Why is a drone survey an important part of obtaining the best knowledge of a property you are purchasing? Simply put, it’s all about managing the risk. The cost of a drone survey is between £350 and £650 depending on the complexity of the property and the size of the property.
Imagine this; The taller a building is, the harder it is to fully evaluate areas such as roofs, gutters, chimney stacks, dormer windows, flat roofs and the like. Binoculars are a good way to see these areas but have limitations in that they cannot be recorded and also have limitations. But what if the property has multiple roof shapes, or has a hidden flat roof? As surveyors, no matter how experienced we are, we simply cannot advise on the condition of something that cannot be seen. In such cases, you will see reports written by various surveyors where a limitation clause is added. Such a clause may say something along the lines of: “we were unable to view the flat roof to the dormer and cannot make any further comments, and you should be aware of the risks of hidden defects being present, we advise further investigations”.
In some surveyor reports, we have seen comments like, obtaining an independent further investigation by a roofing contractor. We can tell you that a roofing contractor is not independent or impartial. Why? Well, that contractor has an interest in obtaining the work, and although some contractors are bona-fide, there are quite a lot that are not and will advise work that is required when it may not be. Again, the risk is you simply don’t know whether the work is required or not and may pay for work not required or more work than is necessary.
This is where a Drone Survey provides peace of mind and factual information. The dilemma then is what is the risk you are willing to accept? Go with the Drone Survey for a fee of say £350-£650 or the risk of defects that may cost £5,000, £10,000 or even more. Only the purchaser can make this decision based on individual circumstances, but we would say the peace of mind of knowing is more savvy than the potential cost and risk of not knowing.
So what can you expect from a Drone Survey?
- Detailed Aerial Imagery: Moden drones provide 4k high-resolution close-up images and videos that give a detailed view of a property, including hard-to-reach areas like rooftops, chimney stacks and backyards. This is particularly useful for large buildings or properties with challenging high-level areas.
- Cost Efficiency: Traditional methods of surveying properties can be costly and time-consuming, involving manual labour and specialised equipment such as hydraulic lifts and platforms. Drones reduce the need for physical manpower and can complete surveys more quickly, saving both time and money.
- Cost Awareness: You know the cost early in the process and can make early decisions. In the property buying process, this can be the difference between paying too much and allows you to have accurate evidence to present to a vendor and help in renegotiating an original offer. The potential of a reduction in the property price.
- Improved Accuracy: Drone technology can capture precise measurements and data, including topographical information and exact dimensions of the land and structures. This helps in accurate planning and development.
- Safety: Surveying certain areas, especially those that are structurally unsound or difficult to access, can be dangerous. Drones can safely access these areas without risking human safety.
- Easy to Share and Integrate: The data and imagery collected from drones can be easily shared with clients, contractors, or regulatory bodies. It’s also compatible with various software, aiding in more efficient planning and decision-making.
- Versatile Applications: Drone surveys aren’t just for property; they can be used in construction, agriculture, mining, and more, providing valuable insights for a variety of projects.
As we discussed at the start of this post, knowing is better than not knowing and the more information you have on a property, it allows you knowhow on what you’re likely to spend and you won’t be buying the property with defects that could potentially cost you thousands more. Incorrect due diligence can wreck the investment you are putting into the property.
The final question you need to ask is which is the the biggest risk? The cost of the Drone Survey or the potential cost of hidden defects. At Dunham Hale Surveyors, we have been providing Drone Surveys since we started and are becoming very popular in managing risk. Please get in touch with our team if you would like more information.