Results from a recent NAHB survey of single-family builders show that a majority of them (66 percent) are aware that unmanned aerial vehicles (i.e., drones) have been used on construction sites, and 22 percent have already used a drone in their own construction business at least once (including cases where they may have hired a third party to do so).
These results come from the monthly NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index survey, which often includes a set of “special” questions on a topic of current interest to the housing industry. The questions on drones were included in the April 2016 special questions.
The April 2016 survey also asked builders how likely they are to use drones in their construction business over the next 3 years. Twenty percent of home builders said “very likely” compared to 38 percent who said “not at all likely.”
Builder size matters when it comes to drone use. Whereas only 12 percent of builders with fewer than 6 units started in 2015 reported ever using a drone in their construction business, the share rises to 23 percent among those with 6 to 24 starts, 35 percent among those with 25 to 99 starts, and up to 43 percent of builders with 100 or more units started in 2015.
Likewise, the likelihood that builders will use drones in the next three years is also directly related to their size: only 13 percent of the smallest builders (fewer than 6 starts) say it is very likely they will be using unmanned aerial vehicles in the near future, compared to 18 percent of those with 6 to 24 starts, 29 percent of those with 25 to 99 starts, and 41 percent of the largest builders (100 or more starts).