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Person measuring timber pieces with measuring tape.

Overview

Calculating the size of a space is an important step in any construction or DIY project. Learn how to calculate squares metres with this guide from Bunnings.

Steps

1Break down your area for measuring

When measuring large areas, breaking it down into smaller sections will make it easier. For this project, we have broken our space into two rectangles that will be measured separately then added together. Measure the first of these rectangles, starting with the width, followed by the length, and repeat the process on the second rectangle. Mark these measurements in your notebook.

Person measuring timber pieces with measuring tape.

2Round up your measurements

It's always a good idea to round up your measurements. Once you have finished calculating all the measurements, add a 10 per cent contingency on top to make sure you have more than enough materials for the job you're about to undertake. 

Person using notepad to make calculations.

3Use your measurements to calculate the area

To calculate the area of each of your rectangles, multiply the length by the width. For this project, that sum is 3m x 1m = 3m² for the first rectangle, and 6 x 2 = 12m² for the second. Because we are measuring the whole deck, we add these numbers together to get the final area measurement. So that sum is 3m + 12m = 15m². Make sure to add the 10 per cent contingency to this final sum. You can do this by multiplying the total and adding this to amount to the total. So 15m x 0.1 = 1.5m², therefore the total area is 15m + 1.5m = 16.5m².

Notepad, calculator and measuring tape.

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.