Measuring Landscape Area (including photo guidelines)
Below are instructions for calculating the footage of simple landscaping. For more complex landscaping, it may be necessary for you to request assistance from your contractor or landscaper. (There are also online satellite imagery websites that may be able to help you measure your lawn’s square footage.)
Measuring the square footage of your landscaping
To measure your landscape area, you will need:
- A Measuring tape or measuring wheel
- Graph paper (free templates available online)
With those materials in hand, follow these steps to find the square footage of your lawn:
1. On the graph paper, make a drawing of your home and the borders of your yard. Write in any descriptions of nearby items such as driveways, fences, or sidewalks.
2. Divide the landscape area into easily measured shapes such as rectangles, squares, and triangles.
3. Take measurements as needed to calculate the square footage of each shape in your yard (helpful formulas are listed below). Add up the square footage of each shape for total square footage. If a shape with no landscaping (such as a pool) is inside a larger shape (such as a square of lawn), calculate the square footage of the larger shape and subtract the square footage of the smaller shape.
Helpful formulas to find square footage
You can easily calculate the area of common shapes yourself. If you prefer, there are many online “area calculator tools” that will calculate the square footage of common shapes after you enter in the required measurements (for example, this tool on the Math is Fun web site.)
Squares, rectangles, and triangles are the most common shapes in most yards. The formulas for finding their square footage are below. If you have more unusual shapes, you can find out how to calculate their square footage on many websites such as Math is Fun.
Square or Rectangle
Height multiplied by Width = Square Footage
Height multiplied by Width and divided by 2 = Square Footage
Photos submitted as part of a request to change your landscape classification should:
- Be in color.
- Not be up-close shots of grass or plants. We recommend you stand back far enough to include your home, street, or fence as a reference point.
- Represent the landscape area footage. You may need to submit multiple photos to adequately represent your landscaping.
- Be in JPEG or PNG format. (Videos are not accepted.)