Drones in Construction

Drones are changing the way certain industries operate. One of those industries is Construction. So many times, I hear people talk about drones as toys for entertainment purposes. And of course, flying drones is entertaining! I love it, that’s why I built my business, because I love flying drones. But flying drones for commercial purposes is much different than recreational, hobby flights. 

Drones are a tool. They can be used to solve complex problems, or they can just sit on your shelf taking up dust. This article is meant to show how helpful drones can be in the construction industry. 

More than Just Pretty Photos

Before we talk about the asset drones can be on the job site, we have to dispel the idea that drones are only good for entertainment, or taking pretty photos. Yes, drones are entertaining, and yes, drones take stunning pictures! I work with clients in real estate, marketing and video production all the time where our goal is to capture stunning footage. But there’s more to it than that.

Drones collect data. That data can be used in a number of ways: 2D mapping, 3D modeling, Site Progress Updates, and Time Lapse Photography.

2D Mapping refers to something like Google Earth. We send the drone up to take 500-1000 images overhead of the job site. These images are then stitched together to create a single file for viewing, tracking, or distance measurements. This also shows a record of installation. After covering up pipelines on the site, you may still need to drill down into the ground. You may not be able to tell where the piping went unless you had a map to go back to that shows where that pipe was laid. 

3D Modeling creates a 3D rendering of the job site, so you can make stockpile measurements, create cut-fill analyses, and much more. You can also track elevation changes on the site. That way, General Contractors and teams can prove how they met environmental requirements.

Site Progress Updates occur weekly or monthly. They are intended to track the progress of the job. We are able to fly pre-programmed flight patterns to ensure we capture the same footage from the same vantage point every visit. This allows teams to compare each week’s update with the previous updates. This tool can be used for keeping teams informed about their job site. It can also be used to share with investors, property developers and owners, to show how the project is coming along. 

Time Lapse Photography is the culmination of the job’s Site Progress Updates put into a single 2-minute video, showing the project from start to finish. This makes for a huge marketing piece showing what teams are capable of doing. 

Drone Footage Doesn’t Lie

Drone footage helps hold people accountable. Each week gives teams insight into what has been brought onto the job site, and what work has been completed. On site documentation is the best insurance construction companies can buy. Drone footage doesn’t lie! With weekly site visits, you can prove how your team has met environmental requirements.

Speed and Efficiency

Who doesn’t love those words, speed and efficiency… Hear that? That’s the sound of you finishing the project on time, or ahead of schedule. Teams stay more informed and up to date with drone site visits. This helps teams plan the entire project from their office, and when problems come up, the footage will give you clues to what needs to be done, who messed up, or what needs to be rearranged on the calendar to meet deadlines. Drone footage capture can help with job site selection. Before ever breaking ground, our team can be on site to make sure it’s the best site. 


Drones are becoming more and more common on job sites. And most people like the idea of being in charge of flying the drone. What I’ve learned is, most teams who try doing it in house tend to miss out on all of the benefits that drone technology can provide. Then, eventually that team member gets bored, and the drone ends up on the shelf with the rest of the unused tools. 

Do you want to take time away from what you’re good at to attempt something you may not understand, or do you want to hire a pro who has the equipment and knows what they’re doing? Check out what our clients think:

JCL’s construction progress aerials are top notch and provide great value to real estate projects. 

Sam Pittman (Google Review)