ADVICE on Roof surveying

Dear fellow Drone enthusiasts,

I have recently started my own roofing company and I'm looking to purchase an RC Camera Drone to carry out roofing surveys and assessments.  I want really high quality images but I don't want to spend the earth!

Can anyone advise me on what they think would be the best package to purchase?

I would need to access buildings of up to 20m maybe control through a monitor where the drone would have to fly out of visual sight.  I would want a really robust (if possible) drone with a high (as possible) quality camera and a control with a screen to see where im flying.

My apologies if there has already been a thread posted on this topic but I did try a brief search to no avail. 

Thank you in advance!

P.S. I'm looking spend no more than 350GBP all in but if that's totally unrealistic then so be it..

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  •  to avoid regulations and crashes I suggest using a 60 ft telescopic mast.

    We manufacture those. We integrate camera control systems with pan, tilt, video start/stop, photo trigger, and zoom in a single remote control, with video live feed, all wireless.

    Not as fun as flying around but business is business...


  • Check out 3Drobotics they have an X8 copter fitted for just the thing, however, its expensive. I think though you can get some idea of what is involved.

  • I do a lot of roof related work and climb ladders and or aerial pictures. The concept of close flight and quality detail pictures and low budget doe not readily match. Be aware in the trade offs is a learning curve and local conditions such as trees and wires. I some cases the aerial approach is going to be very hard and take time. 

    What I mean by this is the closer to the building you want to fly the closer you want to be to the UAV/quadcopter so you keep it as close to the roof to get the detail but not hit it. So you then have to go around the building and re-position multiple times. In doing this the time on site is not that much less than climbing a ladder. Naturally really big roofs can be different and certainly many are unreachable. The primary problem is the time and travel to the location and knowing you get the results you need. Not getting the right detail and going back can be more expensive over time than getting the wrong shot.  So factor in the travel time, labor and cost of going back. 

    You may want to start with a budget unit see how much you use it and keep an eye out for something that gives you streaming video to the controller.

    Most of my work is two story residential so a 32 foot ladder gets you to the lower part of all roofs to look up most surfaces. That is my bias, you may have whole different situation that can only be done by air. For me to set up ladder look and pictures is harder work but almost same time and set up quad copter fly, film and edit as being the same. In the US many are doing there own thing.

  • "What if you screw up, and the razor sharp carbon blades chop off a few of your fingers? Oops!"

    I agree, carbon fibre props are dangerous!

    "Carbon fiber blades are practically mandatory for high quality picture taking."

    Completely not. Properly balanced plastic/nylon props are just fine...

  • A couple of people have mentioned this but I think that it is worth reiterating. You need to have a BNUC-S certification to operate a RPA/UAV or "drone" commercially in the UK.

    This means if you are in any way remunerated for the service you provide with the aircraft you must be licensed. The CAA are prosecuting people who flout the regulations so be aware of this and act responsibly.

    • Quit spamming the forums with this.  Most people don't submit to the certifications, don't plan to, and never will.  Unless enforcement and fines are increased several-fold it simply isn't cost effective to comply with the regulations. 

      • @Jake I think you'll find that this is not the case in the UK. Most people/companies operating commercially DO have the right certification and insurance.

        If you are not, don't kid yourself that you are safe in a crowd of anonimity.  It doesn't take 5mins to see if someone offering a service appears in a database.  The fines may be small for a first offence but continue to flout the regulations and see how rapidly they increase.

      • I don't think I'm "spamming the forums" by mentioning it once. It is a real issue. People are being prosecuted in the UK for operating UAVs commercially without the required certifications. It would be remiss of me not to bring it up.

    • Ref UK see

      Unmanned Aircraft and Aircraft Systems Link

      Model Aircraft Link

      Basic National UAS Certificate for Small Unmanned Aircraft Link


      Resource Group

  • All good feedback.

    To get an idea the below video (watch in 1080p) was shot using the listed kit above with a gimbal (approx. 60 GBP)

    NB: Stepping out of the privacy issues, there is a balance of mind to take perspective on drones/multirotors as your average tools, house, building site, and vehicle can contain far more potential danger than a 350mm sized quad.

    On safety see DIYDRONES Link



This reply was deleted.