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The term "livable space" often functionally means the same as "permitted." Just as 40 different CPAs are likely to give you 40 different amounts of tax you owe when all looking at the same income information, you could possibly get 40 different square footages when asking 40 different appraisers or contractors to measure the livable space of a home. The most conservative, and I believe the most reliable, method of determining square footage is to add up the square footage reflected in all permitted work done on the structure. This is what the tax assessor uses and what the bank accepts when applying for a mortgage. If you have an older home and records are not available (it happens...), then I'd ask an appraiser who specializes in this area to do the measuring. If you're concerned about the size of the lot, a surveyor should be hired to plot the lot lines and confirm the size.
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For Sale: $1,250,000
For Sale: $484,900
For Sale: $415,900