, if you find that a project has a multiplying factor of 25% for super built up area and another has 30%, the simplest thing you can do, is get the carpet area of the actual rooms and find out the per sq ft rate based on carpet area, to compare the two projects.
Apart from this, there are also several extra bills like electricity backup charges, parking charges, maintenance charges for amenities, society formation charges so on and so forth. So, you need to consider and compare all of these charges before thinking of choosing the right project to buy a property. Give a hard thought to how many of the amenities you are actually going to use, and how much you are getting charged for them. Will it be simply better to buy into a no-frills project and join a gymkhana club rather than paying maintenance charges for the swimming pool you are not going to use?
Simply create an excel sheet and put all the parameters of the property in it, like carpet area, parking charges etc. Use that sheet as your basis of taking decision and not the glossy marketing brochures they give you!
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