I used to do appraisals, and some appraisers either: mis-measure the house and come up with the wrong square footage, some use the courthouse records for the square footage (which may be wrong or 40 years out of date), and they don't count areas of the house that are "living" spaces (unfinished attics, basements, garages, etc. They should include baths, closets, etc (we always did).
If you can't find your appraisal, contact the appraiser. They are legally required to keep a copy for 7 years before they may throw them away. They may charge a printing fee however ($50.00 or so).
I've heard that appraisals count all the space that is heated and cooled. We think maybe the previous owners were counting the part of the attic that has a floor as living space. The appraiser obviously didn't count this because it's not heated and cooled.
But our measurement of around 3,300 doesn't include the attic. It does include bathrooms and closets.
It wouldn't surprise me if the court records are wrong. The Loan Lady hasn't called me back yet. I don't even know who the appraiser was without talking to Loan Lady. Arrrgh. I hate it when people are hard to get in touch with.
John was just full of good advice. He also said this:
Make sure the attic and exterior walls are insulated first before insulating the floor. From what I've read, insulating the floor gives the lowest return for cutting heating costs. Storm windows or additional attic insulation may do you more good.
I wasn't aware that insulating the floor gives the lowest return. Hmmm. We do have storm windows on most of the windows, except the very front of the house, which has shutters we keep closed in the winter (I wonder if that actually does any good).
The attic could probably use better insulation - it has fiberglass on the floor - and I doubt the walls have any at all. Maybe we do need to have a professional come out and give us his/her suggestions. An estimate is free after all, and we can see how it goes from there.
But I have to wonder if anything we do will help significantly. Most of the house has 12-foot ceilings; the rest has 10-foot. Is there even a way to keep a house like that warm?