Rentable vs. Usable Square Feet


Commercial Square Feet - Milbrook Properties

Like every field, the commercial real estate sector has its own terminology. Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, you need to be familiar with the key terms as well as know the differences between seemingly similar words like rentable square feet and usable square feet. As a tenant looking for spaces for lease, knowing the difference between these terms will help you understand how much space you’ll actually get when renting an office and ensure that that you get the best possible end of the deal.


Let’s study the key differences between rentable vs. usable square feet:


Usable Square Feet

Simply put, usable square feet measures the amount of commercial space you physically occupy or utilize. This obviously encompasses the premises available to your firm and workers and where you’ll have your office furniture, meetings rooms, private offices, equipment, etc. Any restrooms, break rooms, or restrooms specifically designated for your business are also included in usable square feet.


If a company occupies a full floor, and the space like janitor’s closet or electrical room is dedicated to that floor only, these areas may even be considered usable space.


Since recessed entries and columns are not usable in practical sense, examine them upon your visit and deduct them in usable square feet calculation.