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Can Underground Rooms Be Listed As Square Footage?

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Mild Spoilers Ahead

Most characters in horror movies react in fear when they uncover a hidden room or a network of dark tunnels underneath their home.

But for one character, AJ Gilbride, in the sleeper horror flick Barbarian released last month, uncovering the dank passageways and creepy dungeon in his basement represented a moment of joy.

Justin Long plays a disgraced actor in the midst of a #MeToo-style scandal that has wrecked his career and wiped out his finances, sending him to Detroit to sell off his investment properties in order to pay his legal fees.

While staying in one of his properties, a well-manicured Airbnb in an otherwise bombed-out neighborhood, Long comes across a creepy secret basement room with a camera, a bed and a bloody handprint. When he pokes around further, he discovers a whole network of dark, unfinished tunnels below the property.

Instead of reacting in fear, the discovery results in some of the most memorable comedy seen in a horror movie in years, when the film cuts to Long searching “can underground rooms be listed as square footage” on the internet before embarking into the tunnels armed with a tape measure.

Inman looked into the realities of subterranean square footage and answered the questions to which Long’s character could have used some answers.

Can underground rooms be included in a home’s square footage?

As Long’s character found on his initial internet search, rooms that are underground or unfinished — along with enclosed porches, three-season rooms and garages — do not count as living areas and cannot be calculated toward a home’s total square footage.

Since the rooms he uncovered were both subterranean and unfinished,…

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