Residential Measurement Standards (RMS)

Are you getting ready to buy or sell a home? If you’re a buyer, have you thought about how much space you want? If you’re a seller, have you thought about how the size of your home will affect your list price?

Property size is important, and the Residential Measurement Standard (RMS) in Alberta provides a consistent way to communicate property size for both buyers and sellers. It contains nine principles that real estate professionals must follow when measuring and representing the size of residential property.
Here are the top nine things buyers and sellers need to know about residential property measurement, and the Residential Measurement Standard, in Alberta.

Nine Standards for RMS in Alberta

  1. Real estate professionals must use the RMS.
  2. Identify if the measurement system is metric or imperial, and apply it consistently. Measurements must be calculated to within 2% of the RMS size
  3. For detached properties, measure the property using the exterior wall at the foundation.
  4. For properties with common walls, such as half-duplexes, townhouses, and apartments, measure the interior perimeter walls (paint-to-paint) at floor level. An additional area representation may be made assuming exterior measurements.
  5. Include floor levels that are entirely above grade and exclude floor levels if any portion is below grade. Below grade levels may be measure, but the area must not be included in the RMS area.
  6. Include all additions to the main structure and conversions of above grade areas within the structure if they are weatherproof and suitable for year-round use.
  7. The property must have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 2.13 metres (7 feet). If the ceiling is sloped, the area with a floor-to-ceiling- height of at least 1.52 metres (5 feet) is included in the RMS area, provided there is a ceiling height of 2.13 metres (7 feet) somewhere in the room.
  8. Included extensions from the main structure that have a minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 1.5 metres (5 feet), such as cantilevers, bay and bow window, and dormers.
  9. Exclude open areas that have no floor, such as vaulted areas.

The RMS offers a consistent means of representing the property’s above grade space. Among other things, the RMS sets out what parts of a property can be included in its measured-area. For example, if a room has a dormer with a ceiling height of only 4 feet, is it included as floor space? What about finished basements that are entirely below grade? The RMS information benefits consumers because:

RMS Measurements

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