Aerial inspection services are the next big thing, and you can get in on the action. When you offer a bird’s eye view of the roof and related systems, your customers get a more thorough inspection with high-quality photos. And you get to keep your feet on the ground.
If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve got some pointers for choosing the right starter drone. It doesn’t have to break the bank, but you should focus on quality over everything else.
Aim for High Quality, Not a Starter Drone
Probably, you’ll want to start out with a cost-effective drone. That’s reasonable, but a budget drone might cause the one major problem you hope to avoid: the inevitable drone crash.
There’s hardly a drone pilot who hasn’t sent an expensive piece of equipment hurtling to the ground. So buying a cheaper drone might seem like minimizing the damage. Unfortunately, what you save in cash you also give up in ease of operation.
Cheaper drones might be more difficult to operate, especially for a novice. Invest a little more, and you’ll get a higher quality drone with better handling. My First Drone recommends that first-time pilots choose a drone around the $700 range for optimum control.
Weather Resistant Features Give You More Options
Chances are, the sky will eventually pucker up on the day of an inspection. Rainy weather was once a definite no-go for flying drones. But technology has improved a great deal.
Weather resistance lets you fly in rain, snow and sometimes even higher winds, at least within reason. Some pilots have dunked a drone to prove its imperviousness to water.
Drone Guru says there are several completely waterproof drone options on the market. You’ll pay a little more. But won’t need to cancel an inspection or bring the quadcopter back to the ground early if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Think About the Camera and Upgrades
Flying a drone is fun, but drone inspections need a great camera for clear images. PC Magazine ranked 10 drones with an integrated 12 MP or higher camera as their top picks for 2017. All but the lowest priced model come with a gimbal, which steadies the camera for clearer shots.
Something else to consider is an accessory infrared camera. The technology isn’t cheap, but Drone Girl says it can take your drone-assisted roof inspections to the next level with thermal imaging photography.
The longer you own and operate a drone, the more you’ll find gadgets that make operation easier and more fun. For example, UVA Coach says their readers rate extra batteries fairly high on the “must get” list. If you’re flying in cold weather, you might also want a battery warmer. Cold temperatures drain battery life quickly.
Choosing the right drone for your home inspection services might be confusing. But if you’re like many UAV pilots, you’ll soon find drone pilot groups to join, magazines to subscribe to and videos to watch. It all begins with the first equipment investment.
Choose wisely on the front end and your inspections will really take off. And if you enroll now with ICA School, we’ll teach you what you need to know about using drones for aerial inspection services.