I have always done my area calculations over the frame of the building. Makes sense to me because the living area of the home does not change just because the exterior is brick rather than siding. But I have had some clients who want the area calculated over the exterior. They want the home to appear larger than it is because their competitor down the street is doing the same thing. But they also want over frame calculations because that is what they pay their contractors by. Seems a little shady to me but I give them what they want.
In earlier versions of SoftPlan the areas always calculated to the outside of the outermost visible surface of a wall. So if your wall showed brick then the brick was automatically included. If you wanted your areas to go just to the framing you could edit the area and check Outside Bearing Edge and the area would adjust or you could use Adjust to change the edges manually.
v2012 adds the ability to define how you want areas calculated. Not only that but you can have different area calculation methods for each area. For instance I renamed the first two area selections to Living Area FRAME and Living Area EXTERIOR. I set the Living Area FRAME to be Outside Bearing Edge and Living Area EXTERIOR to be Exterior Edge.
Now whenever I add an Area I simply select which option I want to use and I get the correct calculation without having to change the Area.
I can even include both calculations on the same plan.
How do you do your area calculations? Over frame or over exterior?
Bill is the owner and maintainer of SoftPlanTuts.com