Drones and home inspections

(John Jones) #1

I recently passed my 107 certification for commercial drone pilots. I have been doing property listings but want to move into the inspection part of the biz… Does anyone have any thoughts on whether partnering up with some inspectors in my area or become an inspector myself … which would be a better way to go?? ( I have been around the real estate and construction in the past)

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(Charles Stevens) #2

I got my Part 107 First and then did the Home Inspector Course. Just starting in the business…But I feel that is the way to go… The Drone is just another tool to assist in my inspections. But I also market it as a separate service. Ie photography. The good thing is you have another widely marketable skill. Best of luck fellow Pilot.

On last thing I would recommend taking the entire course here at InterNACHI. I took my 120 hrs elsewhere… And ended up here. InterNACHI has everything you need and has several states where their exam is acceptable. Great practice exam and ongoing education.

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(Nicholas R. Peres) #3

Interesting. Usually the inspector comes before the drone, not the other way around. Anyhow, I have nothing else to add. Good luck.

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(Joe Funderburk, CMI) #4

Drones are only good for border security. Very effective there. Adios Muchacho.

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(William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530) #5

I am of the opinion that the best way, indeed the only proper way, to inspect a roof is by walking it. That said, there are some roofs that cannot or should not be walked, in which case a drone would be a useful tool.

Most inspectors have worked out ways to do this, either using binoculars, scopes, telephoto lens, cameras-on-a-stick, or some other less costly means.

Circumstances that would support inspection by a drone would include structures over 2 stories with no safe means of access to the upper stories and roofs that are too steep and too delicate to be walked and cannot be visualized properly using the means described above. I have yet to encounter any such situation, but I have performed only about 375 inspections.

There are probably a lot of situations outside of residential inspection that would lend themselves to visualization by drone. I would say if you want to make the drone pay for itself you might want to market outside the residential inspection sphere.

If you want to focus on becoming a residential inspector then by all means go for it. I don’t think that you will find a lot of established residential inspectors willing to take on a partner simply because they have a drone and are licensed to fly it. Commercial, perhaps.

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(Kenneth Young) #6

Was a home Inspector long before drones and was flying them for roof inspections well before Part 107, I do have my remote certificate. A 20 mega pixel camera does a outstanding job with a picture that you can really zoom on. I flew 227 inspections with it last year in all types of weather including 20+ mph wind and single digit temps.

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(Cory Cookston, #164972) #7

I am also of the opinion that it is best to walk every roof possible or move your ladder around the entire house to see everything from the gutter line and had previously thought drones to be mostly a marketing gimic, but I have run into a few lately that even my 32’ ladder couldn’t get me onto or around due to height coupled with narrow yards and 10/12 pitches preventing me from accessing one side and then walking across to the other and have slowly warmed up to the idea. I am now considering purchasing a drone for these situations as well as when the chimney crown isn’t visible from even the highest part of the roof. I’ve considered the Inspecto-Scope, but it is currently out of stock and I’m not sure it would be that much of a savings over an entry level drone and would certainly not be as versatile.

Kenneth, what would you say the key features of a roof inspection drone are? You mentioned high resolution for zooming into photos to see details. I think some drone cameras are able to optically zoom as well which might help? DJI’s have a “Tripod” mode that is supposed to be super steady for carefully navigating near obstacles; think that important? Would the goggles that some drones can be paired with help you see issues in real time versus checking photos later? Thanks for sharing your experience.

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(David Wicker) #8

John, I’m not sure that you will find enough work with Inspectors as most already have their ways to inspect the roof. With that said, I work with a lot of photographers that do drone videos for real-estate companies especially with higher end homes, lake front properties and large properties. An Ariel view makes for a nice marketing tool. Also, property managers and commercial property managers can us your photos/videos for visual inspections of their properties as well. If you have any questions let me know.

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(Joseph Jacono) #9

I recently purchased a DJI Mavic2 Zoom. It is a fantastic tool. Very stable and provides great detail with high clarity. Wasn’t cheap but is invaluable at this point.

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(Tom Ross) #10

Do you use it a lot?

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(Kevin M. Leonard, CMI) #11

I use my drone all the time, it’s especially good for inspecting the tops of those high chimneys.

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