All Collections
Measurements and GLA
FAQ specific about the Gross Living Area – GLA
FAQ specific about the Gross Living Area – GLA
Henrique Mezzabarba avatar
Written by Henrique Mezzabarba
Updated over a week ago

What is GLA?

GLA is defined by The Dictionary of US Real Estate Appraisal as the “Total area of finished, above-grade residential space; calculation by measuring the outside perimeter of the structure and includes only finished, habitable, above-grade living space”.

What does GLA stand for?

Gross Living Area.

Will this cost me any extra fee?

Yes, this is available for you if you have purchased the GLA Add-on.

What’s the use/purpose of the GLA floor plans?

It’s a solution for appraisals to assist with the evaluation of properties.

What standard do you follow for the GLA calculation?

We follow the ANSI Z765-2021 calculation standard.

Are the external walls included?

Yes, they are included in the GLA calculation

Why is there a difference in the GIA and the GLA (total) numbers?

Because the GIA (Gross Internal Area) DOES NOT include the external walls, while the GLA DOES include the external walls.

What is the difference between red, green, and yellow rooms?

Green rooms are included in the GLA calculation.

Red rooms are excluded from the GLA calculation.

The yellow rooms are finished areas below grade. They are still calculated as excluded from the GLA. The yellow color is just to make it easier to identify them.

Is there a way of compiling the GLA items (each floor and the calculation) into one pdf or image?

Not at this moment.

Why is the whole floor on my floor plan red?

It’s because it’s very likely a floor below grade, and there is no finished area.

Why is the whole floor on my floor plan yellow?

It’s because it’s very likely a floor below grade, and the whole floor is composed of finished areas.

Does this require different software or equipment than I currently use?

No, you just need a supported device and scan the property with CubiCasa’s App. You will be able to download the GLA floor plan at the same place you download your floor plans.

Are the stairs included or excluded in the GLA?

The area of the stairs themselves is included in the level from which they descend. The area below the stairs (regardless of finish or ceiling height) is included in the level on which they land. Please check this article for more information.

Are fireplaces included or excluded in the GLA?

Fireplaces are excluded when they are covered at least partially by external walls on 3 sides.

Are spaces that are only accessible through excluded or ignored spaces included or excluded?

Spaces that can only be accessed through excluded or ignored spaces are also excluded if they were first included by the space type. For example, a bathroom/bedroom which would normally be included is now excluded since it is only accessible through an excluded space.

What type of properties can I scan to get the GLA?

We would recommend you to use the GLA only for detached and attached single-family houses. We DO NOT advise you to use the GLA for condos, multi-family homes, and apartments, the reason is that the images and calculations will include the external walls.

How can I include or exclude a room from GLA?

You can include or exclude a room based on its property, through the Quick Edit. If any of the following properties for the room is DISABLED, it will be excluded from the GLA:

  • Heated

  • Finished

  • Enclosed

  • Contiguous

  • Permitted

In addition to that, if the space ceiling height is less than 213 cm (7 ft), the space will be excluded and listed as a low ceiling.

We advise you to also check out this video for instructions.

How can I change a floor to below/above grade?

You can do it on the Quick Edit, you just need to select the floor, then click on the tool called “Toggle floor level above/below ground” (the penultimate icon on the top bar), then you will get a pop telling you if the floor is above or below ground, and asking you if you want to change it, if so, you just need to click on “OK”, if not, just click on cancel. Please check the screenshot at the bottom of this article, you can also check out this video for instructions.

Appraisals-related questions:

How can I produce a credible appraisal report without having visited the property myself? Isn’t that not allowed under USPAP?

USPAP does not require an appraiser to personally inspect a property. If an appraiser is able to produce credible assignment results based on available information without performing an inspection, that is permitted under USPAP.

If the CubiCasa floorplan was created by an interested party like the homeowner or listing agent, can I rely on it in the appraisal report?

Yes, because the GSEs deem a scan performed using CubiCasa takes the interested party out of the equation. In other words, the CubiCasa app is providing the floorplan, not the homeowner or listing agent. These floorplans are acceptable because they provide exterior dimensions that the appraiser can use to verify the GLA of the subject property. The GLA floor plan is deemed unbiased because the person who performs the scan will not change the outcome.

How can an appraiser rely on information obtained from third-party technology services like CubiCasa?

Consistent with Standards Rule 1-2(e) in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), appraisers are permitted to consider any information which the appraiser reasonably believes to be reliable. The appraiser may obtain information from sources that include private third-party websites, remote mapping, and floor plan technologies, public record providers, among others.

I have concerns regarding properties scanned with the CubiCasa app to generate GLA. Especially when it comes to liability. How to ensure that information from third-party services is reliable?

The GSE forms clearly describe the appraiser’s scope of work, so it is clear what the appraiser did and did not do. In addition, the appraiser’s liability should be solidly protected, since both the desktop and hybrid forms include a pre-printed Limiting Condition stating: “The appraiser has relied on data provided by third parties in this appraisal report…After examination of the data and data sources, the appraiser has used only the data he or she considers reliable. The appraiser assumes there are no material omissions and makes no guarantees, express or implied, regarding the accuracy of this data.”

What do I do if the GLA differs from public records or MLS? Do I have to use the Floorplan GLA?

Public Records are a great resource for general facts about a home. But the public records database is subject to the accuracy of the data that was input. Plans for homes change as they are being built and those changes are not always reflected in public records. After extensive testing, the CubiCasa GLA has been found to be more accurate than public records and more consistent than appraisers. That being said, the appraiser ultimately determines the most reliable source of data. If an appraiser has reason to believe that the actual GLA differs from CubiCasa, and has another source that the appraiser reasonably believes to be more accurate (as required by USPAP) that decision rests with the appraiser.

If I already have a reliable source of GLA, how do I benefit from a CubiCasa scan?

While CubiCasa GLA has shown to be more accurate than other sources, that isn’t the only benefit to an appraiser. The high-fidelity, detailed floorplan clearly shows interior walls and allows an appraiser to fully understand the functional utility of the home’s floorplan. This is important to ensure the property does not suffer from functional obsolescence.

Did this answer your question?