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Roof inspections

BBeen

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Hi. I am just looking for any advice or tips on how to get started in roof and building inspections. I am currently employed. I have been with my company 38 years and will be retiring at the end of the year. I would like to start a drone business when I retire as a means to supplement my income and to stay busy. Over the next 9 months I want to start honing my skills and getting the equipment and training I will need to get started. I currently own a Evo II and love flying it. I am hoping some of you can give me tips on what software (free versions if possible) to get that will help with flying, mapping, damage inspection etc. also where are some good places to go to get training. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks
 

jaja6009

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Welcome to the forum!

Know exactly what you are offering to the client. Do your research for your state about "inspections". In some states there are restrictions on what you can sell somebody called an inspection. You could offer to provide photos to give to a licensed inspector or roof contractor and that would be pretty easy to do, but that may cause you to charge less than a true inspection. I am in NJ, to provide a roof inspection, even with the drone I could run into a problem with the state home inspection board. In NJ to say I inspected your roof, I would have to be a licensed home inspector or roofing contractor to do so on residential homes. In NJ commercial inspections are not covered by the home inspection board, but follow guidelines set by outside entities. (Sorry I am not familiar with them).

And something too many people do not consider is insurance. Ask home inspectors about possible litigation and most will say its not if you get sued, but more like when. Have Error and Omissions insurance as well as liability. People like to try to get an inspector to pay for items they may have missed on an inspection, especially if it is expensive.

A true value roof inspection in my opinion would not only be drone images of the outside, but also an interior check done in accordance with best industry practices (Home Inspection, Roof Contractor). Knowing roof construction is a must too. You can't have a home owner asking you about the plumbing stack, chimneys, flues and the like and you have no clue about any of them, including their placement and their flashings and material they are made of. Think about what you would consider value, and if you would pay good money for drone pics of a roof or of a true inspection of the roof with a professional inspection report with accurate information where they learn about the roof's components as well as the state that they are in and if they are in accordance with best industry practice.

Good luck!
 
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BBeen

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Jaka thanks for your insight. I have a friend who is a licensed inspector. I plan on just doing the videos and pics and send to him and let him do the actual analysis. I will go with him to jobs and learn from him and eventually perhaps get licensed as an inspector down the road. Right now I want to focus on learning the ins and outs of doing the pics and putting them together in a format that the inspectors can use
 

Inspired63

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It's very hard to convince a homeowner, or an insurance adjuster, or even a realtor, to pay for video or pictures to help sell a product or a service that could cost upwards of $500. Especially when the product were selling, for the most part won't be taken into consideration in determining a financial loss or gain. I'm in northeastern Ohio, of course a terrible market to begin with.
 

ProBowie

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Hi. I am just looking for any advice or tips on how to get started in roof and building inspections. I am currently employed. I have been with my company 38 years and will be retiring at the end of the year. I would like to start a drone business when I retire as a means to supplement my income and to stay busy. Over the next 9 months I want to start honing my skills and getting the equipment and training I will need to get started. I currently own a Evo II and love flying it. I am hoping some of you can give me tips on what software (free versions if possible) to get that will help with flying, mapping, damage inspection etc. also where are some good places to go to get training. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks
My Experience:
I do “pictures” for a licensed roofer. He uses the pictures to show the condition of the existing roof. I make no claims and stay out of the process. I have my own license and insurance.
In order To do inspections on my own I would have to be a licensed home inspector. Easy work and fun compared to other real estate work.
 

R.Perry

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The way I got started was in the home inspections business. Got certified in home inspections. Got tired of climbing on roofs so used my Phantom 4 to do the exterior roof inspection. The average home inspection runs between 300 to 500 dollars depending on the size of the home.
Exterior roof inspection is only part of a roof inspection, the interior roof inspection is just as critical as the exterior.
There is a lot to doing proper home inspections and you need a basic understanding of construction.
I also have a crawler for crawl space inspections because I got tired of dealing with rattle snakes in crawl spaces.
Depending on your state the licensing requirements seem to be different in every state for home inspectors. I was certified by InterNachi. Like yourself when I retired I wanted to find something to stay busy. I recommend hooking up with a experienced home inspector and also learning from him.
There is no decent money in just shooting homes for realtors, they just don't want to pay.
 
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jaja6009

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Jaka thanks for your insight. I have a friend who is a licensed inspector. I plan on just doing the videos and pics and send to him and let him do the actual analysis. I will go with him to jobs and learn from him and eventually perhaps get licensed as an inspector down the road. Right now I want to focus on learning the ins and outs of doing the pics and putting them together in a format that the inspectors can use
Sounds like a good plan. You will learn something about roofs every time you provide him with pictures. To give him value you could then start identifying problems before you even give him the pictures. You can easily find online sample reports from roof inspectors and home inspectors. Use those to get an idea of what you need to inspect and all aspects of a roof. Learn roof material types, flashings, chimneys, vent placement, ventilation and the types of roofs, low slope, gable, hip etc. You could even buy a used home inspection book on Amazon. You'll find that even if you know about roofs, there is probably a lot more to learn, especially code and best industry practice.

Good Luck!
 

chasco

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Hi. I am just looking for any advice or tips on how to get started in roof and building inspections. I am currently employed. I have been with my company 38 years and will be retiring at the end of the year. I would like to start a drone business when I retire as a means to supplement my income and to stay busy. Over the next 9 months I want to start honing my skills and getting the equipment and training I will need to get started. I currently own a Evo II and love flying it. I am hoping some of you can give me tips on what software (free versions if possible) to get that will help with flying, mapping, damage inspection etc. also where are some good places to go to get training. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks
Like many have said, keep in mind a primary goal and get really good at that. Also realize that you are a data collector unless you get certified as an inspector. Focus on collecting the best data you can.

The flight planning should be a crosshatch at an oblique angle 30ft above the tallest peak. and as perpendicular to the faces as possible. This ensure that your images will capture enough data to ensure that you get strong tie-points for reconstruction which will keep the overall structure from warping. Flying too close will cause too many images across the structure which creates a larger seperation of data of the images on the extents. I ideally you want 75/75 overlaps but any more introduces unneeded data that only confuses and bogs down reconstruction. It's always good to run a set of nadir (straight down) images at a higher altitude that will capture the entire structure in a 3x3 grid. Whatever elevation that needs to be. This will help tie the overall structure together creating tie-points that are much further apart but your lower oblique images will be used for detail.

At the end of the day the best thing you could do at this point is get a Skydio 2. Trust me there will be developments in 3D scanning that will make capturing these structures a breeze and produce some pretty unbelievable models. All with the AI of the drone and you not having to worry about hitting anything. Just look them and Sam DeLong up on LinkedIn.
 

R.Perry

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InterNachi has a great course on roofs and how to inspect them, and I'm sure there are plenty of other sources. The main thing is don't refer to your work as inspections unless you are certified.
 
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chasco

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InterNachi has a great course on roofs and how to inspect them, and I'm sure there are plenty of other sources. The main thing is don't refer to your work as inspections unless you are certified.
Or surveys... Especially on marketing material. Scan(s) is a good option.
 

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