Cheap Drone to Inspect Roof - Budget $200

Hi all,

I have very little idea about drones other than "buy DJI" but they are usually expensive.

Do you have any recommendation if I just need to buy a cheap one that can let me fly over my roof/ into the manhole to inspect the conditions from time to time? Is it possible to have something around $200?

I know people may say "just get a ladder" but I had a fall in the past and it gave me a fear of getting on ladder/ height….

Thanks heaps


  • +6

    won't you need a ladder anyway when you find something that needs fixing?

    • +1

      He's going to outsource it.

  • +1

    Sorry to here about your fall: Maybe check out this site? I noticed the first one wasn't too expensive and in your price range.

  • +3

    Ryze Tello from DJI is $169:

    You used to be able to get Zero-X Pulse Drone for $60'ish but they were rubbish.

  • +3

    Pay a contractor to do it?

  • +3

    "Into a manhole"?

    You'll certainly need a ladder to get it back.

    Really, Mavic Mini is probably the most stable small drone I've seen. Good for over the roof, and will give you nice clear, stable images (images are no good if they are blurry because of vibration, movement, or just a low quality camera).

    You would get a Mini around $299 if you found the right sale - so still above your price range (and usually they're around $399 on sale). You still need a certain level of skill.

    I've built a few multi-rotors myself with various components…but none have flown as smoothly as a DJI for filming/photos.

  • +4

    If you cant use a ladder I think hiring a handy man once or twice a year to clean your gutters a better option?

    You buy a $200 drone and still need to hire someone todo the work.

    You won't see anything from a drone inside the roof. Matter of, what are you expecting to see inside or outside with a drone?

    If you hit a beam in a pitch black roof which is likely how would you get the drone out?

    • +1

      With another drone :)

      • +2

        Drones all the way down 😃

  • +2

    If you have any blow insulation in the manhole forget it. Also as others have said, you'll hit something and the drone will fall. It's not like mission impossible with night vision and magic.

    This is a idea you will soon come to regret.

  • +1

    The tello is great. Stable and easy to operate. I got one and highly recommend it. Flying time on one full charge is 7-10 min.

  • +1

    You'll have to buy two drones.
    One to get some images, and a second one to recover the first.

    • +1

      Then when the second drone goes missing. Buy a ladder and get up there and get them.

  • Thank you for all your help. I agree the drone won't be a good use of money now. Will just outsource the job to someone maybe once a year - guess that should be frequent enough :)