When I started inspecting homes years ago, one of the first tools I bought was the biggest ladder I could find – a sturdy, custom-order extension ladder from Canadian Tire. I reasoned that a great Home Inspector would be able to inspect almost any roof, regardless of height. The $300 price tag on the ladder quickly turned into thousands of dollars saved for my clients, and countless referrals. I consider good tools to be a marketing investment, not just overhead.
I’d been watching drone prices fall into the “affordability range” for a while now, and finally purchased a Blade 350 QX3 package from a local hobby shop. The unit features an self-stabilizing camera mounted below, and has terrific range – just enough for those 3-story roofs just out of my ladder’s range.
My first time using it as part of a home inspection was a townhouse in Coquitlam. Let me be clear – I would NEVER normally have seen even an inch of this roof, due to the height.
We set up in the back yard and flew it up above the roof height, while I snapped photos using the supplied Android App on my tablet. Here’s a shot of the top of the roof in the sharp winter sunlight:
We flew it right above the roof and, right away, found a broken flashing. The customers were amazed and took some “selfies” with it after we landed.
If you want to fly a drone in Canada for business, you must comply with Transport Canada’s safety requirements, which can be found as a PDF on their website. You must carry their safety list with you at all times and, of course, no photography without the seller’s consent. While the rules may change eventually, they are easy to comply with now and they are making it incredibly easy to “take flight” for business!
The Future of Home Inspections
For a Home Inspector, picking up a drone is a no-brainer. I honestly haven’t been this excited about my equipment since I purchased by first Thermal Imaging Camera – which I will be writing about in another post. I expect Drones to be in every Home Inspector’s tool kit within the next few years, and, of course, the quality of Home Inspections to rise along with these invaluable tools.
Call today for your aerial drone inspection – 604 395-2795
Author David Fairbairn is a certified, licensed home inspector serving Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. He has been featured in the media and has contributed to "24" Newspaper, and Global TV. He has spent years working with residential and commercial building projects, and holds a Power Engineering License in BC. Why not give him a call for your next Home Inspection? Call 604 395-2795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!