Recreationally would love to make a little money on the side, with our fancy little drones. This video might give you some interesting ideas in that regard. Please welcome gord cole, who has augmented his already very successful home inspection business through the use of drones, hi gord. How are you today good don? How are you terrific so tell me about your business? Well, im a building inspector, i inspect primarily residential properties in rural alberta and some commercial buildings as well, ive inspected hockey, rinks and churches, and a variety of houses and acreages a number of farms. So it uh its a pretty uh, interesting uh scope of uh of uh inspecting uh. You know various types of buildings, so that is, that is really cool, and how did you get into that? Well, im uh by trade, a carpenter and ive always had a love for the building industry, and i i did have a number of decades in the corporate life and as i retired from that world, i decided i wanted to still continue to work, maybe not full Time but definitely on my own and i decided to get into uh doing some inspections uh its been its been a great uh, great experience. So oh thats, thats, fantastic, and so at some point you must have figured a drone might help. Can you tell us when i, when i started doing the research on the industry and and really what uh what was going on in the industry and i wanted to uh, have a process that could provide a complete inspection of the building which includes the roof and And in todays world, with all the regulations – and you know a wcb uh – and this you know primarily from the safety aspect – you know, how can you inspect the roof uh efficiently? I i honestly had looked at hauling around a portable uh, uh uh man.

Man lift in order to inspect a roof, but even still that was not practical right, yeah, yeah yeah, you know you know, uh run a man lift on somebodys front front. Lawn and uh have a look at their roof, but anyways i uh. I started looking at uh drones, im, not sure where i caught on to it, but you know on uh on youtube someplace. I thought it was cool. I think it was the first uh mavic uh mavic pro that i saw that i just amazed me of the technology and – and i i really thought i could maybe incorporate that into my business, which i have very successfully so fantastic. What what drone do you fly now? Um? I have two that i use. I, i use the uh dji mavic mini 2 for uh. You know some some areas and i also had the autel evo 2 pro, which is uh, which has a uh. You know the uh the eight times uh zoom on it, which is in the 6k camera which, which is very good for inspections. Oh, i bet yeah, a 6k camera would be just unbelievable yeah and you dont lose lose the resolution. Like you, you do on a 4k, so yeah fantastic machine to be using thats, very cool. So what sorts of what sorts of things do you do with your drone? You youre inspecting the roof. What kind of things are you looking for? Well, when um, when you uh, when you fly up and you can get a birds eye picture of the roof, the entire roof, it tells you a lot about how that roof is performing.

You can identify. You know, for example, in the wintertime uh, you can identify hot spots flashing issues. The best roof in the wintertime is one that has a nice even snow cover on it. There are some uh limitations, you know, but uh, but the limitations uh. The benefits all weigh the limitations for sure you cant really identify the true condition of of the roof coverings uh per se, but you got a pretty good idea on the age of the home and uh and usually from uh theres, usually some areas that you can See the roof coverings sure yeah a little a little different than summer. You know summer, uh summer, inspection, so uh, but you know when youre looking at in the summer time, youre not able to see uh how that roof is performing in cold weather right there. You go exactly so it it has its pros and cons the the winter yeah yeah. Absolutely absolutely. What sort of weird things have you ever encountered? Whats the strangest thing youve seen with your drone? Well, the uh yeah. I guess the strangest thing i i pulled up to uh to a home to uh to perform an inspection on it and, as i pulled up, i saw all these shingles on the front lawn, oh and like oh something, uh, something is is not right here. So i i flew up at a look at the roof and this lou this roof looked uh in great condition, and i figured id better check.

The neighbors roof and half the peak of the neighbors roof was gone so oops, so uh yeah something happened there and uh. I did let the neighbor know, but he was already already aware of it and i was going to have the roof repaired. So it was quite uh, it was uh. The puzzle was solved very very easily with the drone so yeah exactly otherwise itd be like i just havent found the spot that are singles yeah, absolutely and the one thing you know i i do have to uh comment on when youre using the drone. As long as youre flying uh uh with the right regulations and uh its a much safer, a more in depth way of uh inspecting a roof right, um, you know uh, you know its its one thing to uh to go up on a roof to inspect it, But you know when youre doing that you have to be careful of your your footings. You cant already see the areas that you need, but the drone provides so much more value uh to your clients in order to see uh what they need to see in order to make that decision to buy that home. So, yes, and and you can provide them with pictures, whereas the guy up on a roof, you know cant really get it again. Yeah you get the big basics for sure. You know yeah, no, that that is uh, really really cool um.

So you you mentioned flying within the regulations: um youre youre, located what just west of edmonton is that right? Yes, just west of edmonton yeah, so so what sorts of issues do you encounter from a regulatory perspective? Well, just in your you know your no fly zones and uh, you know controlled airspace. That type of thing you have to you have to be uh, be aware of that and uh, and i follow the regulations. Uh um, you know so theres, no, its all about safe flying and uh, you know and when youre inspecting a roof with your drone, you know it doesnt take very long at the very most maybe 10 minutes. So you just go up and do your work and come down right right. You know if you want to play around with your drone. You know do that when youre in open air space – and you can have some fun with today, but youre youre there to do a job and the drone is there to do a job and you just uh, you know it doesnt take long to do roof inspection With the drone – and you just go up, do it and and uh and land your drone and away you go fantastic, um im obligated to ask if you use any particular tools or apps uh. Oh yeah check the airspace yeah don im. Quite a fan of your channel and i use all of your tools and the uh, the uh and your app is uh quite uh, well its beyond good, its very good, its amazing, quite frankly.

So something that we need in canada, something that we need in canada and uh the work that youre uh you are doing for uh for all of us is outstanding. Thank you. Thank you very much that that means a lot to hear. So, thank you, yeah. So when youre, when youre, using drone pilot, canada or or just thinking about your day, um well how, how does a typical day look for gourd like do you wake up in the morning and say? Oh, i wish i had some work today. Yeah, no, not thats! Usually not the case, i uh im a early riser and i do uh. You know my uh uh. My schedule is fairly hectic and i do have uh an assistant that helps me with all my bookings and so on. So i um you know as far as you know. The first thing i do is uh: do a bit of uh research due diligence on the property im inspecting. So i have a uh background. Uh. You know some background information on it. Yeah uh. You know i check uh, you know the the area and uh and the flight requirements that are required in order to uh to fly in that area and uh. You know do all that preliminary work before you uh before youre, even on site right and there there are some cases where you know you just uh. You know you may have to use other technologies in order to achieve, but youre better off, uh youre, better off being prepared than than not right.

So if you go in there ahead of time being prepared, then and thats your you know, one of your best uh assets that you can have with you right right. So you know what what hazards there might be. Uh absolutely strange uh buildings, yeah, absolutely yeah, absolutely its uh yeah, you uh its uh uh best to be uh to be prepared and and uh and know in advance how youre gon na attack the uh the building from an inspection point of view right – and you Know come up with a plan right and uh and have a plan and uh. It is things when you know you have to kind of expect the unexpected and things do go sideways, sometimes uh, but its a lot better. When you, when you have a a plan in place right and theyre no different than have you had any uh incidents that you you would like to share. Well, i yeah the there is uh. There is uh one uh, one inspection that i had. That went a little bit sideways where i was uh using my thermal camera in order to do an assessment of the home. This was in the winter time and the young lady young couple that was buying it. She was uh very, very much pregnant and at the time she was watching me work, my thermal camera, and here she wanted me asked me if i could thermal her stomach to see her baby and uh and uh.

Unfortunately, i could unfortunately, i couldnt, but it was uh. It was pretty interesting. She was uh. I i swear. She was gon na. Have the baby uh during the inspection she was uh. She was very much overdue. Oh thats thats pretty funny yeah it uh it was. It was interesting, very cool, so like like you, you said youve got youve got your thermal camera youve got your drone um, so youre using the drone as ill say, just one tool in the tool kit of your overall business, yeah, absolutely and thats. How i treat it the drone is a is, i have a base business, which is the inspection business uh and the drone is uh just another aspect of uh of my inspection and uh uh, no different than a thermal camera or a moisture, meter or uh flow Meter or you know any anything like that and ive encompassed all these technologies. You know under a business that is, is a very mature industry and taking it to a new level, uh utilizing a lot of technology uh in my uh in my inspection process and its become very valuable and and, as you add, more value to what you provide. You become in demand without doing little advertising and uh and uh. You know, uh referral, business and word of mouth is is uh uh in inspection. Businesses uh is uh, is very good, absolutely yeah in any business really in any business. For that matter, thats right exactly so what what sort of advice would you give to someone who you know has their has their drone and, and they want to make a little bit of money, maybe in roof inspections? What what would you? What would be the process that they should think you yeah, so you have to you, have to be honest with yourself, and you got to understand your own strengths and weaknesses and depending on where you want to go with, for example, a drone business, if you youve Bought a drone – and you want to make some money with it – theres a number number revenue areas that you can.

You can provide that information. You can do roof inspections, you can do insurance inspections, utilizing software to identify, hail damage and a number of areas like that. You can do uh roof measuring services, which uh is, is uh an up and coming service where you can provide uh and theres tools, yeah yeah, detailed measurements, uh for roof, both on a commercial level and on a residential level. You know our technology is changing rapidly and youre, seeing more commercial buildings, installing solar panels on roofs and providing a birds eye picture of that roof with detailed measurements. Uh is invaluable for uh for the planning process of uh, of installing that equipment right, yeah and uh, and you can decide uh um. You know you have to be like. I said you have to be honest with yourself and and commit to the process and follow through with it and get the necessary training and necessary credentials in order to uh, promote yourself and dont be afraid to invest in yourself, sometimes its a bigger a challenge just Spend some money on yourself and take the proper courses and uh and uh. You know and just go out there and and youre gon na make mistakes, but uh thats how you learn right: yeah, oh absolutely, yeah, well, thats, thats, fantastic advice, gord and um with that. Why dont, i say thank you for for your time and your advice and your with sharing uh some of the the details and and fun experiences youve had with your with your uh business um.

So thank you again and all the best in in the upcoming year.

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