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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/real estate agent/photographer or an individual selling a house? Are you trying to create a perfect floor plan without investing in expensive hardware? In this article, we will discuss two affordable solutions for all: To manually sketch a floor plan or to use professional floor plan apps!

For real estate: Creating accurate floor plans with measurements

Creating floor plans may seem like a tiresome process that requires endless training and expensive hardware at first. However, the good news is, there are plenty of great solutions on the market to help ease your job of creating floor plans on a daily basis.

While there is the option to manually sketch floor plans by hand, it’s much easier to use a floor plan app — with a drawing or scanning ability. Let’s take a look at the different methods of creating floor plans.

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 hand

Sketching a floor plan by hand takes several hours, from measuring the rooms to converting data into a house plan. The process of sketching a floor plan typically goes as such:

  • Start by determining the area you want to sketch.
  • Decide how to illustrate the rooms, floor, and open spaces.
  • Measure the walls, doors, and suitable furniture.
  • Include architectural features such as doors, windows, and furniture

After all the above efforts, you will have a basic visual layout (depending on your drawing skills) even if the measurements may not be accurate.

While a floor plan with slight discrepancies may be enough for marketing purposes, it is a no-go for appraisals. According to Standardized Property Measuring Guidelines by Fannie Mae, floor plans for appraisals must be computer-generated and indicate all the dimensions needed to calculate the GLA.

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

To save time and ensure accuracy, technology is your best friend. There are several user-friendly floor plan apps on the market to help you get the job done.

2D and 3D floor plan apps are designed to reduce tiresome work — no sketching, tapping on corners, crouching through spaces, or assembling data measurements.

Better yet, instead of spending hours on manual sketches, you only need a fraction of that time to create accurate floor plans that are aligned with Fannie Mae requirements. By using scanning apps, appraisers will be able to provide a floor plan with interior walls for their assignments even for complex properties and agents will be able to use professional floor plans for marketing purposes to enhance the property listing. HVAC contractors can also benefit from ease of use of floor plan apps since it allow them to not only get a ready floor plan but also accurate measurements.

For example, if you hire an HVAC company in Memphis, TN, near the Cordova area, but you live out in Arlington, they won’t have to drive to your location to get measurements before they start installing anything. They can just read your floor plan back at their office and get to work!

It is not hard to learn how to use an app for floor plans. All it takes is four simple steps:

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

Discover the top floor plan apps by conducting a search on trusted review platforms like Capterra and G2. Read user experiences and feedback to make an informed decision. Choose the one that fits your needs, and download it to your mobile device. 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, for 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 with room dimensions

After the scanning process, you may need to edit the floor plans with the materials from the scan. They may also be immediately available for download, or within a few hours, depending on the service provider. CubiCasa’s floor plan app does not require you to edit the floor plans after scanning. Your job is pretty much done, and you’re ready to submit the order. Simple as that!

4. Export your floor plan in different formats

Once your floor plan is ready, you can download it in your preferred format. Most of the apps have the final floor plan available in PDF, JPG, SVG, and PNG. If you ordered a 3D floor plan with CubiCasa, you will be able to export it to CAD files: 2D DWG, 3D DWG, DAE, FBX and OBJ.

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 iGuide.

What are the best apps for floor plan?

There are several floor planning apps available in the market. For example, MagicPlan, Room Scan ProCubiCasa, iGuide, 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?

Can you create a 3D output with a floor plan app?

Yes, CubiCasa allows you to create a 3D video render and 3D floor plan with only 5 minutes of work…and all you need is your smartphone. If you order 3D product from CubiCasa, a 2D floor plan with fixed furniture will be included free of charge.
3D floor plan

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

Yes, if you scan the property with CubiCasa 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 outputs after scanning 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: Download and install the CubiCasa app from the App Store or Google Store
  • 5-7 min: Scan property.

And, voila!

Example of a 2D floor plan created with CubiCasa app


CubiCasa Digital GLA sketch and CubiCasa 2D floor plan
3d floor plan cubicasa
3D floor plan created with CubiCasa (available as add-on)

Interested in CubiCasa?

CubiCasa offers standardized, fast, and accurate floor plans & GLA for most iOS and Android users. There’s no upfront investment or expensive hardware needed. All you need is to download the app and start scanning — the first floor plan’s on us.

Have more questions about our top-notch floor plan and GLA sketch software? Book a demo with one of our sales representatives.

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 requires 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. According to 2021 Zillow Consumer Housing Trends 81% of consumers agree they’re more likely to view a home if the listing includes a floor plan they like.
“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)

Author: Anastasia Corjan

The Senior Marketing Manager at CubiCasa has been instrumental in pioneering a newly-launched app that has gained usage in 172 countries. With expertise in real estate marketing, community building, and social media, Anastasia Corjan has helped the company achieve more than 1 million orders.

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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