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Living and usable space based on the to DIN 277

When it comes to real estate, the word living space often comes up. In this context, there is also mention of the terms floor space and usable floor space. For the non-expert, the distinction is often unclear at first. But it's actually quite simple: For houses, the surface area refers to the plot of land, whereby a distinction is made between constructed floor area (BF) and unconstructed floor area (UF). So far, the matter is clear. But what about floor space and living space? This is also relatively simple: First of all, everything in the building is usable area. Note: Usable area, not floor space! By definition, living space is also usable space, it serves a purpose, namely for living. It is only in the second step that a more precise distinction is made, because the usable area is subdivided into usable area, living area, communication area, functional or technical area. The living space calculation according to DIN 277 is relevant for the specification of the living space.

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Use of DIN 277

In order to be able to determine the living space of a house or an apartment, the DIN 277 standard was created. On the one hand, this enables statements to be made in the area of planning, among other things with regard to construction costs. On the other hand, the determination of the exact living space is also important when selling or renting a property. However, when calculating the living space according to DIN 277, some things are added to the living space that are not recognized as living space in other types of calculation, such as the Living Space Ordinance (WoFlV). For rooms that serve residential purposes, the calculation is standardized, but for constructed attics, sloping roofs, balconies, terraces and conservatories, there are differences in the calculation. Since no deductions are made when calculating living space according to DIN 277, this calculation method gives the highest result, because the calculation covers all floor areas of a building, whereby terraces and balconies are also included. In each case, the floor area of the rooms is measured from wall to wall and then the result is summarized. A 3% addition for wall construction is added to this result, whereby plaster and wallpaper are included here. The living space calculation according to DIN 277 is often used in the area calculation of office buildings or industrial objects.

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Usable area DIN 277 - the generic term for the living space calculation DIN 277.

The standard of living space calculation according to DIN 277 is of great importance, because it represents the calculation basis for room areas and floor areas in building construction. In the standard, the individual terms are precisely specified and defined. The usable floor space according to DIN 277 distinguishes seven categories, whereby the calculation does not exclusively refer to private real estate, but also concerns office buildings, company buildings and public buildings. The categories distinguish:

  • Living space
  • Office space
  • Manufacturing space
  • Storage rooms
  • Education and culture (e.g. classrooms)
  • Health and care (e.g. doctor's offices)
  • Other ( dressing rooms, storerooms)
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The category living space according to living space calculation DIN 277

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The distinction between living space and usable space according to living space calculation DIN 277 is absolutely clear. According to the living space calculation DIN 277, the category living space includes everything that is used for living. These are, of course, primarily living rooms, bedrooms and children's rooms, but kitchens and bathrooms are also included, as well as a separate toilet. The private study or a storage room located in the apartment also belongs to the living space according to the living space calculation DIN 277. If the storage room is located outside the apartment, it is considered usable space according to the living space calculation DIN 277, but is still added to the living space. Winter gardens and both terraces and balconies are counted as living space according to the living space calculation DIN 277, in fact at 100%.

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Do basements and attics belong to the living space?

By definition, according to the living space calculation DIN 277, basements and an unconstructed attic do not belong to the living space, they are counted as usable space, under certain circumstances also as functional space. However, according to the living space calculation DIN 277, they are completely counted as living space.

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The term living space and its meaning

If you want to buy an apartment or a house, you will inevitably have to deal with the issue of living space and floor space. The term also plays a major role for the tenant of a house or apartment, and the same is true if you want to rent or sell a property. Living space and usable space are terms that are absolutely clearly defined and you, as the seller or landlord, are obliged to provide truthful information. In the opposite case, the buyer or tenant of a property must be able to rely on the fact that the living and usable areas have been correctly determined in accordance with the living area calculation DIN 277. Inaccurate or incorrect information can lead to unpleasant disputes, which often result in a legal dispute. The living space calculation according to DIN 277 is also of great importance with regard to financing, because the banks base their calculations on this information. As a rule, the living space calculation according to DIN 277 is included in the value of the property to be evaluated; incorrect or unclear information provides a distorted picture and, in the worst case, can cause the financing to fail. It is therefore recommended that anyone who is considering buying or renting a property, as well as a seller or landlord, should study the subject in detail.