Home / Categories / Planning Your Move / How to Calculate Linear Feet

How to Calculate Linear Feet

February 12th, 2018 - 10:35 AM

A look at linear feet 

Linear feet: It’s an uncommon measurement to the average person, 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. Calculating linear feet is simple because there’s no math involved. Read on to learn more about what a linear foot is and why it matters.

What is a linear foot?

How much is a linear foot?

A linear foot is a 12-inch measurement of length. The word “linear” is defined as “consisting of, or using lines,” so it makes sense to measure linear footage as a straight line measurement — which means the area’s length and width don’t matter.

So for example, if a piece of flooring is 5 feet long and 18 inches wide, it would be 5 linear feet. If another piece is 5 feet long and 12 inches wide, it’s still 5 linear feet.  

Measuring linear feet

To calculate linear footage, start by measuring the length in inches. Then divide the total inches by 12. So to convert linear feet to feet, there’s no math! A linear foot is a foot. There’s no trick — it’s that simple. 

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

What’s the cost per linear foot?

Paying by the linear foot with U-Pack means that you only pay for the space used. In many cases when moving household goods, the final price includes the full cost of the equipment, but not at U-Pack! We base our trailer rates on where you’re moving from or to, the move date and the linear footage of the shipment — that’s it! This means you don’t have to pay the entire price of the trailer unless you fill it up. 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’re moving in a 28-foot U-Pack trailer, and you were initially quoted for 19 feet of space. You pack well and only use 17 feet of trailer space. Your per-foot-adjustment rate is $50, and you used two feet less space than the 19 feet you were quoted. So your final price for 17 feet is $100 less ($50 x 2 feet). 

If your U-Pack moving quote is for a ReloCube® moving container instead of a trailer, it works similarly. But, instead of paying based on space, it’s based on the number of Cubes you use. So, If you reserve 2 Cubes, but fit everything into one, you just pay for one. You may be able to toggle between options, or email changequote@upack.com to get a trailer quote if it’s unavailable online.

How many linear feet does it take to move?
The space is based on the size home you’re moving. While there will be some exceptions, like a lightly furnished home or a house with lots of stuff in storage, this chart is a good guide. 

linear foot calculator

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). 

Where else is the measurement important?

Other than moving, linear footage is a standard measurement in the lumber and construction industries. You might use it to determine the length for purchasing products like wood, flooring, fencing, trim, concrete or fabric for a home improvement project. If you need help finding the amount you need for your project or with calculations, consult the home improvement professionals at your local hardware store. 


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