What is Carpet Area, Built-Up Area and Super Built-Up Area?


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!

Carpet area is a term real estate developers are obliged to use when providing buyers the details about the property’s size. This is really quite simple to understand.

Carpet area meaning

That area in the flat or the apartment, which you could cover using a carpet, is the carpet area. 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 meaning in Hindi

Carpet area in Hindi is known as कार्पेट क्षेत्र, फर्श क्षेत्र or तल क्षेत्रफल.

Carpet area meaning in Marathi

Carpet area in Marathi is known as चटई क्षेत्र.

What does carpet area include?

The carpet area is the actual usable area you get for use in your home. This then implies that the carpet area of the apartment will not include the space used in building the lobby, the elevator, the stairs, the play area, etc.

 

Real Estate Basics Part 1 – Carpet Area, Built-Up Area & Super Built-Up Area

Formula to calculate carpet area

Carpet area = Area of bedroom + living room + balconies + toilets – the thickness of the inner walls

Carpet area as defined under PMAY

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 stands for “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’.

Definition of carpet area under RERA

Section 4 of the RERA says that every promoter shall make an application to the real estate regulatory authority, for registration of the real estate project, while providing, among other things, the carpet area of apartments for sale in the project, along with the area of the verandahs or exclusive balcony and the exclusive open terrace areas with the apartment.

While clearly prescribing real estate developers to sell apartments and flats in India based on this space-measuring benchmark, the real estate act (RERA) defines the carpet areas as “The net usable floor area of an apartment, excluding the area covered by the external walls, areas under services shafts, exclusive balcony or verandah area and exclusive open terrace area, but includes the area covered by the internal partition walls of the apartment.”

The Act also explains that the expression ‘exclusive balcony or verandah area’ refers to the area of the verandah or balcony, as the case may be, which is appurtenant to the net usable floor area of an apartment, meant for the exclusive use of the allottee. Additionally, according to the Act, ‘exclusive open terrace area’ refers to the area of that open terrace that is appurtenant to the net usable floor area of an apartment, meant for the exclusive use of the allottee.

In case a real estate developer provides false information about the carpet area, he may be fined up to 5% of the total cost of the project, under Section 61 of the RERA.

Charge on increase/decrease in carpet area under RERA

While the builders are now legally obliged to mention the carpet area to measure and price units, provisions have also been made for the increase and decrease in its measurement, while developing an under-construction project. If the carpet area is reduced through the course of the construction, the builder will have to refund the excess amount within 45 days, with annual interest, to the buyer. In case of an increase in the carpet area, the developer can also ask the buyer to pay the excess amount. However, the RERA caps the upper limit of the increase in carpet area at not be more than 3%.

Can buyers refuse to pay for an increase in carpet area by the builder?

There have been various instances, where the builder increases the overall price of the property, because of some changes in the plan and an increase in the carpet area. Under the provisions of the RERA, the buyer is liable to pay the additional charges. The Maharashtra RERA recently also made it clear that the buyer is liable to pay the extra money, while giving its verdict in a case filed by Ashley Neil Serrao and Mark Clement Serrao, who had purchased a unit in Runwal Greens by Propel Developers Pvt Ltd.

“The increase in the carpet area is being charged on a proportional basis with respect to the consideration price of the apartment and that being covered in the agreement for sale, cannot be termed as a breach of the agreement for sale,” the MahaRERA order said.

 

What is covered under the carpet area?

  • Bedroom
  • Dining room
  • Dressing room
  • Kitchen
  • Study
  • Stores
  • Any other room
  • Bathroom
  • Balconies within the house
  • Staircase within the house

 

What is not covered under the carpet area?

  • External and internal walls
  • Common areas
  • Terrace

 

Carpet area calculation

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.

How to make sure you are not short-changed in terms of the carpet area?

If you are buying a project in a mega housing society, the builder will be obliged to tell you the carpet area of the unit under the provisions of the RERA. However, do get a technical expert to visit the flat and calculate the area. If you are applying for a home loan, the bank would send a technical expert to examine the unit. Check with them, if the carpet area, as told to you by the builder, is the same as assessed by them. In case of any discrepancies, you must point out this issue to the builder and renegotiate the price.

Another key thing to remember while purchasing a property, is to not get carried away by the built-up area or super built-up area numbers, in case the carpet area is not to your liking. At the end of the day, the carpet area is the actual area you would be using in your day-to-day life. Make sure there is a perfect balance among the thee numbers, with the carpet area claiming the highest share.

 

How to know the exact carpet area of a ready-to-move-in property  that is not covered under the RERA?

While buyers of under-construction properties are aided by the RERA in this aspect, buyers who purchase a property in the resale market are on their own, when it comes to calculating the exact carpet area in their prospective homes. However, since most floor plan drawings are drawn on computer-aided design (CAD) software, it is actually quite simple to know the exact carpet area of your property. If one is not sure about this, they might also seek assistance from an engineer or architect.

 

Carpet area vs built-up area

Home buyers need to know the difference between carpet area and built-up area. The built-up area in your flat or apartment, is the carpet area plus the area that is covered by the inner walls and the balcony. In housing apartments in India, nearly 30% of a housing unit’s entire area is used in creating the inner walls and the balconies. This means that if a developer tells you that the built-up area of the units is 1,000 sq ft, you could assume that the net usable area or carpet area of the apartment will not exceed 700 sq ft.

 

Formula to calculate built-up area

Built-up area = Carpet area + area of walls + area of balcony

 

What is covered under built-up area?

  • Carpet area
  • External and internal walls
  • Utility ducts

 

What is typically not included under built-up area?

  • Courtyard at the ground level
  • Garden
  • Rocky area
  • Well and well structures
  • Plant
  • Nursery
  • Platform around a tree
  • Overhead water tank
  • Fountain
  • Bench with open top and the likes
  • Drainage
  • Culvert
  • Conduit
  • Catch-pit
  • Gully pit
  • Chamber gutter
  • Compound or boundary wall
  • Chejja
  • Uncovered staircase
  • Watchman booth/pump
  • Sump tank

 

Carpet areas vs super built-up area

Buyers should also be aware of the difference between carpet area and super built-up area.

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.

 

Real Estate Basics Part 1 – Carpet Area, Built-Up Area & Super Built-Up 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.

 

Real Estate Basics Part 1 – Carpet Area, Built-Up Area & Super Built-Up Area

What is covered in the super built-up area?

  • Built up area of the flat
  • Clubhouses
  • Air ducts
  • Pipe / shaft ducts
  • Lift
  • Staircases
  • Lobby
  • Swimming pool
  • Gymnasium
  • Any other common facilities

Note: The additional area will be added to the carpet area based on the loading factor used by the builder.

 

Formula to calculate super built-up area

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.

 

Super built-up area calculation example

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.

Tips to calculate the usable area of your future house

Always ask the builder about the carpet area of the property and negotiate the priced based on this number. So that there is absolutely no scope for any manipulation on this front, you might seek the help of a private technical assessor to re-confirm the carpet area in the property. Those who are buying the property with the help of housing finance are, in fact, better placed, as the bank would send its own legal and technical assessors, to check out the specifications of the property.

Another point to note here that that even if a builder is quoting the property price based on the carpet area, they would typically increase the per sq ft cost, in order to cover up for the built-up and super built-up area. Try to find out the pricing in similar projects in that area, to confirm if the quoted price by your builder is alright. If not, there is scope for the buyer to negotiate the deal and try to get the prices reduced.

We hope this clears up the confusion that always seems to permeate floor areas and how prices are calculated, making it easier for you to make decisions. Got more questions? Ask us below!

Here’s Part 2 of Real Estate Basics, where we talk about OSR, FSI, Loading and Construction Stages.

***

News updates

Haryana RERA issues regulations to sell flats only on carpet area

The Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (HARERA), on April 27, 2021, said that builders can sell apartments in their projects only on the basis of carpet area. While stating that the sale of flats on a super area or any other bench will be treated as fraudulent and an unfair trade practice, the state RERA said penal proceedings would be initiated against builders for violating these instructions.

“The property in real estate projects is not properly described by way of mentioning super area without specifically giving details and breakup of the components included in the super area. The practice of sale of the real estate on super area basis is misleading, ambiguous, opaque and gives rise to confusion and complexities and at times results into avoidable litigation,” said Haryana RERA chairman KK Khandelwal.

“The practice of sale of real estate on super area basis is misleading, ambiguous, opaque, and gives rise to confusion and complexities, and at times, triggers avoidable litigation,” Khandelwal added.

While stating that the term has been clearly defined in the RERA, he said the definition of carpet area as provided under Section 2(K) of the Act means the net usable floor area. “Externals walls, service shafts, balconies, verandahs and open terraces have been excluded from the definition of carpet area. However, the internal partition walls of the apartment are not excluded, as they form a part of the integral structure that is the carpet area,” he said.

 

FAQs

What is carpet area

Carpet area is the area that can actually be covered by a carpet or the area of the apartment excluding the thickness of inner walls.

How to calculate carpet area

You can calculate the carpet area if you know the exact built-up area.

What is carpet area according to RERA

According to the RERA, carpet area is defined as 'the net usable floor area of an apartment'.

How to calculate loading on carpet area

If a builder puts 1.25 as the loading factor, then it means 25% of space has been added to the carpet area of the flat.

What is included in carpet area

Carpet area does not include the area covered by the external walls, areas under services shafts, exclusive balcony or verandah area and exclusive open terrace area.

What is the difference between carpet area and built-up area

Carpet area is the area that can actually be covered by a carpet while built-up area is the area that comes after adding carpet area and wall area.

 

Was this article useful?
  • 😃 (263)
  • 😐 (18)
  • 😔 (19)

Comments

comments