Decoding Real Estate Terminology – Carpet Area, Built-Up Area & Super Built-Up Area

Let’s admit it; every industry has its fair share of buzzwords and terminologies. And most people find them quite unfamiliar and daunting. Real estate again, is no exception to this rule.

And there is plenty of jargon that gets thrown around by real estate experts.

Initially, these terms may appear to be a bit technical, even intimidating. 

But if you ask us, we think, once you get the hang of it, you’ll have fun using them as you realise the context behind their usage. And knowing these terms will even help you engage in more meaningful conversations.

So today, let’s look at the three most widely used terms in the real estate market used to measure the size of an apartment or a home.


Let’s gets started then.

What is carpet area?

The Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) defines carpet area as the net usable floor area of an apartment.

It includes all rooms like the kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and utility room within your home. And simply put, it’s the floor area of your apartment where you can spread a carpet on.

Let’s clarify this further. 

The carpet area does not include the thickness of the inner walls in your apartment, nor the surface area of the walls itself. And the shafts used to vent the air from the kitchen/lavatory and the utility ducts are also to be excluded from the carpet area calculation. 

With that said, the floor space taken up by a walk-in wardrobe and any staircases within your apartment will still count.

What else? 

As per the new regulations, balcony and verandah spaces will be kept away from the carpet area calculation, even if it is exclusive to your home. 

Also, common and external shared areas like the lift, lobby, staircases, open terrace areas that are outside your apartment are never to be considered in the carpet area calculation.

Generally, the carpet area accounts for 85-90% of the built-up area. 

So, if you’re choosing between two apartments, pick the one with the biggest carpet area, if space within the apartment is your priority.

What is the built-up area?

So, the built-up area is sometimes also referred to as the Plinth area. And if you encounter any of these two terms, remember that they are used interchangeably and mean the same.

The built-up area is everything included in the carpet area and more.

By more we mean to say that, the built-up area includes the spaces in your balconies, verandahs, the walls (not the surface area, but the thickness) and any utility ducts in your apartment. All these put together and when combined with your carpet area comprises the built-up area.

Typically, the built-up area is 1.1x to 1.15x of your carpet area. So if you have 900 sq ft of carpet area, you could expect your built-up area to be 990-1035 sq feet based on the above calculations. That’s about 10-15% of unusable space within your apartment.

What is the super built-up area?

There are two primary benefits to buying any apartment. One is, of course, the fact that you’re able to live in the flat itself.

And the second is the facility to enjoy the amenities provided to you by your builder or developer. Amenities that contribute towards making your life more comfortable and satisfying.

So this is the rationale behind this third unit of measurement, which is called as the super built-up area.

In other words:

The super built-up area = built-up area + common amenities

But, these amenities that you benefit from are not fully charged to you. Instead, they are divided proportionately among all flat owners in your building complex.

Here is a laundry list of items that qualify as shared facilities for the super built-up area

  1. Common corridors
    2. Lift/elevator shaft
    3. Staircase
    4. Lift rooms, generator rooms, electrical rooms, pump rooms
    5. Gas Banks and garbage rooms
    6. General toilet facilities for housekeeping and maintenance staff
    7. Security rooms
    8. Play areas and indoor sports rooms
    9. Lobby
    12. Garden and parks
    13. Community centre 
    14. Gymnasium

The super built-up area, however, does not include:

  1. Underground septic tanks
    b. Walls around the building complex, etc.

Parking is also never included in the super built-up area and is always charged separately.

The super built-up area is typically calculated to be 1.25x to 1.30x times the carpet area (may vary based on the particular developer you go for). So if you have 900 sq ft of carpet area, you could expect your super built-up area to be 1125-1170 sq feet based on the above figures.

Now, before RERA came into being, a developer or builder would almost always charge you by the super built-up area.  And that is why the term came to be interchangeably used with the word ‘saleable area’.

But, after the mandate from RERA, flats are now being strictly sold by carpet area and not by the super built-up area.

A useful analogy to help you remember

Let’s bring all these three terms together now with a simple analogy.

If you think of a pyramid with three layers –

The carpet area would account for the topmost layer of the pyramid (the smallest triangular portion at the top). The middle layer would then be the built-up area and the base layer for the pyramid (the largest portion) would be the super built-up area.

There you go. The gradual progression starting from the carpet area all the way up to the super built-up area.

Does that help? We’d love to hear from you. Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below if you have any further queries or doubts.


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