Finding square footage can be a useful skill for home projects. It will allow you to go to the big-box home stores and accurately order materials for the outdoor deck, patio or new garden spot. Square footage is easy to calculate by following some simple steps.

Determine the design of the project or the area that you want to measure. You need two measurements to find square footage--width and length. As an example, say you want to measure the square footage of an outdoor patio that's a rectangle.

Measure both the long side and the short side of the rectangle; in this example, the length is 20 feet and the width across the rectangular patio is 10 feet. It may be helpful to draw a rectangle shape on the paper and record the measurements on the drawing.

Calculate the square footage by multiplying the length times the width of the object. In this example, 20 feet times 10 feet equals 200 square feet.

#### Tips

- Figuring the square footage for more complicated shapes can be done by breaking them down into smaller rectangles or squares. This is where a drawing comes in to figure square footage. Draw the object on the paper and measure the object. Record those measurement on the drawing. Calculate the square footage of the smaller objects, then add them together for the total square footage. Home-center stores typically have charts to aid you in calculating larger areas.

#### Photo Credits

- tape measure image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com