Why would a handyman need to find the volume of a house? I’m sure there are many reasons, but a few come to mind. Sizing swamp cooler cubic feet per minute (cfm) requires a volume of a home, as does running a blower door test for energy efficiency. You need volume figures to ultimately determine proper ventilation requirements.

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Determining the volume of a house can be tricky. If all houses were perfect rectangles, the job would be easy, but add in vaulted ceilings and interesting architecture, and the job gets more challenging.

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I try to break up the house into basic shapes. It’s much easier to do the calculations that way. As you walk through the house, sketch the floor plan as if it were made of simple shapes. Take the volume of these shapes and add them together for the volume. Most of your shapes will be boxes of various dimensions. For vaulted ceilings you will need to calculate the volume of a triangle. For a box, be it a cube or rectangular box, the formula is: length x width x height. For a vaulted ceiling (in the shape of a triangle), the formula is length x width x height/2.

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When you have all of your volumes from the various parts of the house, add them up for a cubic foot total.

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