8 Questions To Ask Your Solar Installer Pre-Installation

So you’re ready to start receiving quotes or speak to installers about your options? If this is the case you’ll want to be prepared and ensure you get the most valuable information available to assist you in making an educated decision. Get prepared with our printable list of Questions To Ask Your Solar Installer Pre-Installation

Here are some questions that we feel any reputable solar installation company should be able to answer, if they can’t or won’t, think about whether you want to give them your hard-earned money.

1. How are the company’s reviews?

Before you even pick up the phone, look at any and all reviews available on companies doing solar installations in your area. There are several national databases of installer reviews out there including Solar Reviews, which lists more than 2,500 solar installers and opinions from more than 17,000 customers.

2. What licenses you have?

Every community is different, but all probably require a business license at the minimum. In many cases they also may be required to have a general contracting or home improvement license and include a licensed electrician on the team. You also should ask about insurance to be sure the installer would be fully covered in the event of an accident or damage to your home. Installers also should be well versed in obtaining all the proper local permits do to the work.

3. Who is going to do the work on my house?

This seems like a silly question since you will be talking to an installation company but not every installer has a full team of its own technicians. Some firms use sub-contractors and in that event you want to be sure that someone from the company you hired will have a supervisor on the site at all times.

4. What’s their experience?

How long has the company been in business in your state and how many installations have they done in your area?

Each state has different incentives, tax laws and processes, so you want to make sure they understand the laws and processes for solar where you live.

5. What kind of warranty does the company offer on its work?

Most of the hardware (solar panels, inverters, etc.) are covered by manufacturer warranties and the industry standards are fairly even across the board. However, the workmanship of the job is another story. Some firms will warrant the work for a year while others stand behind it for up to 10 years.

6. Is there something I should ask them while they are at my house?

Yes, yes, yes. Ask every single representative these questions:

  • Is my roof sturdy enough to hold all this gear?
  • Could the installation produce leaks in the roof … and if so, who fixes it?
  • How much power will this system give me and how did you arrive at that figure?
  • Will the company guarantee the amount of power you quoted me?
  • How much will shade affect power production?
  • What kind of inverter should I have? (There are several types and brands of the appliance that changes the electricity from AC to DC for use in the home. Prices and efficiency in different circumstances vary).
  • Is the price you wrote on this piece of paper an estimate or a firm quote for your work?

7. Who will do the paperwork?

Will the company handle all the paperwork for solar renewable energy credits, grants and other incentives and tax breaks, or will you be navigating this on your own? If you don’t want to deal with bureaucracy, hiring a full service solar design and installation company that will handle the paperwork is a plus.

8. Does the company stay current with incentive programs?

A majority of states and the federal government offer incentives to install a solar energy system. The feds will pay up to 30% of your system as a tax credit and some states or cities give solar energy rebates for new systems. In addition, some utility companies have cash programs to help homeowners with their arrays.

Metal Roofing: The Right Choice For Solar Panels

These days, enjoying the benefits of a solar panel is much easier. Due to continued technological innovation, solar panels have become more affordable compared to before. A lot of homeowners are now taking advantage of lease options to eliminate their maintenance and financial-related responsibility for the solar panels while slashing their home’s energy spending at the same time.

The type of roof material over which to install the new solar panels is one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to this type of upgrade to a business or home. A common problem is a potential for leaks brought about by the installation of solar roof panels. In general, there are only a few roofs covering materials that can bear with the mounting hardware without causing resulting leak points and penetrations.

Solar companies in South Africa have long favoured metal roof structures for the systems, although most roof types are compatible for a solar installation some cost more than others.

Metal roofs and a few concrete tiles are common examples of roofs that could be configured to allow the installation of the mounting hardware in such a manner as to hide or remove altogether the specific point at which the solar hardware’s fixing point attaches to the roof structure.

It’s different from a composition roof where you have to literally punch holes via the roof to affix the solar panels. This is not an ideal option, and although solar panels are not that heavy, they do add some load to a roof structure. Because metal roofs are generally 1/5 the weight (or even less) of concrete, it implies that they are the most suitable type of roof when it comes to roof-top additions such as solar panels.

Reasons Why Metal Roofing is the Ideal Choice

  • Here are some of the top reasons why metal roofing is the ideal choice to use with any roof-top solar component:
  • Metal is the most environmentally friendly roof material and complements the environmental reasons for using solar energy collectors. If you even give it a second thought, it makes no sense to make use of eco-unfriendly, petroleum-based products such as asphalt shingles with an energy-efficient and green solar panel system.
  • Metal roofing provides profiles that enable installation of solar panels that literally have zero holes punched in the roof. Undoubtedly, no other material would make such a claim.
  • When it comes to resisting damage from very high winds, metal roofs are the most suitable roofs. Therefore, it’s a crucial consideration for those who want to keep off from potential damage of their solar panels, especially from flying roof debris.
  • Another advantage is the long-term costs. Having to remove and re-install a solar panel array since the roof beneath it requires replacement is an added expense beyond the cost of the roof itself. Opting for a long-lived metal roof does away with this costly maintenance problem down the road.
  • High weather durability. Typically, metal roofs are uniquely designed to put up with hurricane-force winds, as well as ice loads and heavy snow. Some specialized protective coatings allow them to be practically impervious to UV rays, water, and other area-specific environmental toxins. Its durability is the prime reason why a lot of metal roof manufacturers tend to feel comfortable providing warranties that last up to 40 years.
  • A positive impact on the life cycle. Metal and steel building products are considered some of the most sustainable materials available. Apart from being made from a high percentage of both pre-and post-consumer materials, they are also 100% recyclable once their lifespan is over. When you add this to the fact that a well-kept roof can last between 50 and 70 years or even longer, you can have peace of mind that your metal roof installation plays a role to a positive materials’ life cycle.