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Verkaufsoptimierter Grundriss Detail

Living space regulation: an overview

Area specifications are important so that customers can correctly estimate the size of their apartments and rooms and know how much living space is available in their new property. Area specifications are also an important tool when comparing prices. The price per square meter of the living space is an important factor in determining the price of an apartment.

Housing promotion act
Living space regulation

The so-called Living Space Regulation contains specifications for calculating the floor space, so that calculations are always made in the same way. The living space regulation is used when the living space of subsidized apartments or owner-occupied homes must be calculated. In the case of privately financed properties, calculation in accordance with the Living Space Regulation is not mandatory, but the method has now become the standard procedure here as well.

Living Space Regulation: Scope of Application

As already mentioned, the application of the Living Space Regulation is mandatory for subsidized housing according to the Housing Promotion Act. However, according to the Scope of Application, not all rooms and areas of an apartment or a house count as living space. Which areas belong to which percentage of the so-called floor space is regulated in paragraph two of the Living Space Ordinance.

Living space regulation: These living areas are included in the floor space

The living space of an apartment includes all the floor areas of the rooms that can only be allocated to this apartment. This also includes the floor areas of winter gardens, swimming pools and similar rooms that are closed on all sides. Balconies, loggias, terraces or roof gardens are only considered if they belong exclusively to the apartment.

However, not all rooms are included in the calculation. The floor areas of the following rooms are not included in the living space:

1. Accessory rooms such as

  • Cellar rooms
  • Substitute cellar rooms or storage rooms outside the apartment
  • Laundry rooms
  • Drying rooms
  • Floor rooms
  • Garages
  • Boiler rooms

2. Rooms that do not meet the requirements of the building code of the states regarding their use.

3. Business premises are also disregarded

Living Space Regulation: Determining the Floor Area

According to the Living Space Regulation, the clear dimension (width and height of a hollow space or the length between adjoining building components) must always be used to calculate the floor area. The front edge of the respective cladding of the building components serves as the starting point. In the absence of such a border of the building components, the building ending is the starting point.

According to the Living Space Regulation, the following floor areas must be included in the calculation:

  • Door and window claddings
  • Door and window surrounds
  • Skirting boards, baseboards, scuff plates
  • Objects that are permanently installed, such as stoves, shower trays, air conditioning units
  • exposed installations
  • built-in furniture
  • Room dividers that are not fixed in place and can be moved.

The Living Space Regulation also provides that the following floor areas are not to be included in the calculation:

  • Chimneys, free-standing pillars and columns, and facing walls if the height exceeds 1.5 meters and the respective floor area exceeds 0.1 square meters
  • Stairs with more than three slopes
  • Windows and other open wall niches that do not reach down to the floor. If they do reach down to the floor, they must not be higher than 0.13 meters
  • Door niches

The Living Space Regulation also states that if the living space was built based on a construction drawing, but the floor area does not match the construction drawing, the entire living space must be remeasured based on the completed living space.

Living Space Regulation: Calculation of floor areas

Not all floor areas of a living space are fully included in the calculations. According to the Living Space Regulation, the following rules apply:

1. The floor area of rooms with a clear height of more than two meters must be included in full.

2. Rooms with a clear height between one and two meters are calculated at half.

3. Unheated winter gardens, swimming pools or similar also are only half calculated.

4. The floor area of balconies, roof gardens, loggias or terraces count as a quarter to a maximum of half.

Living Space Regulation: Is there an alternative?

For publicly subsidized housing, the calculation of the floor space is mandatory according to the Living Space Regulation. If it concerns privately financed living space, there is an alternative: the so-called DIN standard 277 with the name "Floor areas and room contents of buildings in structural engineering". The main difference between this standard and the Residential Floor Area Regulation is that basements, attics, loggias and balconies are counted as 100 percent of the floor area. The same applies to areas whose clear height is less than one meter. As a result, a significantly larger area is often determined in the end. Consequently, rental and purchase prices are higher.