Drones in the Construction Industry: Pros and Cons for BuildingPublished February 9th 2016 at 12:00am
Drones in the construction industry are increasing all the time to help in finding structural issues that aren't accessible to human eyes. With more complex construction in many public buildings, drones can find structural damage or other flaws that could pose engineering problems later.
In the end, it could save millions of dollars for buildings and construction companies having to fix these issues. The only challenge is determining what other benefits there are in using construction drones.
As an independent contractor, you have to invest wisely and consider the right technology. Then you have to consider many new drone legalities.
Let's look at the pros and cons and see what your best choices are.
Investing in the Right Drone
Drone technology changes often, and investing in one now could mean any tech being outdated in a hurry. Your capital investment in a drone may not pay for itself if you don't use the drone enough in your contractor business.
Measure what your intended uses are and compare it with the amount you intend to invest. Set aside capital for future drone purchases so you aren't stuck with outdated technology too fast.
Finding the Proper Drone Flyer
It takes some time to properly train someone who's proficient in flying a drone. Finding someone who's already trained in flying your drone is essential to avoid wasted time and financial resources. This includes someone with access to resources that can keep their training updated.
The same goes for those who can properly provide maintenance. Not doing regular inspections and repairs could make the drone unsafe to use around the public.
Adhering to Government Rules and Regulations
The FAA has stricter guidelines now on drones, especially for those over .55 pounds. It's a complex procedure that can take up considerable time, and it's best to invest early in a license.
It's possible that you could get a FAA exemption in the case of using a drone for commercial purposes. While it depends on your intended use, using videos or photos (to provide contract services) falls under the commercial category.
Outsourcing Your Drone
To save time on dealing with licensing and other regulations, consider outsourcing a drone if you only plan to use one occasionally in your contractor business. You'll save money this way if you're working on a tighter budget. Outsourcing also gives you access to hi-tech drones that can better scope out structural issues for a complicated building project.
Contact us here at Arizona Contractor License Center to learn more efficient ways to go into business for yourself as an independent contractor.