Last Updated: July 13th, 2021 at 10:10 am
Read Time: 6 Minutes
Do-it-yourself projects are an ideal way to save money on home renovation projects. With the explosion of solar panel installations in the U.S., the most ambitious homeowners might consider DIY solar panels (installing solar panels themselves) to get the biggest bang for their buck. However, installing solar is not as easy as replacing a ceiling fan in your master bedroom! The process can come with unexpected difficulties and long-term frustrations if you aren’t an experienced solar professional.
We’ve outlined some of the most common pain points below to provide insight on the drawbacks of DIY solar projects, and show you why POWERHOME SOLAR doesn’t recommend installing your own solar panels.
State and federal regulations
Installing solar panels isn’t as simple as visiting your local home improvement store, buying the materials and placing the panels on your roof. You typically need a building permit and/or electrical permit from your city or county to even start such a project.
In addition, utility companies typically don’t allow you to go off the grid if you’re already on it. That means that you have to work with your utility company to connect your solar panel system to the power grid, which can be a tricky process. So, even if you take the DIY route, you still need to work within the federal, state and local rules, which can immediately make your solar panel project more difficult and time-consuming.
How much DIY solar panels can cost
Here are a few hidden costs that can increase the cumulative expense of DIY solar panel projects:
Parts and Labor
Although DIY projects can appear to save you money, you might need to buy new tools and parts that can increase the cost initially. But beyond that, if you need to hire someone to help you finish the project, you suddenly have labor costs to account for as well. Finally, even if the installation goes well, DIY solar panels are more likely to have issues down the line. You might find that you have to spend more money on repairs than if you opted to have your panels professionally installed in the first place.
Shading issues are another potential hurdle that increases the cost. You may need to cut down trees to make solar production possible, which is not a minor project. A professional assessment of your home’s shading makes it more likely that you will know right away if you have to factor tree removal into your solar panel project.
DIY solar panels can easily cost thousands of dollars after adding all of the regulations, permits, and labor costs. Also, most utility companies require you to submit an interconnection application to ensure that your solar system complies with safety standards. Building permits and interconnections applications typically cost hundreds of dollars each, not to mention the hassle of trying to keep all the permissions you need straight.
Application processing can take a lot of time, delaying the start of your project. Also, if you are part of a homeowner’s association, the organization generally has up to 30 days to approve solar projects. Contacting each entity and filling out the applications takes time, and your time is valuable!
Considering the time that has to be spent on all of these steps, along with designing your system and determining whether your roof is capable of holding panels, it can be a 6-8 week process before you can install solar.
In contrast, POWERHOME SOLAR has a team of employees that know and understand the nuances of solar installation in their service areas. We do all of the preparation behind the scenes, and we make it look easy because we finish the installation quickly and efficiently!
Safety concerns with DIY solar panels
Most people install solar panels on rooftops, meaning there’s the risk of falling off your roof during a DIY installation. You can invest in a harness to stay safe, but that means another cost added to your project that wouldn’t exist if you hired professionals. Also, working on a rooftop can add a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety to the project. You must know how to navigate the roof safely, which is a complicated task.
When you install panels, you also need to deal with electrical connections which can be dangerous. Do you know how to safely handle all the wiring when connecting the solar system to the grid? Improper installation could damage your roof or solar panels, meaning more costs for you, not to mention the physical risk of an electric shock injury. Combine the rooftop danger and the electrical component, and you can see that DIY solar panels include high risks.
You can easily avoid these risks by hiring POWERHOME SOLAR to install your panels and allow our team to handle these risks for you. We normally have a crew of 4-5 trained professionals that complete our customers’ solar panel installation projects. We finish most projects within two days. Assuming each project takes about 16 hours, that’s the equivalent of 60-80 hours of work for one person, which is quite an undertaking for a DIY project.
Missing out on deals and warranties
When you install solar panels by yourself, you can miss out on some great deals. At POWERHOME SOLAR, we offer a $0 down2 payment and 100% financing for qualified homeowners. With these incentives, you can spend less money out of pocket and avoid draining the bank to fund your solar installation project.
The solar panels we install come with a 25-year product workmanship warranty that protects your investment. When you DIY install solar panels, that warranty may not be available. Also, if you experience any issues with your solar panels, you are responsible for fixing them. If you cannot fix the problem, you might need to hire a contractor, which increases the costs. When you work with POWERHOME SOLAR, you can give us a call if you have any problems with your panels, and our team of professionals will take care of it.
It’s time to go solar
DIY projects can be a fantastic undertaking, but when it comes to solar panels, the general consensus is that it’s best to trust the professionals. When you do the project yourself, it involves paperwork to complete and fees to pay, not to mention actually installing the panels themselves can take 60-80 hours or more to complete. Safety concerns could be a big issue. Why deal with any of that?
POWERHOME SOLAR believes in providing fast, safe installations for customers. We send out a field energy consultant to assess your home and determine if you qualify for solar. POWERHOME SOLAR then takes care of every step from the time you sign your contract through your solar panel installation. Our goal is to make installation easy for our customers. Call 1-800-POWER-90 or visit our Contact page to request a free quote, and we’ll help you get started.