Roughing 360

Roughing 360 is a small business I co-founded. We take hundreds of 360 photos of an under-construction house and create virtual version of it, stored in the cloud. This allows builders to reference all sorts of things later that save them time and money. Like, wasn’t there an outlet on this wall? This ceiling is sagging, was it supported correctly? Can I move this vent over two feet to make room for a built in shelf or is something going to be in the way? “Roughing” is builder jargon for the guts of the house.

Here’s the interface: A plan view serves as navigation, with each dot being a full 5K resolution photosphere that can be rotated around.

As an idea it’s not new to the world. Conceptually and technically it’s not far off from a “virtual tour” that real estate agents frequently request. Our offering is a bit different in that we take pictures every 6 feet to capture absolutely everything that will be hidden in your walls, and we host in on our cloud so it can be accessed anywhere.

My co-founder and I discussed the idea over dinner one    day. I went off and did the research into 360 cameras and software systems to figure out how much it would cost to start it up. We decided to go for it since we had an interested client through a connection already.

In the next few weeks I taught myself how to use the camera, the virtual tour software, setup a website to store the virtual sites in my spare time. My partner and I established a split of the company with myself as 51% owner and some bonuses for whoever could get new clients.  I also designed this logo to capture the VR aspect and housing aspect with some muted construction-orange feel.

Our first job in Winter 2018 went perfectly and now stands as the sample on our website. The builder loves it and says he references it at least every week if not more, and also shares it with his subcontractors. He says it easily pays for itself in saved time.

So far things are growing slow and steady. Getting the word out has been the hardest for me, having never done anything close to a sales job before. We advertise with flyers at construction site, and some cold calls. But of course most of our clients come through connections and word of mouth. Most home builders that would be interested are very small companies with a few people or house flippers. Many builders don’t even have a website. So it’s clear that construction is a somewhat old fashioned and dispersed industry which has barely changed over the years. Roughing 360 is a step into the digital age.