What is Carpet Area, Built Up Area/ Plinth Area and Super Built Up Area – A comprehensive explaination
What is Carpet Area, Built Up Area, Plinth Area and Super Built Up Area? What all spaces are included in which area?
This question has baffled almost everyone who has purchased a property or is about to purchase one. The definitions available on the internet just add to the puzzle. The fact is that there is no bible (read standard guidelines) available for Indian real estate industry. Needless to say, most developers take advantage of this information gap.
In this post, I present to you the most logical definitions and analysis on the subject, so that you are much more confident when you go property hunting next time.
What is Carpet Area?
As the name suggests, carpet area means the area of the property where you can lay your carpet, measured wall to wall (Checkout the illustration below). This is the actual area which you can call your personal space and you should be really concerned about.
Areas included in Carpet Area
- All Rooms – Living Room, Bedrooms, Dining Room, Dressing Room, Other Rooms.
- Kitchen and Bathrooms
- Stores and Balconies
Areas not included in Carpet Area
- External and Internal walls
- Common Areas
Note: Balconies are included in carpet area calculation whereas terraces (if any attached to a unit) are generally sold separately at a lower per sqft rate because terraces are not included in FSI calculation of the developer.
What is Built Up Area/ Plinth Area?
Built Up Area or Plinth Area is the total covered area of the apartment or commercial property unit. It can be calculated by adding areas of utility ducts within property unit, internal and external walls to the carpet area (Checkout the illustration below). As a rule of thumb, built up area can be calculated by adding 10% loading factor on carpet area. This term is not so important while buying a property as almost all developers sell the property on super built up area. However, this term becomes important while dealing with government departments for eg. In many states, property taxes are levied on built up area/ plinth area.
Areas included in Built Up Area/ Plinth Area
- Entire carpet area
- Internal and External Walls
- Utility Ducts within walls of the unit
Areas not included in Built Up Area/ Plinth Area
- Common Areas
What is Super Built Up Area?
Super Built Up Area means built up area plus common areas proportioned to a unit (Checkout the illustration below). As a rule of thumb, the super built up area can be calculated by adding a loading factor to the carpet area, which may vary from 15% to 50%. The lower the factor the better it is for you as a customer as you get a higher carpet area for the same amount. The biggest catch is the calculation of common areas, where you should pay most attention to.
Areas included in Super Built Up Area
- Entire Built Up Area
- Common Areas – lobby, lift ducts, staircases, pipe ducts/ shafts, air ducts, covered community centres/ clubs, other covered common facilities.
Areas not included (generally should not be included) in Super Built Up Area
- Roof Terrace
- Open Areas like parks, gardens, play areas etc.
Sometimes, Super Built Up Area is also called as usable area, saleable area or just super area.
Found it interesting so far? Want to learn some pro tricks? Read On…
Some tricks played by developers to charge more
Let us consider that a developer is selling a flat with a super built up area of 1500 sqft at a price of Rs. 5000 per sqft.
Trick 1 – Loading factor play
Once you enquire, the marketing staff may tell you that they are offering the highest carpet area ratio and are only using a loading factor of 25%. He will show you the carpet area calculation as follows:
Carpet Area = 1500 * (100-25)% = 1125 sqft, which is a wrong method to calculate carpet area.
Right method for carpet area calculation
Remember that loading factor is supposed to be loaded (added) and not subtracted.
Right formula is, Carpet area * 1.25 = Saleable Area
That means Carpet Area = Saleable area / 1.25 = 1500 sqft / 1.25 = 1200 sqft.
This means, you should have ideally got 1200 sqft with 25% loading.
On the contrary, if the actual carpet area is 1125 sqft (can be calculated from the layout in brochure), the super built up area will work out to be 1125 * 1.25 = 1406.25 for which you should be paying, whereas the builder charges you for 1500 sqft. i.e. for 93.75 sqft. extra.
Therefore, your yardstick to compare projects should be effective carpet area per sqft. rate and not super built up area rate.
Trick 2 – Common Area play
Many developers will include even open areas like roof terrace, play areas, garden etc. in the super built up area calculation. You won’t even realise that you may end up paying for actual loading factor of 50% or even higher though on paper you will be shown that the loading factor is just 25%.
Avoid pitfalls and become a smart investor
Generally, you will be enticed by a very attractive basic per sqft price which a developer might be offering. However, you will realise many traps once you book the property and when the cost of property keeps going up. Once you pay your booking amount, you would hardly have any exit options or you will be charged heavy cancellation charges. So, it is in your interest to ask as many questions as you can before you handover your first booking amount cheque.
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