Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Hi. I have a problem I'm hoping you can provide some help with. When I check the property information for our home on our District of North Vancouver website, it shows that our property is supposed to be 1146.99 Square Metres. Yet another property which has identical measurements is listed as having 1173.7 Square Metres. I would like to figure out who is correct. I have read lots of examples on your website (which I found doing an internet search for how to calculate the square footage of a property with an odd shape).

Our property is an uneven pentagon (5 sides). From your web site I even downloaded and tried using the "Surveyor's Formula Calculator" but it does not seem to make sense.

My understanding of math is simple and this stuff is way beyond me, unless you tell me exactly what I need to do for the calculation.

So I'm hoping you will help.

1. We have the back which runs east-west: 90 ft - N89 degrees 01 1/2' W
2. One side runs north-south: 90 ft - N00 degrees 58 1/2' E
3. From #1 which runs at an angle north-southwest: 107.71 ft - N22 degrees 47' E
4. From #2 which runs at an angle east-southwest: 107.71 ft - N69 degrees 10' E
5. Joins #3 and #4: 42.45 ft - N44 degrees 01' W

Hope you can help me with this question on how many square metres (and/or square feet) our property actually has?

Many thanks.


Hi Linda,

I looked at the legal diagram you directed me to and put the data into our Surveyor's Formula Calculator. I had to modify the bearings to simulate walking around the property. This is what I got.

surveyor's formula

To convert to square feet I typed 12452.76 square feet in square meters into Google and got the response 12 452.76 (square feet) = 1 156.89926 square meters.

The District of North Vancouver website gives a value of 1146.99 square metres with a margin of error of ± 5%. 1146.99 × 1.09 = 1204.36 so my calculation is well within their margin of error.

In your email you said "Yet another property which has identical measurements is listed as having 1173.7 Square Metres." This value is also within the 5% margin of error but I caution you about comparing the properties using side lengths only. Two properties with exactly the same side lengths might have quite different areas if the angles are not identical also.

I hope this helps,

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