How to Calculate Linear Feet

What is a linear foot?

A linear foot is a 12-inch measurement of length, where the item’s width and height don’t matter. For example, a piece of flooring that measures 5 feet long, 6 inches wide and 0.25 inches tall is 5 linear feet. If another piece is 5 feet long, 3 inches wide and 0.5 inches tall, it’s still 5 linear feet.

To convert linear feet to feet, there’s no math! A linear foot is a foot. There’s no trick — it’s that simple.

U-Pack moving trailer, which is 28 linear feet in length, in front of a home.


Why is it called a linear foot?

The word linear is defined as “extending along a straight or nearly straight line,” so it makes sense that linear footage is just a straight line measurement of length!

When would I need to use it?

Linear footage is a pretty uncommon measurement, but it’s one to know about if you’re planning a home renovation project, or want to understand how U-Pack® measures space for household goods moving.

How U-Pack uses linear footage

Measuring linear footage is important if you’re using a U-Pack moving trailer. We base our trailer rates on where you’re moving from and to, the move date, and the linear footage of the shipment — that’s it! This means you don’t have to pay for space you don’t use in the equipment.

We’ll provide a quote for a certain amount of linear feet, based on the size of your home. The quote will also include a “per-foot adjustment rate” which you can add or subtract based on the actual footage of the trailer. When the trailer arrives, be sure to mark off the estimated space inside so you’ll be able to tell how much is left when loading (and what the estimated price will be).

Here’s an example of how to determine the price:

Let’s say you were initially quoted for 19 feet of space in the trailer, but you’re able to fit everything in 17 feet. If your per-foot-adjustment rate is $50 (this will change from move to move), you can subtract $100 from your quoted price ($50/foot x 2 feet less space).

Here’s a video tutorial explaining how to measure linear feet with U-Pack:


How many linear ft. will I need to move?

The footage you’ll need will depend on home size you’re moving. While there will be some exceptions, like a lightly furnished home or a house with a lot of stuff in storage, this chart is a good guide (and your moving quote will automatically calculate an estimate based on the info you enter):

linear footage chart


Remember, you can use as much or as little space as you need and adjust the price per linear foot (down to a 5 foot minimum).


Have any other questions about linear feet? Leave us a comment below, and we will be happy to find an answer!