Calculating linear footage
Though Linear footage may not be a measurement you have to deal with on a daily basis, if you’re planning a home improvement project or you’re moving, you may need to know how to convert feet to linear feet. Let’s take a look at what a linear foot is, how to calculate it, and how it’s used to price long distance moves with U-Pack®.
What is a linear foot?
Let's break down all the specifics of a linear foot.
Definition: A linear foot is one foot in length or 12 inches. You may also hear it called a lineal foot.
Where does the term come from? The term linear refers to a straight line, so when you measure for Linear Footage, you're talking about the “straight line measurement” of something.
Example: So, for instance, a piece of lumber that is 5 feet long is 5 linear feet. It doesn’t matter how wide the board is, it is always 5 linear feet since it’s a measure of length only.
How is it different from other measurements? Linear footage differs from cubic footage and square footage in that it doesn’t account for width or height.
Why do linear feet matter? Materials like lumber, fencing and carpeting are typically priced by the linear foot – the width and height are fixed, so you just pay based on the length. For home improvement projects, measuring linear feet will determine how much material you need. Linear footage is also used by moving companies like U-Pack to price household moves.
How do I measure linear feet? To measure linear footage, just measure the length in inches, then divide by 12. There is no fancy linear foot calculator required – just measure the length and you have the linear feet.
If you’re more of a visual person, check out this video for a tutorial on calculating linear feet.
Why linear feet matter when moving
When you move with a service like U-Pack, the price is based on linear footage.
It works like this: There are markers for the linear footage inside the trailer. You’ll load your belongings inside, and then you pay only for the linear feet you use. Because of this, loading the trailer well (side-to-side and bottom-to-top) maximizes the space you use and can make a huge difference in your price. Remember that a bigger home will require more space in the trailer than a small apartment.
The beauty of moving with U-Pack is that you don’t have to worry about running out of space like you do with truck rental. When you rent a truck, it's a fixed size – and you just hope you've chosen the right size. U-Pack trailers are bigger than even the biggest rental truck – it’s actually the size of a 26-foot truck plus a 10-foot truck. The large trailer means you have much more space at your disposal. You just load your belongings inside and pay based on the space you actually use.
Let’s say you get a quote for 17 linear feet in the trailer, which is typical for a three-bedroom home. On moving day, you maximize your loading space, taking full advantage of the width (8 feet) and height (9 feet) of the trailer as you load. When you’re finished, you end up fitting everything into just 15 linear feet (2 less than you thought!). Job well done – your price drops down to reflect 15 linear feet used, not the 17 linear feet you originally reserved. So loading well means saving money!
And what if you end up needing more space than you thought? Space is always available. Your quote includes a per-foot adjustment rate, allowing you to adjust your price per each additional linear foot of space you use.
Measuring linear feet in the trailer
To quickly calculate your linear footage, use this chart. It’ll help you determine how many linear feet you need based on the size of your home.
You can also use the Room-By-Room Estimator tool for a more detailed calculation.
If you happen to get a quote for moving containers, we offer flexibility there, too. The Cubes are 6’ x 7’ x 8’ and you can use as many as you think you need. While we don’t track the linear feet usage in the Cubes, the same “use what you need” thought applies. You pay based on the containers you actually use. So if you reserve an extra just in case and end up not using it, you won’t be charged for it. Customers love the flexibility.
Wondering how much your move will cost? Get a free moving quote from U-Pack to see your price. And keep in mind that it’s adjustable based on the space you use.
If you have more questions about how to calculate a linear foot or about moving with U-Pack, let us know – we’re happy to help.