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How to Use Different Floor Plan Apps

best floor plan apps for ansi aligned gla sketch for photographers agents and appraisers

Are you an appraiser/realtor/photographer or an individual selling a house? Are you trying to create a perfect floor plan but without investing in expensive hardware? In this article, we will discuss two affordable solutions for all: To sketch by yourself or to use professional apps for floor plans (so-called floor plan creator apps)!

Why are floor plans important for real estate appraisals?

Floor plans are an important part of real estate appraisals to show a clear overview and layout of the property. As of April 1, 2022, Fannie Mae will require appraisers to measure subject property improvements using ANSI Standard Z765-2021. Although it is one of the easier measurement standards, it is still a fairly challenging standard to align to – with specific considerations such as ceiling height, below-grade spaces, stairs, and more. Providing ANSI-aligned floor plans with GLA measurements and interior walls is essential for 1004 (Desktop) Appraisals, this industry change will be effective March 19th, 2022.

How can floor plans help real estate agents qualify a buyer quicker?

They provide an easy way for potential buyers to visualize how they will move through the space. A good floor plan not only enhances the visual identity of the home but also highlights the flow between spaces, increasing its perceived value. Floor plans are the second most important feature on a listing according to Zillow and it correlates with capturing leads. “It would be easy to show a buyer between 6 and 25 homes a weekend. After 25 homes, which are you going to remember? The ones you are holding paperwork on.” (Cited from a New York Times article)

Depending on the use case: Fannie Mae’s requirement to provide a floor plan with interior walls for a 1004 (Desktop) Appraisal or for marketing purposes to enhance the property listing – you will need a professional floor plan. At first, it might seem that creating floor plans is a tiresome process that requires endless training and expensive hardware. But there are great solutions in the market that might help you on a daily basis.

To get a detailed floor plan, you can sketch it by yourself, but it’s much easier to use a floor plan app, be it a drawing or scanning software.

Do you enjoy drawing floor plans by yourself or using an app for floor plans to make life easier?
Do you enjoy drawing the house plan by yourself or prefer using an app for floor plans to make life easier?

Method #1. Sketch a floor plan by yourself

If you sketch it by yourself, it will take several hours to measure the rooms and convert the data into a house plan. For example, at first, you have to determine the area for drawing and also you need to decide how to draw the rooms, floor, open spaces. You need to measure the walls, doors, and suitable furniture and add walls for each room of the building. Additionally, you should include architectural features like doors, windows, and furniture. After all these efforts, you might not get perfect measurements for your room but at least you will have a visual layout (depending on your drawing skills). This might be enough for marketing purposes (for realtors) however for appraisals: floor plans must be computer-generated (not hand-drawn), indicate all the dimensions needed to calculate the GLA (according to Standardized Property Measuring Guidelines by Fannie Mae)

Sometimes, an easy-to-use app for floor plan is what you are looking for.
Sometimes, an easy-to-use app for floor plans is what you are looking for.

Method #2. Use an app for floor plans

Thus, in order to save time, you can access several user-friendly scanning apps which can help you to create accurate floor plans according to MLS or appraisal standards (aligned with Fannie Mae requirements). Floor plan software can take out your tiresome work. No sketching, tapping on corners, or assembling of floor plan after scanning is required with professional floor plan apps.

It is not hard to learn how to use an app for floor plans. The following are the steps of how a scanning app works.

1. Download a floor plan app on your iPhone or Android phone and install it

Search on Google for the best apps for floor plans and find reviews about them. You can also search directly on the App Store or Google Play. After selecting the one which fits your expectations, download it. Depending on the app, you may need to sign up on their website first before downloading it (especially if you want to access their free offers/trials).

2. Hold the phone and scan the entire space or each room separately

Each app has its own recommendations. For example, in some apps, you would need to tap on the screen while holding the phone to mark the doors and corners. With the CubiCasa app, you don’t need to do anything else other than scanning (5 min scan, and you are done).

3. Get your ready floor plans

After the scanning process, you may need to edit the floor plans by yourselves with the materials from the scan, or they will be available for download immediately or in 24 hours depending on the app. CubiCasa app does not require you to edit the floor plans by yourselves, after scanning, your job is done and you can submit the order. Simple as that!

4. Export your floor plan in different formats

This also depends on the floor plan app. Most of the apps will give you PDF, JPG, and PNG but some floor plan creator apps also provide SVG.

easy to use floor plan app for appraisals and real estate
What do you need to create a floor plan?

For most of the room scanning apps, you only need a mobile phone since it can scan almost any indoor space. Indeed, the technical capabilities of the devices are becoming better and better e.g. ARkit and ARcore. But, some apps require you to use special hardware and software for doing the whole scanning process e.g Matterport.

What are the best apps for floor plan?

There are several floor planning apps available in the market. For example, MagicPlan, Room Scan Pro, Floor Plan Creator, Room Creator, CubiCasa, iGuide, Cupix, Matterport, RoomSketcher, PLNAR, etc. Most of the apps are suitable for both Android and iOS.

How to use a floor plan app to get the best result?

Is it possible to create a GLA (Gross Living Area) sketch with a floor plan app?

Yes, after scanning the property with CubiCasa in 24 hours you will receive an ANSI-aligned floor plan with GLA measurements, interior walls. In addition to that, we’ll provide you with an area calculation in text format that demonstrates how each area was calculated along with highly-detailed CubiCasa floor plans.

Digital GLA features

The output if you scan with a floor plan app

In the image below, you can see a floor plan generated by the revolutionary CubiCasa app. This particular result required only a few minutes of the user’s time: 1 min – to download and install the CubiCasa app from the App Store or Google Store and 5-7 min – to scan the property. There’s no upfront investment or expensive hardware needed and the first floor plans will be free of charge. All other floor plan solutions in the market, even if cheaper, require significantly more time and patience from you. Compared to other alternatives, CubiCasa offers more standardized, quicker, and more accurate floor plans & GLA solutions for most iOS and Android devices.

Moreover, if you are a real estate photographer or an enterprise, you can get a special discount. Apply to the Cubicasa-certified program now and claim your benefits!

Example of a 2D floor plan created with CubiCasa app


CubiCasa Digital GLA sketch and CubiCasa 2D floor plan

Book a demo with one of our sales representatives if you want to learn more about the top-notch floor plan and GLA sketch software.

Author: Anastasia Corjan

Anastasia is a digital marketing strategist who is passionate about creating ROI-driven content strategies. Enthusiastic technology evangelist that loves working within the real estate and PropTech industry.

We're building technology to digitize the real estate around us, and while doing it, helping families to find better homes, approve mortgages and renovate their homes. We are located in Oulu, Helsinki, San Jose, and Ho Chi Minh City. Currently we are especially looking for software developers to join our team.

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